Beyond the Autism Diagnosis: A Professional's Guide to Helping Families

Authors: Marion O'Brien Ph.D., Julie A. Daggett Ph.D.

Format: Paperback, 368 pages, 6.0 x 9.0
ISBN: 9781557667519
Price: $34.95

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After a child's autism diagnosis, how can therapists, educators, and early interventionists best support parents and caregivers? This book is filled with the first-hand parent feedback professionals need to answer this critical question. Building on their research project that captured the experiences of more than 60 families, the authors reflect on excerpts from dozens of interviews that reveal parents' needs, concerns, beliefs, and dreams. Through these candid revelations and the authors' expert commentary, professionals will increase their understanding of the parent experience so they can provide the best possible services for children and families. Readers will discover invaluable insights they'll use to

  • avoid misunderstandings and communicate accurately and sensitively
  • understand parents' complex emotions and perceptions
  • nurture strong, respectful partnerships with parents
  • conduct effective assessment and intervention
  • demystify assessment results for parents
  • assist families in choosing and evaluating intervention services
  • help families manage the short- and long-term issues that arise when parenting a child with ASD
  • increase their own awareness of the vocabulary of autism and the facts and mysteries of the disorder

Essential reading for students, new professionals, and established practitioners alike, this incisive, accessible guide gives readers something they can't get elsewhere — a deep understanding of parents' needs and feelings, directly from over 60 families with firsthand experience.


Review by: Ilene Schwartz, Professor and Chair, Area of Special Education, University of Washington
"A helpful, hopeful volume that belongs on the bookshelf of every student studying children with ASD and every professional working with children with ASD and their families."
Review by: Robert Naseef, Psychologist, author of Special Children, Challenged Parents, co-editor, Voices from the Spectrum: Parents, Grandparents, Siblings, People With Autism, and Professionals Share Their Wisdom.
"With keen insight and sensitivity, O'Brien and Daggert have produced an essential guide . . . well attuned to the needs of all who care for children with [autism]."
Review by: Andi Ives, Parent and Coordinator, Family Support Network of Central Carolina
"Bridges the gap that often exists between the professionals committed to helping children with autism and the parents who love them. Professionals who read this book will come away with a new understanding of the frustrations, joys and challenges many parents face in their journey through the world of autism."
Review by: Paula Kluth
"Finally, a book on diagnosis and service delivery that puts families and their expertise at the center of the discussion! . . . The words and ideas of parents themselves make this a must-have resource."
Review by: Mary McHugh, Author of Special Siblings: Growing Up with Someone with a Disability
"Invaluable . . . not only identifies the concerns of families with a child with a disability in all areas of life but provides specific strategies for dealing with them."
Review: Advance for Physical Therapists & PT Assistants
"Personal, applicable, and easy to read...truly helps explain the origins of potential conflicts and miscommunication that can occur between parents and professionals."
Review: Advance for Physical Therapists and PT Assistants
"This book truly helps explain the origins of potential conflicts and miscommunication that can occur between parents and professionals. I highly recommend this text for all professionals who work with even one child with an ASD diagnosis."
"This book can be highly recommended as a good introductory text for advanced graduate students or professionals new to this area. For more seasoned clinicians, it may also encourage some thoughtful perspective taking an increased empathy for the challenges faced by the families we serve. This book provides useful insights into the perceptions of parents of children with ASD of their interactions with the professional mental health community."

Table of Contents

About the Authors

I: About Autism Spectrum Disorders

  1. Talking About Autism Spectrum Disorders
  2. Listening to Parents
  3. Belief Systems About Autism Spectrum Disorders

II: Building Partnerships between Parents and Professionals

  1. Conducting Assessments
  2. Communicating Assessment Results to Families
  3. Intervention and Educational Programming
  4. Helping Parents and Professionals Work Together

III: Helping Families Live with Autism Spectrum Disorders

  1. Parenting a Child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder
  2. The Rest of the Family
  3. Looking to the Future
Appendix A: The Research Behind this Book
Appendix B: Sample Forms

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