Autism in the Family: Caring and Coping Together

Author: Robert A. Naseef Ph.D.

Format: Paperback, 288 pages, 6.0 x 9.0
ISBN: 9781598572414
Price: $26.95

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How can parents provide the best support for their child with autism—andensure that the whole family's needs are met? It's a question faced by every parent of a child on the autism spectrum, and this book answers it with keen insight, reassuring honesty, and practical guidance. A psychologist and father of an adult son with autism, Dr. Robert Naseef has both personal and professional expertise to share with overwhelmed families. Weaving wisdom from years of clinical practice with candid first-hand insights on parenting a child from birth through adulthood, Naseef helps parents
  • navigate the complex emotional journey to acceptance
  • guide their child's behavior and development at every age
  • maintain a strong and mutually supportive marriage
  • understand the needs of siblings and provide sensitive support
  • collaborate effectively with professionals
  • address specific issues like meltdowns, food sensitivities, sleeping, and toileting
  • manage stress
  • build a strong circle of support with family and friends

Using Naseef's popular Special Children, Challenged Parents as a starting point, this completely reworked and revised new book reflects 10 years of change, both in the author's life and in the autism field. Parents will benefit from new chapters on navigating their child's adolescence and adulthood, expanded and updated information on autism, and rare in-depth coverage of the needs, emotions, and parenting experiences of fathers. A warm, down-to-earth, and practical guide for parents—and an enlightening read for the professionals who work with them—this book will be a valuable companion as families love and support their child with autism.

Watch an introductory video with the author.


