Family Therapy and the Autism Spectrum : Autism Conversations in Narrative Practice book cover
1st Edition

Family Therapy and the Autism Spectrum
Autism Conversations in Narrative Practice

ISBN 9781138832589
Published February 16, 2016 by Routledge
184 Pages

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Book Description

The autism spectrum presents a range of communication, social, and sensory differences that are challenging for clinicians to address. Family Therapy and the Autism Spectrum provides a guide to conceptualizing those differences and ways to discuss them with clients and their families. Readers are provided with narrative examples illustrating the application of key concepts introduced in the text. These case examples address issues that range across the life cycle, from families with young children to ones with teens who are emerging as adults. Using the techniques learned in this book, clinicians will be able to guide families towards their positive autism narrative.

This book also features a visual framework to organize the compelling narrative of each person’s autism spectrum pattern of developmental differences or brain style. Using this visual framework and the corresponding descriptive language, clinicians and families can work together to create their "autism conversations." The conversations lead to the transformative experiences of developing competencies, resiliency, and advocacy for individuals and their families. The conversations also lead individuals with spectrum differences to use empowering language, supporting their ability to develop self-advocacy and self-determination skills.

Table of Contents

An Initial Conversation  I. The Visual Framework  1. A Practical Framework for Clinicians  2. Narrative Therapy Practices and the Autism Spectrum  II. Guiding Individuals and Families to Develop an Empowered Narrative  3. Powerless to Capable  4. Dysregulated to Controlled  5. Prompt-Dependence to Autonomy  6. Disorder to Style III. Narrative Development Across the Life Cycle  7. Young Children  8. Children  9. Adolescents  10. Young Adults IV. Therapy Resources  11. Organizational Supports  12. Regulation Supports  13. Social Narrative Supports  A Final Conversation  Index

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Marilyn J. Monteiro, PhD, is a licensed psychologist and expert in diagnosing autism spectrum differences in children, adolescents, and adults. She maintains a family therapy practice and thoroughly enjoys having autism conversations with individuals on the spectrum and their families. 


I have known Dr. Monteiro professionally for many years and am delighted that this book permits a wider group of people to learn from her as I am privileged to do. This book is warm, rigorous, and superb in its entirety and speaks to a crucial issue in working with families with autistic children. Both as a clinician and as the parent of a child with autism, I found this book to be immensely informative and directly useful both personally and professionally.—Baer Ackerman, MD, child and adolescent psychiatrist; clinical professor of psychiatry at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, TX.

Congratulations Marilyn Monteiro on yet again creating a world of wisdom in bringing together the complex world of autism, diagnosis, and intervention, and enriching us with your formidable expertise and compassion. You manage to do what most practitioners are unable to, and that is break down the stigma, barriers, and ‘clinical’ language that we have been conditioned to use with clients, schools, and families. Not only do you teach about the human elements of people with autism, but you provide us with the tools and most importantly, respectful language to develop a trusting and respectfully mutual relationships with clients. I highly commend your new title Family Therapy and Autism Spectrum to practitioners, teachers, educators, parents, and siblings, and everybody who wants to learn a ‘new language’ and progressive framework, to work with people with autism spectrum disorder.—Eirini Lammi, consultant psychologist MAPS, Australian Council for Educational Research.

Children and families with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can be one of the most difficult and exhausting populations to treat. These clients are hard to relate to and their parents often feel helpless. Dr. Monteiro concisely and clearly delineates the various aspects of ASD to make it a manageable and treatable disorder. Providing actual transcripts of sessions, she arms the practitioner with language and techniques to empower parents and children. This is a must-read for anyone working with ASD clients.—Ray Levy, PhD, adjunct clinical professor at SMU, clinical psychologist, author of Try and Make Me! and Light Their Fire.

Rooted in her extensive knowledge and understanding of the autistic brain style, Dr. Monteiro has brilliantly written Family Therapy and the Autism Spectrum as a guide book for those who help individuals with autism. I was most impressed with her emphasis on the best description of each individual so as to formulate the best prescription for interaction and care.—Peter C. Ray, MD, behavioral & developmental pediatrician.

We need to change our perception of autism away from it being a disorder and disability, to having a different sensory perception, learning style and thinking. Marilyn Monteiro encourages clinicians to engage in such a paradigm shift, thus improving their clinical practice. This will be appreciated by, and of practical value to both those with autism and their families. Every current and prospective clinician needs their personal copy of her words of insight and wisdom.—Tony Attwood, PhD, senior consultant at The Minds and Hearts Clinic, Brisbane, Australia