Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Finding your child's way on the autism spectrum

Finding Your Child’s Way On The Autism Spectrum – Discovering unique strengths, mastering behavior challenges
By Dr. Laura Hendrickson
Published at Moody Publishers
About the book
It seems that nearly everyone knows a family with an autism spectrum child. Most recent figures suggest that the prevalence of all autism spectrum disorders in the United States is an astonishing one percent of the population, translating to twelve million parents and grandparents who are seeking answers.
Dr. Laura Hendrickson is a trained psychiatrist, biblical counselor, and mother of an autistic son. Building on her medical background and practical experience, Finding Your Child’s Way on the Autism Spectrum presents autism spectrum disorders as different developmental pathways rather than disabilities.
Dr. Hendrickson knows that those diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders can make significant contributions to their world. She does not deny that autism is a serious challenge, but addresses specific ways to work with a child according to developmental differences. Finding Your Child’s Way on the Autism Spectrum gives the reader sound, practical tools for understanding how to guide an autism spectrum child to function more fully as the person God created him to be.

Who is Laura Hendrickson?
Laura Hendrickson is a biblical counselor, former psychiatrist, and mother of an adult son who is recovered from autism. She is a member of the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors, and the author of two books on biblical counseling issues, as well as co-author of Will Medicine Stop the Pain? For more on Dr. Hendrickson, you can visit her website at LauraHendrickson.com.

My thoughts
When I asked Moodie Publishers to receive some specific books to review, I was surprise to find two other books I didn’t asked for in the box. One of these two books was Finding Your Child’s Way On The Autism Spectrum. I was wondering why I would receive such a book as we don’t have an autistic child in our household. But I struggle with the possibility that one of my kids might have it and I think that God decided to make me understand that it wasn’t the case… Since I had not asked for this book, I decided to give priority to other ones before reviewing it. Then recently, God stirred my heart to read the book and give it away. Let me tell you how it happened… Last week, we met with our insurance representative to discuss some changes we wanted to make. While talking, we learn that her 2 ½ year old son has been diagnosed with autism. Right then, while we were talking, I sensed that I needed to give her the book. Problem was I hadn’t read it yet… We have not completed the changes we need to do as we need to think and talk about some of the options between us. This meant I had a week or two to read the book and review it before giving it away. So I brought the book at camping and read it.

This book is wonderful. Not only you would read the experience the author had with her son but she also encourage us to see a child with autism as a special person, which they are really. She takes scriptures of the Bible and explains how God can help an individual with autism.
She goes through the various things an autistic person can go through from self-stimulation to meltdowns as well as how to make sure that they are involved in various relationships with other children and adults. Sharing is hard for autistic young ones because they don’t understand why another child would destroy something they worked so hard on accomplishing. But the author, who went through this with her son, gives tips and tricks to help other parents to guide, teach and encourage their autistic child.

I also discovered that autistic children have a very sensitive hearing. Consequently when they arrive in a place where there are lots of noises, they become overwhelmed and might have a meltdown. The author gave many examples of when her son had a meltdown. One of these examples reminded me that we should not judge a parent who is dealing with a difficult child in a store simple because we don’t possess any background information about it – for example, do we know if this child has autism or just being overtired? No. Then offer a sympathetic smile to the parent instead of commenting on the situation.
Laura was able to homeschool her son during the primary years and I think it is wonderful that she was able to do so. As a homeschooler myself, there are times when I wonder if I am doing this for the good of my children. Even with reading this book and not having an autistic child myself, I know I made a wise decision, a decision that God had planted has a seed and that grew with time.

This book is encouraging for parents who have an autistic child but honestly I think it is encouraging also for me. While reading it, I took note of some ideas that I could easily do with my own children. I especially like the discipline routine that the author created with her son. We are doing something similar but I never really thought of incorporating the forgiveness part in it. Kids need to know what sin is and how God forgives us. From now on, we will try to include this part while we have to discipline our own children. It makes sense really, we just never really thought about it.
As for my copy of the book, I am putting it aside with the intention to give it to our insurance representative next time I see her. I also feel as though I need to give her a bible with it so she can research the scriptures herself.

This wonderful gem of a book is available everywhere. In Canada, you can find it at Amazon.ca and Indigo.ca.

No comments:

Post a Comment