Review: Not New to Autism blog
“Naseef addresses both the emotions and the day-to-day challenges of parenting a child on the autism spectrum . . . I don't remember encountering this [unique] combination in all of the books I have read along the way . . . His story touches me, reaches my heart, and I relate to his experience in a way I didn't expect.”
Review by: Stephen Shore, Professor of Special Education, Adelphi University; internationally known author, consultant, and presenter on issues related to autism; person on the autism spectrum
“Brimming with helpful hints, understanding of family dynamics, and insight this book is a must read for anyone desiring to support individuals with autism and their families.”
Review by: Barbara Firestone, President & CEO, The Help Group
“A lifeline of support, guidance, research, and practice. With his firsthand experience as a parent, psychologist and advocate , Dr. Naseef has created an invaluable resource for families as well as for educators and clinicians.”
Review by: Lars Perner, University of Southern California
“Very comprehensive, yet very readable . . . provides thoughtful ideas both on how to address specific challenges and on the bigger picture of caring for the whole family's emotional health during the journey.”
Review by: Judy Swett, Early Childhood Coordinator, PACER Center
“A wonderful resource . . . It recognizes the fact that having a child diagnosed with autism is indeed life-changing but it can take you on a powerful journey of discovery about yourself and those around you. I wish I had had this book to read as I was raising my own (now adult) child with autism.”
Review by: Barry Prizant, Adjunct Professor, Center for the Study of Human Development, Brown University; Director, Childhood Communication Services, Cranston, RI
“Beautifully written by Dr. Naseef, both a parent and professional, Autism in the Family explores the depths of the experience of autism, with practical guidance for a true holistic approach that is essential reading for family members and professionals.”
Review by: Joe Villalobos, father of a son with autism and special education teacher of children with autism
“Dr. Naseef genuinely shares his family's journey with autism. He also provides valuable information for all families with children who have autism to understand that although our situations are as different as our children, we must make this journey together.”
Review by: Kent Potter, founder of and father of a son with autism
“Rarely does an author speak to the darkest moments while so eloquently providing hope and reason to celebrate. Dr. Naseef shows us how to connect with our children where they are. He encourages us through his stories and experiences that together we can live an abundantly beautiful new life with our children.”
Review by: Bradford Hulcher, Executive Director, Autism Society, Central VA
“Provides insight and guidance for maintaining a balanced marriage and family when a child with special needs is part of the family. For families just receiving a diagnosis to families beginning the journey through adolescence, Dr. Naseef offers wisdom and hope.”
Review by: Lawrence Brown, Associate Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics; Director, Pediatric Neuropsychiatry Program, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
“Combining the skills of an experienced therapist, the talents of an inspired teacher, and the courage to share the wisdom gained from often painful personal experience, Dr. Naseef is the consummate advocate not only for the child but also for the entire family.”
Review by: Ann Turnbull, University of Kansas
“Rarely does a book deliver both breadth and depth. In a single volume, you can explore the breadth of the full family lifespan and the depth of every family relationship-parental, marital, sibling, and extended family. Excellent investment.”
Review by: Temple Grandin, author, Thinking in Pictures
“Autism in the Family presents a father's perspective on coping with a child who has severe autism. Fathers often have difficulty expressing their feelings and this book should be required reading for all fathers who have a child with a disability.”
Review by: Stanley Klein, co-founder and former Editor in Chief, Exceptional Parent magazine; co-editor, Reflections from a Different Journey: What Adults with Disabilities Wish All Parents Knew
“Will enable parents, family members, and professionals to appreciate what they can and cannot do to address the lifelong challenges of loving and caring for a child or adult on the autism spectrum.”
Review by: Helen McCabe, Associate Professor, Hobart and William Smith Colleges
“An excellent resource for families and professionals alike. I am moved and inspired by the stories of Naseef and others that are woven in, and will be sharing this [book] with students, families and colleagues!”
Review by: Paula Kluth, author of You're Going to Love This Kid: Teaching Students with Autism in the Inclusive Classroom
“I literally laughed and cried . . . Naseef does a remarkable job of providing guidance and insight to families while sharing his own compelling story of raising a child on the spectrum. This is one of the most honest books I have ever read on the subject. It is direct, warm, compelling, and ever so helpful.”
Review by: Kenneth Thurman, Professor of Special Education, Temple University
“Insightful, accurate and very personal . . . should be helpful to any parent whose journey includes a child with autism. Naseef has provided important information in a caring and compassionate manner.”
Review by: Sam Goldstein, co-author, Raising Resilient Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
“Touching, caring, and compassionate . . . offers readers reasoned and reasonable guidance to negotiate parents' greatest challenges in raising a child with serious disabilities and making very difficult choices as [the child] reaches adulthood.”
Review by: James May, (retired) Director, National Father's Network
“A powerful exploration of the impact autism has on the entire family . . . Naseef's personal story and pictures are compelling and add depth and honesty to the subject matter. Highly recommended.”
Review by: Shana Nichols, Owner/Director of ASPIRE Centre for Learning and Development and author of Girls Growing Up on the Autism Spectrum
“Naseef has found that elusive balance between writing a book that is informative and insightful and also warm and inviting . . . Every family who receives a diagnosis of autism for their child should be given this book with a hot cup of tea and a warm blanket. Autism in the Family is an indispensable read, bound to be read again and again throughout a child's life. A truly wonderful resource.”
Review by: Dr. Samira Al-Saad, Founder & Director of Kuwait Center for Autism, Vice-President of World Autism Organisation
“This book is one of the best for new parents . . . Dr. Naseef's book reflects his dedication to learn more about his son; teach him; face stress, denial, and anger; and reach acceptance.”
Review by: Maggi Sullivan, Autism Services Manager, Ontario ARC
“Robert Naseef has the highly valuable ability to combine personal experience with clinical knowledge in a way that creates hope, strength and peace for parents and families of individuals with an autism spectrum disorder.”
Review by: Emily Iland, award-winning author, educator, parent, and advocate; President of the Autism Society of Los Angeles
“A comprehensive view of autism across the lifespan . . . Naseef encourages readers to understand and accept those with ASD, and to ultimately connect, adapt, cope, hope, and flourish.”
Review by: Nancy Bernotaitis, Parent to an adolescent with autism and moderator for Moms Fighting Autism
“Helps families move beyond grief and into acceptance where the new normal lives. From managing stress and toilet training to adulthood, Dr. Naseef guides you along this complex and difficult journey, shedding guilt and anxiety as you go, until you find yourself in a place where you can celebrate your unique child and all the wonderful things he or she is.”
Review by: V. Mark Durand, University of South Florida, Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions
“Eloquently translate[s] the latest research into terms understandable to all . . . the author walks you through the field of autism spectrum disorders in a way that is unmatched. I highly recommend it!”

Table of Contents

About the Author
Preface by Cindy Ariel

Prologue: A Letter to My Son

  1. My Story
  2. The Emotional Journey: From Lost Dreams and Chronic Stress to Acceptance
  3. Understanding Autism
  4. Starting Over and Falling in Love Again
  5. Understanding and Guiding Your Child's Behavior
  6. Surfing Your Stress: One Wave at a Time
  7. Parents and Professionals: A Partnership in Child Development
  8. Big Boys Don't Cry: The Secret Life of Men
  9. Ordinary Couples, Challenged Relationships: Another Developmental Process
  10. A Different Perspective: Understanding Siblings
  11. Family and Friends: Finding and Building Circles of Support
  12. Adolescence
  13. Adulthood
  14. Reflections on Peace of Mind and Happiness


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