1st Edition

Is This Autism? A Companion Guide for Diagnosing

    334 Pages
    by Routledge

    334 Pages
    by Routledge

    This companion guide to Is This Autism? A Guide for Clinicians and Everyone Else shows clinicians how to assess for the possibility of autism in clients of all ages. 

    Understanding of autism has greatly expanded in recent years, and many clinicians feel ill-equipped or confused about how to incorporate this knowledge into their diagnostic process. As a result, countless unidentified autistic people do not have reasonable access to proper identification or support. This book describes current assessment methods, including interviewing, rating scales, self-report measures, social cognition tests, and behavioral observations. It also provides guidance regarding cultural considerations, common mistakes, and how to communicate with and support clients through the diagnostic process. 

    This very practical clinical guide provides a clear and neurodiversity-affirmative approach to autism assessment, particularly for autistic individuals who have previously been missed. It is relevant to all healthcare professionals who want to learn how to identify autism in their clients.

    Introduction 1. Framework: The current diagnostic criteria 2. Knowing when to consider a social cognition assessment 3. The parent interview 4. The client interview 5. Record review and collateral interviews 6. Rating scales and self-report measures 7. Behavioral observations 8. Social cognition testing 9. Traits and diagnoses that can be confused with autism 10. How to organize and integrate your data 11. How to have meaningful discussions about your findings 12. Recommendations 13. The End


    Donna Henderson, PsyD, is a clinical psychologist, specializing in neuropsychological evaluations for children, adolescents, and adults who would like to understand themselves better. She is a sought-after lecturer and provides training and consultation for other healthcare professionals.

    Sarah Wayland, PhD, is the founder of Guiding Exceptional Parents, and co-founder of The Behavior Revolution. She provides neurodiversity-affirmative support, education, and community for parents of neurodivergent children.

    Jamell White, PhD, LCSW-C, has a background in clinical social work, special education, and human development and specializes in working with autistic children, adolescents, and adults. She has over 20 years of clinical experience.  

    "The two-volume set, Is This Autism? A Guide for Clinicians and Everyone Else and Is This Autism? A Companion Guide for Diagnosing, is a towering accomplishment, bringing together the state of the art of scientific and clinical insights into autism with the lived experience and perspectives of autistic people. Sensitively written, meticulously observed, and profoundly compassionate, this book will transform your understanding of autism, whether you're a clinician, a family member, or an autistic person yourself." — Steve Silberman, author of NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity

    "Is This Autism? is just brilliant —genuinely two of the best books I have ever read! Drs. Henderson, Wayland, and White embrace Neuro-Affirming practice, bringing together their clinical and life experience to give a richness that is much needed within the medical and therapeutic field of autism. — Barb Cook, M.Aut., Dip.HSc., Developmental Educator, Director NeuroEmploy Pty Ltd & NeuroDiversity Hub, Founder Spectrum Women

    "Is This Autism? integrates the voices of autistic people and the latest research to provide a readable, empowering and comprehensive resource for clinicians of all kinds." — Lauren Kenworthy, Ph.D., Pediatric Neuropsychologist, Director, Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders, Children’s National Hospital

    "This book presents a respectful, rich, and expansive description of what Autism really looks like across individuals. It provides an invaluable resource to help clinicians move past the often inaccurate, restricted, and stereotypical expectations that have historically limited an appreciation for the full "spectrum" of this diagnosis. It is a must read for all neuropsychologists as we all work with this population whether we know it or not." — Kira Armstrong, Pediatric Neuropsychologist, co-editor of The Clinical Neuropsychologist’s Special Issue: Assessment and Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders

    "I LOVE EVERYTHING in this book - its organization/structure, the rich autistic voices, the FAQs, etc. I’ve learned so much. I believe this book will be essential for any clinicians working with this population — there is no other book of this caliber as far as I am aware." — Meng-Chuan Lai, autism researcher

    "The strength of the book comes from the fact that the authors sought explicit feedback, collaborating deeply with multiple autistic contributors, who guided the direction of the book… Finally, our shared experiences are elevated to a space where their capacity to teach professionals, family members, peers, and everyone else is celebrated and maximized." — Dena Gassner, M.S.W., Ph.D.(c), Autistic scholar, Adjunct Professor, Towson University

    "These important books by Donna Henderson, Sarah Wayland, and Jamell White are easily, I might even say enjoyably, read and provide professionals giving the diagnosis a well-researched way of thinking about Autism. Considering Autism, especially with the upsurge in incidence, I ask, ‘How do we stay curious?’ The answer is to read these books. The expertise conveyed is crucial for anyone interested in autism. The books are a necessary resource for clinicians, researchers and diagnosticians. Without hesitation, I rate them, to date, the most important work in the field." Rachelle K. Sheely, Ph.D., President RDI

    "Lived experiences, professional expertise, and research are carefully woven together in Is this Autism — a must read for ALL clinicians to enable them to recognize and better serve the often unseen and unheard autistic clients that come into their offices." — Kim Clairy, OTR/L, Autistic Occupational Therapist

    "Is This Autism? is revolutionary in its empowering messages for clinicians and for individuals with autistic brains, alike. Drs. Henderson and Wayland are clearly changing the conversation about how autism is understood and diagnosed, and the world is a better place for it. If you have any interest in autism (and even if you don’t!), this book is truly a must-read! I assure you: You have never read another one like it." — Karin Varblow, MD, Pediatrician

    "Is This Autism? presents current autism research and relevant clinical guidance within an affirming, easy-to-understand framework." — Jeremy Sharp, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist and host of The Testing Psychologist podcast

    "This amazing book is an indispensable tool for helping clinicians and parents understand and identify the less obvious presentations of autism. It is filled with practical wisdom rooted in the authors’ personal and clinical experience, as well as their enormous respect for neurodiversity. I’ve learned a ton that will make me a better psychologist!" — William Stixrud, Ph.D., Clinical Neuropsychologist and co-author, The Self-Driven Child and What Do You Say?

    "Do you know what autism looks like in your neighbor, teacher, coworker, or aunt? An abundance of quotes and real life examples bring neurodiversity to life in this exceptional book that does not disappoint." — Theresa M. Regan, Ph.D., author of Understanding Autism in Adults and Aging Adults

    "Is This Autism? takes you on a personally guided tour into the hearts and souls of autistics. With the knowledge that Donna Henderson, Sarah Wayland, and Jamell White have harvested from decades of personal and professional work, they convey the many twists and turns of the developmental journey of autistics. One phrase stuck with me in particular: "A sense of belonging." This desire to be validated for who we are — no matter how we show up in the world — lies at the deepest core of every human’s longing. Henderson, Wayland, and White show us — with compassion and inclusivity — not only how to be informed about autistics, but how to be wise as well. With solid research, practical suggestions, and moving narratives from the experts who live the neurodivergent journey, we are invited to understand that only by knowing what is on the inside, can we — as professionals and family members — help on the outside. This book will become an essential guide for those of us committed to creating a world that adapts to and celebrates the unique experiences of autistics." — Rick Silver, M.D., Psychiatrist, Founder and Director, The THRIVE Center

    "This groundbreaking book will revolutionize the way we think about autism. Well researched and well organized, Drs. Henderson and Wayland have created a definitive text that specifies and widens the lens through which we understand autism. This should be required reading for all professionals and lay people who want to understand the world of neurodiversity."Dr Rita Eichenstein, Neuropsychologist and author of Not What I Expected: Help and Hope For Parents Of Atypical Children