sensory issuesThis 151-page journey provides a wonderful glimpse into the world of an individual with sensory issues. We all have sensory issues to some degree or another yet everyone’s experience is different. This difference is what the author, Rachel Schneider, makes clear throughout her book, Making Sense – A Guide to Sensory Issues. When sensory issues challenge a person’s ability to cope with daily life it is called a Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). Reading this book will certainly enhance the reader’s perspective of what it is like for a person living with SPD.

Making Sense does a great job in showing that everyone with a SPD is unique. You just can’t put all people with sensory issues into the same category. Two individuals may both struggle with their sense of sight yet it will manifest itself differently in each person. The brain of one will interpret the sensory signals differently from all the others.

Schneider takes you down a path that allows you to peek into what it was like for her growing up with SPD. Her shared experiences provide a good baseline for understanding how someone else with sensory issues might be experiencing the world around her. What she does best is encourage parents to go beyond a one-size-fits-all description and tune in to the nuances of the child they have before them.

The author’s writing is witty and her analogies are helpful to get any mind to understand the basics. If you are a visual thinker the comparison of SPD to “audio technicians with a soundboard” they can’t regulate is priceless. Comparing SPD to a “neurological traffic jam” (a term that originated with Dr. Anna Jean Ayres), in Chapter 5 provides the reader with a visual description most anyone can understand. She presents many studies that back up the hypothesis that the brains in individuals with sensory issues are structurally different and often unequipped to handle the incoming traffic.

Any sensory issue is likely to continue across the lifespan, in different degrees at different times. Schneider notes three factors that determines the challenges a person experiences at various stages of life and she includes a very creative visual equation – it may look like algebra but it’s not – to explain this concept.

Like many others in the field, the author advocates for early detection, which can make a huge difference in a person’s progress and self-image. Left undiagnosed, other labels and mental health issues may be acquired that can complicate treatment and stall progress. Despite this, Schneider loaded this book with hope and a list of excellent tools for improving an individual’s sensory experiences.

This book culminates in a great two-page guide for “Putting It All Together”. Here the author presents fifteen of the most current and important things to keep in mind when it comes to understanding sensory issues.


To get your copy of Making Sense – A Guide to Sensory Issues at a discounted rate, simply click here to get to the Sensory World website. Then use my code PARENTCOACH in the coupon code box upon check out to receive your 15% discount and enjoy!

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familyAs the rates of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) continue to rise it’s more and more likely that autism will become part of your extended family or move into your neighborhood sometime in the future. If that person turns out to belong to someone you care about, Autism and the Extended Family: A Guide for Those Outside the Immediate Family Who Know and Love Someone with Autism written by Raun D. Melmed, MD and Maria Bird-West Wheeler, is for you.

This book will help anyone gain a better understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorders and how the diagnosis can impact a family member, friend or neighbor. The case examples and cautions throughout the book inform the reader about ‘what to do’ and ‘what not to do’ when it comes to supporting and helping a parent of a child with autism. But as the book emphasizes throughout, the best thing a person can do is to ask how they can be supportive. Every parent’s experience is different so the answer to “What can I do?” will vary from parent to parent.

Autism and the Extended Family covers all the possible individuals that are indirectly affected when a child is diagnosed with autism: grandparents, siblings, stepfamilies, uncles and aunts, cousins, close friends and neighbors. The appendix at the back of the book presents nine activities that can empower extended family members and friends. These topics range from – managing behaviors, communication strategies, reducing stress, resolving conflicts that may surface, helping with the basic self-care skills of toileting and eating, and even guidelines for making an Autism Survival Kit.

The thirty-three case examples that are included in this book are a great addition because they show how diverse the needs of individuals on the spectrum are. They also provide a lot of insight and ideas into the many ways a person can be helpful. This wonderful guidebook could have been titled, “Everything You Need to Know About Being a Relative or a Friend of a Parent Who Has a Child with Autism”.

If you are a parent of a child on the autism spectrum, I would inform everyone in your extended family circle that this book exists. If you do not have a child with autism but there is such a child within your extended family/social circle and autism is still new or somewhat foreign to you, stop wondering what it’s like for ‘that’ parent of ‘that child’ with autism. Take action! Nurture a sincere interest in your family member’s situation and purchase this book. Read all 125 pages and then go forward with a mission to be helpful.

