There are many books out there relative to the matter of Autism, but I have to say that “Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew” is a the must read for my parents and my colleagues at work, that’s why I chose it for this assignment. Summary This book is an expansion of a successful article that Ellen Notbohm published in 2005. She used the same title. Ellen is a mother of two special needs children, one with autism and the other one with ADHD; however this book is written from the perception of an individual with autism. This is not a long book.
It has only ten chapters and is about 130 pages, including the preface and the introduction, called in this book as, “It begins”. In this part of the book, “It begins”, the author tries to convince families and caregivers who are dealing with autism, to see it not like a disease. Ellen wants people to help their children to live with it, not to teach them to suffer for something that the children can not even control or they may not even know about. After this introduction, we found that each chapter can be described like a handbook.
Each of the ten chapters has just a few bits of information about the common problems that a child with autism presents. However, when you finish reading the book, you will find that this information all together is a complete and trustful story encyclopedia that can help parents, teachers and many other professionals who work with ASD individuals a young age. In the first chapter, the wish is that people may be able to understand that she or he is just a child that needs love, patience, and help.
I’m “autistic”; I’m not a label, I’m just a child. Going beyond with this marvelous book we found how the sensory issues are the reason of many behavior problems. Behavior doesn’t appear from nowhere, an incomprehensible and unexpected behavior has a sensory cause. Ellen advises parents and caregivers to think and reconsider about their beliefs. She also made some suggestions that can help us to identify and work around the child’s sensory structure. Meltdowns, the well-known meltdowns.
These are also addressed in this book. Ellen describes the four trigger clusters, sensory overload, physical/physiological, emotional, and poor examples from adults. She indicates the way to identify their causes as well. She makes us to stop thinking or saying that “she/he won’t” to analyze and identify what is causing the behavior. Visual learners, this is explained in chapter four. This chapter tells us how these children are concrete learners, and visual thinkers.
She also illustrates how verbal communication doesn’t make any sense to these children, by given some examples that she calls common snags. She reminds us that we have to help these children by developing a functional way that she/he can use to express their needs, wants, feelings, fears, etc. If they don’t know how to communicate they will find the way to let us know, which can be expressed with any variety of behaviors. Some techniques are also provided in this book, to help these children to develop or improved social interaction and the formation of self esteem.
Ellen, who is talking in this book as a child, reminds parents and caregivers that he/she is trying his/her best with his/her poor and limited social skills. Ellen describes her feels when her son was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. She pictures her emotions and thoughts, and her continued fight with her hopelessness. Ellen finishes the book by saying that it didn’t take long to realize she wouldn’t change her son in any aspect even if she could. “I wouldn’t have him be anything other than exactly what he is”. Relationship between the book and CEC Standards of the course
The relationship between this book “Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew” and the standards for professional educators, CEC, can begin with Standard One, that states how the “special educators use this knowledge as a ground upon which to construct their own personal understandings”. This book provides valuable information that can help teachers who work with ASD students to get a better idea of their world, and gather this information to build strategies or interventions that will help these children to develop or increase skills that will lead to improvement of their lives.
Standard Nine, which addresses the engagement in professional and learning activities with families, colleagues, and activities that will lead to a professional growth, have a relationship with this book, because even though this book is more like a personal reflection from a mother of a child with autism, the book offers with details a full description of the primary problems that every child with autism has to face every day. The information provided in this book is helping educators to obtain knowledge and develop understanding of those incomprehensible and unexpected behaviors that many children with autism have.
The last standard and the most important: Standard Ten which emphasizes “collaboration with families, other educators, related service providers, and personnel from community agencies in culturally responsive ways”, collaboration that can help to address the needs of the students. The collaboration can be practiced by sharing this book with parents, teachers, therapists, etc. As I mentioned in my introduction the information provided by the author can be considered as a handbook. Therefore by sharing this book with them, the special educator can be seen as a resource that is facilitating information to parents across settings and services.
Professional practice with parents of ASD children My professional growth as a special educator has been impacted by this book enormously. Last school year when I was transferred to Redondo Elementary, although I have a background as a Special Educator, I didn’t know about autism at all. As a result I found myself desperately trying to find information that will help me to understand autism. One of my colleagues recommended this book and I purchased it immediately. I will say that Standard One is reflecting on my professional growth, because, when I read this book, I found the answer to many questions such as: Why is it that she/he claps? Why is it that she/he spins around? , etc.
Knowledge that I apply to my teaching every day. Standard Nine reflects on my professional growth because, after reading this book, I am more “aware of how their own and others attitudes, behaviors, and ways of communicating can influence my practice”. Now I am able to understand more the culture of autism, and I’m also feeling more perceptive about my students’ needs and parents’ concerns. Standard Ten, which is always the most important for my “collaboration”.
I like to extend an invitation to all my parents during my open house or family nights that we have at my school to read this book. I also like to extend an invitation to my parents to come and see me if they are having difficulties with their child at home, so we can work together to implement an intervention to address that particular problem. I would like to finish with this personal account book review/reflection sharing my favorite quotation of this book. “Patience. Patience. Patience. Work to view my autism as a different ability rather than disability”.
Courtney from Study Moose
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