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Fragile Success -- Ten Autistic Children, Childhood to Adulthood, Second Edition By Virginia Walker Sperry, M.A.

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Price: $19.95
"A gem of a book. A major contribution and the best I have ever read in the field." —Louise Bates Ames, Ph.D., Co-Founder, Gesell Institute of Human Development, on the first edition

"In her moving, powerful narratives, the author presents nine case studies which become far more than mere clinical instances; they become true stories of affliction, mystery, and triumph presented with honesty and tact. This is an invaluable book by one of those dedicated teachers who has followed her charges over the decades." —Richard Selzer, M.D., on the first edition

If you have lived or worked with a child with autism, you've wondered what the child will be like as an adult — how the child will develop and learn to live independently. In this uncommon book, you'll get a rare view of autism in all its variations as former teacher Virginia Sperry traces the lives of her students over 30 years. As you follow the children into adulthood, you'll get firsthand facts about this developmental disability as witnessed by their teachers, medical professionals, social workers, and parents. These true case histories provide insight into the mystery and diversity of autism — how it affects the students' personal lives, social habits, work, and hobbies and how their conditions have changed over the years.

In this second edition, the author revisits her students and updates you on their progress. You'll review their original evaluations and see test data collected in adulthood by Fred R. Volkmar, M.D., as well as detailed information about each person's life circumstances, living arrangements, vocation, and social interactions. Several of the case histories include parent commentaries detailing their child's condition and outcomes. You'll discover the recent strides made in the understanding of and medical treatments for autism and be inspired by these ten extraordinary people who have faced adversity and, for some, achieved a fragile success.

Table of Contents

Foreword to the First Edition
Sally Provence, M.D.

Foreword to the Second Edition
Fred Volkmar, M.D.


  1. Teaching the Child with Autism

    1. Childhood Autism and Related Disorders
      Sally Provence, M.D.

    2. The World of the Ives School

  1. Case Studies in Autism: Children and Parents

    1. Essentially Isolated: Tom Brown
      "It takes endurance to stand up for your child..." by Patricia Brown

    2. Jimmy Davis: Living with a Profound Communication Disorder
      "I thank God every day for Jimmy..." by Victoria Davis

    3. Polly Daniels: A Frenetic Perfectionist
      "I spent all day trying to restrain her..." by Jane Daniels

    4. Bill Kolinski: The Child Fantasist
      "He wrote a book himself..." by Fran Kolinski

    5. David Ellis: Lacking Spontaneity

    6. Karen Stanley: Desiring to Relate to Others
      "I had to identify her emotions for her..." by Elizabeth Stanley

    7. John Stark: Unpredictable and Turbulent
      "Never take 'no' for an answer..." by Carole and John Stark

    8. Larry Perelli: Emotionally Blocked

    9. Eric Thomas: Mute and Angry

    10. Jane Thompson: A Study in Contrasts

  1. Growing In and Out of an Autistic Mind
    Bill Kolinski

  2. Autistism as Portrayed in the Film Rain Man

  3. Summary Chart: Preschool Through High School

  4. Adult Outcomes: 2000



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