I know many people who claim that autism has not yet come to their family or neighborhood. That may be true but, if so, why wait? Society needs more individuals to understand what autism ‘looks like’, ‘sounds like’, and ‘feels like’. This world needs people who have the knowledge of best strategies to employ when autism appears in their extended family circle and this is ‘the’ guidebook for that.

To get your copy of the book, Autism and the Extended Family, at a discounted rate, simply click here  to get to the Future Horizons website. Then use my code PARENTCOACH in the coupon code box when you check out to receive your 15% discount and enjoy!

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Academics and good grades are very important, but learning how to be self-sufficient in the real world is just as—if not more—important. There are two things that help to make this possible – adaptive skills and good executive functioning.

executive functioningAdaptive behavior is the capacity a person has to care for self personally and be socially self-sufficiency in actual everyday existence. Adaptive skills, learning how to care for one’s self, often referred to as independent daily living skills, is something that most schools assume are taught and learned at home. But children with special needs often need extra help with this.

Some schools are better at addressing these issues than others. If your child is under the special education umbrella, then this is an area that can’t be ignored. Your child’s IEP is where any type of adaptive skill training deemed necessary should be included.

Even though your child may do well academically, and is considered to be high-functioning, there may be a discrepancy between IQ and adaptive skills. This is often the case with high-functioning autism, Asperger’s, and PDD-NOS. So make sure adaptive skills are addressed and included in your child’s IEP.

Begin with a request for an adaptive skills evaluation and assessment. The results will generate goals to be included in a treatment plan that is developmentally appropriate for your child.

At a minimum, a comprehensive adaptive skills program should focus on the assessment, development, and expansion of the following:

  • Socialization – interpersonal relationships, play and leisure skills.
  • Communication – non-verbal cues, initiating conversation, making requests.
  • Personal care and responsibility – hygiene, toileting, meal prep, chores and other household tasks.
  • Emotional intelligence – self-awareness, empathy, anger management, self-regulation, and coping skills.
  • Safety – personal body awareness and appropriate boundaries. Finding your way in a community, crossing the street, and what to do when lost.
  • Work related skills – interviewing, resume/letter writing, and personal presentation skills.

These areas of focus can be addressed and reinforced at school and at home. Using the same approach for teaching these skills in both environments will help your child master them quickly.

Executive functioning skills are also extremely important and are essential for any person to succeed in life. These skills consist of organizational capabilities, knowing when and how to set reminders, managing time well, making plans, analyzing ideas, applying what is known to solve problems, etc. All are extremely important to help individuals complete daily chores and responsibilities, as well as succeed in their jobs.

It’s crucial that systems addressing executive functioning be put into place at home and at school for children on the autism spectrum. Your goal as a parent is to launch your child into adulthood to be as independent as possible. Focusing on improving these skills at home, and advocating that they also be addressed in school, will help make your child’s transition into adulthood easier.

Here are a few things you can do at home to help your child develop or enhance his executive functioning skills:

– Teach organization. Create a system for organizing assignments, keeping track of notes and papers, and maintaining a productive homework environment for your child. Invest time in teaching your child about the why and the how of being organized —it will pay off big dividends in the long run.

– Practice the process. To make it easier for your child to experience success, break the process of completing a task into doable stages. First, analyze the situation and how to get the task done. Second, create a strategy for how it might be handled. Third, separate the plan into progressive steps on a ladder. Fourth, assign time estimates to each section. Fifth, complete the task in the timeframe specified. Sixth, evaluate and make adjustments as needed.

– Customize it to your child. Be forever mindful of choosing a system that speaks to the way your child takes in and assimilates new information best. Is her learning style visual, auditory, or hands on? How does she communicate most effectively? What other unique things do you need to pay attention to that helps your child learn best?

– Teach your child to ask for help. This is a simple skill that is often assumed everyone has, but does your child really know how to do this? If not, teach your child to ask for help and how? Walk him through it if necessary, and practice as much as you can.

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Children with autism can be their own worst enemy at times. If left to their own devices they can become very passive, helpless and much too dependent to live a full and satisfying life. Dr. Temple Grandin, best-selling author, autism advocate and animal science professor has teamed up with Dr. Debra Moore to produce a wonderful new resource that addresses this issue. The Loving Push is certain to help parents answer the question, “Am I encouraging my child enough or enabling my child too much?” – and move beyond the answer to make important shifts.

