Paul Carter offers an insight into the world of the child with autism. It may have been written specifically to offer support to prospective adoptive or foster parents of such a child or children.
The information is set out in an easy-to-read manner. There is no patronising terminology to induce anxiety. The information is matter of fact and relevant.
Section One of the book deals with the practicalities – what it is; how to recognise the condition and its severity; questions parents may ask; aspects of education and learning and help sourcing.
The second section offers first hand experiential accounts of raising children with autism. This is a positive method of giving optimistic and realistic information to prospective adopters.
The book itself is thin enough to ensure that no one will feel daunted by the content. It is easy to read and I actually read it through very quickly.
For me, the most important message captured within the first section is that the way to enable and empower a child who has autism is to love them as they are.
“One of the key factors that influences a child’s self-esteem and mental well-being is being accepted and loved for being himself. Parents are likely to experience a sense of loss or grief if their child has difficulties affecting his growth and development. If this grief remains unresolved for the parents, it can be equally unhelpful for the child.” Page 34 Section One
Chapter Six is very useful for seeking help and support. Often when a parent has a child with additional needs, they feel helpless and alone. The listed agencies and financial benefits will get them started on the road to seeking the most appropriate help for their child’s specific needs.
Section two contains a very personal account of one couple’s experience of adopting two siblings who eventually exhibited autistic tendencies. The second account gives a list of what the writer found helpful and unhelpful. There is always a lot of form-filling as with any child who has exceptional needs and challenges.
I think this is a book worth purchasing if you are or intend to be the parent of a child who has autism.
Carter, Paul (2013) Parenting a Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder
ISBN: 978 1 907585 69 2