This dynamic duo – Dr. Grandin speaking from personal experience and Dr. Moore from a professional perspective of treating individuals with autism spectrum disorders – combine their wealth of knowledge to help parents determine just how much to push their child so they can blossom into adults that thrive. Finding just the right balance between pushing your child to do for self and helping your child too much, is always a challenge but exploring the two hundred ten pages of this book will guide parents to find what works best for their unique child.

Getting stuck in a pattern of indulgence is easy to fall into but difficult to get out of. These wise words from the authors will help parents and professionals lovingly push to prevent, or undo, old patterns and transform them into healthy habits. For those parents who struggle to balance their roles of protector, teacher, coach and cheerleader with that of taskmaster, it’s important to always presume competence in any child and push the envelope just a bit.

Extra inspiration comes from eight individuals on the autism spectrum that share their life experiences. All eight offer valuable learning lessons for pushing and preparing children, teens and young adults for their transition to adult life with realistic preparation for the workforce. You will find a common thread running through these narratives such as the importance of support – especially that of a mentor, identifying and working with a child’s interests, stretching a child’s mindset to see the big picture, and staying positive, to name a few.

I like the fact that the stories presented in this book are revisited throughout and used as examples to illustrate and explain pushing strategies and approaches in every chapter. This makes the concepts come alive and easier to replicate but parents must always be mindful that their child is one-of-a-kind and should customize their approach accordingly.

The highlight for me is found in Chapter 6 – Danger Ahead: Compulsive Gaming and Media Recluses. I have talked to too many parents who ask for advice on how to get their child off the computer and away from video games. Unfortunately, the ASD population – especially males, are extremely vulnerable to being sucked into and addicted to the entertainment aspects of screen machines. Dr. Grandin and Dr. Moore do an excellent job presenting the pros and cons of gaming. The pushing strategies they offer will not only help prevent overuse of screen machines but will also guide any parent of a compulsive gamer to slowly unplug their child and maintain healthy use.

Finding the best way to motivate your children without unknowingly discouraging them can be tricky. Every parent wants their child to reach their greatest potential and finding the best pushing technique for each child, one that is, as Goldilocks might say, “not too easy, not too tough, but just right”, is what this book will help you discover.


To get your copy of The Loving Push at a discounted rate, simply click here to get to the Future Horizons website. Then use my code PARENTCOACH in the coupon code box upon check out to receive your 15% discount and enjoy!

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GOALSAccording to statistics, 40 to 45% of parents living in the US make one or more New Year’s resolutions at the beginning of a new year. As for the number of parents that actually keep them, 75% get past the first week but only 46% still adhere to them at the half-year mark.

Despite the fact that many parents break them, I give them credit for making an effort to intentionally set a goal. They may not stick with their new resolution but the very fact they made one raises the potential for making some progress in attaining it.

The reasons many do not follow through to the bitter end are varied. The expectation that you have to attain a goal for 365 days can be a bit overwhelming for many parents. One way to put less pressure on yourself is to delete the word ‘resolution’ from your vocabulary and simply replace it with something to focus on for the coming year – something as simple as smiling more will suffice. Don’t think of it as something you HAVE to do, but something you want to do and refrain from measuring it. Focus on and celebrate the times you did smile more and let go of the rest.

You don’t have to beat yourself up if you get angry or upset – it’s unrealistic to think those feelings will never surface. If you want to prevent negative feelings from taking over, think out-of-the-box for ideas to help you stay focused on your mission. If smiling more is your focus for 2016, make it easier for your brain to remember by placing reminders around the house – Post-it-notes with smiley faces drawn on them will almost certainly trigger positive results. Then go about your daily business and notice what happens.

If you are a parent, especially a parent of a child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), making a New Year’s resolution may be the last thing on your mind.  If nothing else, focus your mind on something that is important to you and allow it to guide your thoughts and actions.

Beginning a ‘New Year’ does not have to include a big commitment, like losing twenty-five pounds or getting out of debt.  Here are some ideas for small and meaningful shifts that parents can do to make a big difference:

1 – Schedule more time with your children.

It can be very difficult to get quality time with your children when you are going to and fro for appointments, therapies, sports, . . . and the list goes on. Don’t wait for an opening in your day; create opportunities to make it happen. Because parents are pressed for time, start with simple, small steps.  Schedule five to ten minutes on the family calendar or in your appointment book to read a book, play a game, or just snuggle/talk with each child.  When possible, consider a fun family night, where all members of your family can take some quality time to bond, or better yet, schedule regular family meeting time.

2 – Give more attention to your relationship.

Most parents claim that romantic relationships slide down the scale of importance once children are involved.  Having a child with autism adds an additional layer of stress that parents of neuro-typical children do not have to deal with. Yes, your children should come first in every aspect of your life, but don’t let your personal relationship fail.  Try hard to schedule simple weekly/monthly get-togethers. Escaping to your bedroom with a glass of wine or cup of tea once the kids are in bed is a quick and easy way to maintain your connection and keep the spark alive.

3 – Take better care of yourself.

This may contradict the suggestion above for spending more time with your kids, but most parents are extra busy, multi-tasking individuals. If forced to pay attention, many people are surprised to learn how much a mother or father of a child with special needs gets accomplished in a day. So, be sure to multi-task your self-care into your daily schedule for a minimum of 10-15 minutes per day, 5 minutes at a time if necessary. A walk to the store through the park with your child can satisfy your self-care need for exercise and fresh air and benefit your child as well. Again, think small so you can experience success – read just one chapter of your new book, do yoga stretches on the floor with your child, listen to your favorite music and dance with your child.

4 – Ask for more help.

As previously stated, many moms and dads are super-parents because they try to do it ALL, and then some. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or delegate tasks to others when you need chores completed. Your spouse or children may not complete the chore to your liking but at least it will get done on some level. To avoid big disappointments, communicate your expectations of the task clearly and ask the person to repeat it back to you to confirm understanding.

5 – Spend more time with other adults

Find creative ways to seek and maintain relationships outside the home. In terms of spending time with friends, make it a priority – with or without the kids. You and your high school/college friends may have drifted apart since graduation and your social circle might have shifted dramatically since your child was diagnosed with autism but that doesn’t mean you have to go without a social life. Reach out and plan ways to develop new friendships with new acquaintances that share similar interests. Start by joining online support groups for parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), or find one in your local community.

6 – Learn to ‘Let it Go’

As a parent, it’s understandable that you want to make sure everything in your life is perfect. You want your kids to be happy and healthy and you want to make sure their medical, physical, social and emotional needs are met. Having a clean house and making enough money may be part of the big picture as well. Yes, all of these are important when raising a family, but learning to let the small things go will help you find a better balance between work, life and parenting a child with autism. Too tired to do the dishes? Don’t let a sink full of dishes bother you for just one night, do them in the morning or better yet, delegate the task.

All in all, if you think of every day as a new beginning, you will have 365 opportunities to fulfill your new intention and feel successful. Isn’t that better than telling yourself you failed at yet another New Year’s resolution?

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Regardless of which holiday you observe, the atmosphere is always so festive this time of year. There is something about candles, lights, and traditions that make us all feel comfy and cozy, calm and content. Add a fire and some of your favorite holiday songs and things can feel almost perfect.

Gimmie, gimmieThen there is the flip side of the holidays that sometimes creates a less than joyous attitude – the shopping frenzy, the commercial hype, and the added stress that a change in routine can bring. The regular holiday hustle and bustle of the season can turn even the most giving child into one that pleads and whines for what they want, or think they need, and what their peers are getting. And in addition to their friends, the holiday commercials are doing their very best to lure extremely impressionable children into an “I want. . .”, “I need. . .”, or “I must have . . .” mindset.

Greedy little whiners are easy to cultivate in a commercialized and media saturated culture. The innocent little cherubs that parents bring into the world are certainly cute and adorable but they arrive egocentric and self-centered. They are programmed this way for survival. As infants, their main focus is to make sure they get their needs met.

As children grow up in a materialistic, consumer minded culture, they are bombarded with media messages that encourage an attitude of instant gratification that can easily develop into a bad case of the “gimmies”. To prevent this from occurring, it’s important to take the time, patience and consistency to create an attitude of gratitude in your children.

While parents may role model giving, most children think it is much more fun to receive. It is our job as parents to gradually teach them that there is a world out there beyond them selves and to encourage them to reduce their focus on things they can acquire. It is part of our responsibility to instill generosity and an attitude of giving in our children early on and continue the formation of altruism in them as they mature. Starting early is key, especially in today’s world when consumerism is so abundant and instant gratification has become an expected view of life.

Speaking of role modeling, what kind of examples are you setting for your kids? Every holiday season you hear stories of adults willing to get up in the wee hours of the morning to stand in line for the season’s trendiest toy or the newest technology. What do our children think when they observe a society of adults focused on acquisition? When you take a child who is naturally born to be egocentric and place them in an extremely materialistic world you set the stage for creating self-seeking adults unless you mindfully nurture a different outcome.

The holiday season provides you with great opportunities for using teachable moments that will instill an attitude of gratitude in your children. This is a great time to begin the task of molding your child to not only see beyond themselves but to connect with the good feeling that comes from sharing yourself – your money, or your talents – with others. Here are a few tips to get you started.

  1. Create a non-commercial environment. Curtail the use of screen machines that expose kids to commercials and advertisements. When you limit TV viewing, where children are deliberately enticed by advertisers, especially during the holiday season, you will minimize the constant request for things they don’t really need, and protect your pocketbook at the same time. If your child watches any TV, you can be sure that she is receiving numerous media messages, which promote the notion that acquiring material possessions is the pathway to happiness, love, acceptance, and success. These messages are also creeping into the Internet and the cell phones that now seem to be a normal part of life for most children. The media madness that advances a commercial culture may impact your holidays, your child and your wallet more than you realize.
  1. Simplify your holidays. If your children engage in the tradition of making a list of what they want, try placing a limit on the number of wishes they can make and remind them that not all desires may be granted. In addition encourage them to make a list of what they think others might want so they can expand their focus beyond themselves. Discuss intangible ways to make people happy and stress the importance of spending time with and doing favors for family members and good friends. Create coupons for visiting someone once a month, a hug a day or performing a necessary chore for someone.
  1. Connect your kids to the outside world. Teaching your children to develop a positive and helpful link to others in society helps everyone thrive. When you connect them to the larger community it broadens their capacity for empathy and enhances their ability to become more generous. Being naturally self-seeking may be part of growing up but exposing your children to a world beyond the materialistic will help direct them toward a path of gratitude, appreciation and service to their community.
  1. Encourage community service. Identify people in your community that are less fortunate and brainstorm a list of things you can do to bring sunshine into their lives then do it together as a family. Explore your community to find agencies or churches that request volunteers or have your children present a portion of their allowance as a donation. As your children get older encourage them to come up with their own ideas for community service or giving and make it a year round event as well.
  1. Live an appreciative lifestyle. Role model language that shows appreciation and gratitude for the people in your life as well as the personal possessions you have. In addition to the words you use, make sure your actions respond accordingly and remember that every behavior teaches your child something. Yes, items can be replaced but learning to take good care of belongings helps to minimize waste and demonstrates respect and appreciation for what you have. Refusing to purchase a name brand item just because it’s the “in” thing to do, making your children ride the bus, or giving them age appropriate jobs are all ways to encourage a down to earth attitude.
  1. Communicate clearly with your children. When children know what to expect or understand why something is being done it is easier for them to accept the outcome and internalize the behavior you want to nurture. Help older siblings acquire realistic expectations of their younger siblings. Explain that their one and a half year old brother does not comprehend the concept of sharing his new toy because he cannot identify how other people feel yet and then invite your child into the role of teacher.

If you want to curtail the greed factor or halt a developing case of the “gimmies”, it is never too late to start. Teaching empathy is a big part of encouraging a giving nature in any child and empathy is something every child needs to develop. For most children on the autism spectrum, empathy is a difficult concept for them to grasp but taking the time to teach these values and encourage a generous mindset is definitely a step in the right direction to get them there. The earlier young children acquire a grateful outlook or an appreciative mindset, regardless of their abilities, the more likely they are to live a contented life – what better gift can a parent give?

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Jed_Baker_-_Overcoming_Anxiety_FINALOvercoming Anxiety in Children and Teens by Dr. Jed Baker stands out from other books written about anxiety in children. It is similar in that it presents many of the same strategies for dealing with anxiety, such as gradual exposure, Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and relaxation but it differs in that the author is focused on helping the reader “win over” kids and teens. Dr. Baker provides specific wording, language and scripts that are more likely to motivate a child to engage in the process of learning to manage their own anxiety. Strategies are great but if a child does not buy into them, they will have very little impact on creating change.

Dr. Jed Baker addresses a long list of fears and phobias – reserving one chapter for each, including selective mutism, school refusal, panic disorder, perfectionism, and more. The author even has a chapter that addresses ways to adapt treatment for children on the autism spectrum that are not very verbal.

The case studies presented to discuss each fear or phobia, provide great real life examples of fear-based situations and serve as evidence indicators that overcoming any of these anxieties is possible.

This book is very parent-friendly because the information is very specific, practical and easy to implement. I work with parents on a daily basis and many are not aware of the power they have to create change in their child’s lives. In this very user-friendly book, Dr Baker empowers parents to do what they can to help their child overcome their anxiety rather then always look to an expert to intervene.

Whether or not a child sees someone professionally or not, once these approaches are repeated and reinforced enough by a parent, empowerment is easily transferred to the child so they can take charge of their own anxiety – the ultimate goal.

This book is a great addition to Dr. Baker’s six other books – Social Skills Training for Children and Adolescents with Aspergers Syndrome and Social Communication ProblemsPreparing for Life: The Complete Handbook for the Transition to Adulthood for Those with Autism and Aspergers SyndromeThe Social Skills Picture BookThe Social Skills Picture Book for High School and Beyond; No More Meltdowns: Positive Strategies for Managing and Preventing Out-of-Control Behavior (including a user-friendly app); and No More Victims: Protecting those with Autism from Cyber Bullying, Internet Predators, and Scams.

To get your copy of Dr. Jed Baker’s wonderful new book at a discounted rate, simply click here to get to the Future Horizons website. Then use my code PARENTCOACH in the coupon code box when checking out to receive your 15% discount and enjoy!

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gratitudeThanksgiving is just weeks away and in addition to stuffing the turkey, have you considered stuffing your child with a heightened sense of gratitude as well? This is definitely the season to give thanks and be grateful but doing so should be our focus year round. This is a time of year though when our desire to give and be grateful for what we have is more concentrated.

The holiday season will be in full swing shortly and the hustle and bustle that goes with it is here to stay for a while. Some people enjoy holiday shopping for gifts but others don’t. Planning what to give someone should come from the heart but sometimes it is driven by other factors. I’ve witnessed people in a mad quest for a popular item that everyone seems to need – and they are willing to get up in the wee hours of morning to stand in line for it. This, “I want”, “I need”, “I must have” attitude is very prevalent.

Is this the attitude you want your child to develop? Greedy little whiners are easy to cultivate in our commercialized and media saturated culture. We live in an extremely materialistic world and children are naturally born to be egocentric. These two ingredients set the stage for creating materialistic adults unless you mindfully nurture a different outcome – and you have the power to alter this trajectory.

Is developing an attitude of gratitude more to your liking? If so, allow me to add some strategies and ideas to what you are already doing. Acquiring an attitude of gratitude does take time, patience and consistency but it will definitely help your child live a more contented life. If this is your mission, here’s an article with some ideas to help you achieve this goal – Growing Gratitude in Children With or Without Autism

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Seven Simple Life Rules for Kids with ASD

Temple Did It!Every child has obstacles to overcome, some more than others, but they can be tackled. Children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are no different, they can learn how to cope with, compensate for and manage their challenges as well. This inspiring story based on the life of Dr. Temple Grandin, as told by author, Jennifer Gilpin-Yacio, presents a hopeful message that can instill a positive outlook and can-do attitude in any reader.

It’s always easier to relate to someone who has walked in your shoes and understands what it’s like to be labeled with autism. Being made fun of, having no friends and being bullied is never fun for anyone. Situations such as these can lower a child’s self-confidence but the role modeling this book provides can counteract that. The reader will think, “If Temple (who has ASD) did it, so can I”. This type of story has always had the ability to instill the motivation to catalyze change and transform lives.

This is a very unique first publication for Jennifer Gilpin Yacio, president of Sensory World and editor-in-chief of Sensory Focus Magazine. For children who want to know how to be different – in a different way – this book can actually coach individuals on the autism spectrum how to do that. The seven strategies the author presents were generated with input from her collaborator, Dr. Temple Grandin, and are based on her personal life experiences as a person growing up with ASD.

This is a useful how-to guide for individuals on, or off, the autism spectrum – a guide on how to do, and be, your best. These rules help the reader identify passions and enhance talents, in addition to validating self and building confidence. The reader will learn why effort outweighs the pursuit for perfection and how it results in increased competence. All in all, these seven sage pieces of advice will encourage a love for life-long learning and an enthusiasm for life – all of which accelerate the long-term goal of independence.

The illustrations within this adorable children’s book are crafted by the talented Lynda Farrington Wilson and are fun, child-like and enticing – all sixteen of them will easily draw the attention of any child, especially the visual mind of a child with ASD.

Another wonderful component of this book is how the author makes it interactive with a simple activity that takes the reader one step closer to putting the seven strategies into practice. There is a simple two-page worksheet at the end that will guide any child through the process of working towards a goal using Dr Temple Grandin’s “life rules” as she refers to them. This hands-on exercise provides the powerful message that any ASD child has the ability to create change in his or her life, and when completed with the help of a parent or guardian, the child not only feels supported and empowered, but the activity strengthens the bond between them as well.

This book is much, much more than a story for children with autism. The ideas and strategies submitted within these twenty-three pages can apply to any other child growing up in today’s complicated world. Any book that provides entertainment, encourages reading, promotes goal-setting, inspires positive change, AND offers a guide for real life practice, is a must-have addition to everyone’s bookshelf.

To purchase copies of this wonderful children’s book by Jennifer Gilpin Yacio at a discount, simply click here to get to the Sensory World website. Then use my code PARENTCOACH in the coupon code box when checking out to receive 15% off your purchase and enjoy!

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All of Dr. Temple Grandin’s books provide such useful information for anyone who is directly or indirectly affected buy an autism spectrum disorder. She has so much insight to offer and each of her books presents it from such a unique perspective.

autismI have read most of Dr. Grandin’s books and I must say that this Revised and Expanded 3rd EDITION of The Way I See It is the best collection of her articles, interviews and discussions yet. This volume addresses the issues parents, teachers and other caretakers face in caring for a child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. The unique aspect of this book is that all the content is presented from the perspective of someone who has ‘been there’ and ‘done that’. It is another evidence indicator that despite the fact that autism is a challenge, it can be dealt with and mastered. Dr Grandin shares her personal experiences as a guide to what worked for her in order to overcome the temporary roadblock that autism presented her.

This volume is such a broad compilation of practical information for individuals on the autism spectrum and their caretakers. The topics included span the developmental lifetime of a child from early diagnosis and intervention on to the adult years and the issues faced regarding this transition, such as driving a car and gaining employment.

The extensive range of subject matter between the covers of this book is cleverly sorted into categories that are easy to find via the Table of Contents and it’s twenty-nine page Index. In addition, there are many bonuses interspersed between the 433 pages of this expanded edition and they include the following:

  • updated content in the introduction of each section,
  • twelve new chapters, and
  • up-to-date brain research and therapies as they relate to individuals with autism.

Another unexpected bonus that I thoroughly enjoyed was the inclusion of personal photos of Dr. Grandin. My two favorites are the ones of her as a young child on page one hundred seventy-four where she is reading a book with (who I assume to be) her mother and the one on page two in what appears to be a school picture of her in pigtails. Priceless!

This book not only helps individuals with autism feel understood but it also opens the eyes of those not on the autism spectrum and provides them with an discerning understanding of individuals on the spectrum. This type of awareness is so important to raise among the general population that are still not touched by autism. But it is only a matter of time before most people will know of, or meet up with, an individual impacted by autism. So why not speed up the process of educating them before they are faced with teaching, working and interacting with, or hiring a person with ASD by handing them a copy of this outstanding book? This is such a wonderful crash course in Autism Spectrum Disorders for those who don’t yet understand and as Dr. Tony Attwood states in the last paragraph of his Foreward, “Temple has a phenomenal and encyclopaedic knowledge of ASDs, and, in reading The Way I See It, you will see autism the way it is.”

Thank you once again Dr. Temple Grandin for helping people ‘see’ more clearly and increasing the awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorders! Now we just have to get this insightful information into the hands of those that need it most.

To access a copy of this wonderful new edition from Dr. Temple Grandin at a discount simply click here to get to the Future Horizons website. Then use my code PARENTCOACH in the coupon code box when checking out to receive your 15% discount and enjoy!

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