The Nine Degrees of Autism : A Developmental Model for the Alignment and Reconciliation of Hidden Neurological Conditions book cover
1st Edition

The Nine Degrees of Autism
A Developmental Model for the Alignment and Reconciliation of Hidden Neurological Conditions

ISBN 9781138887176
Published October 7, 2015 by Routledge
210 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The Nine Degrees of Autism presents a much-needed positive tool for understanding the developmental process of autism, and to facilitate the improved mental health and well-being of individuals on the spectrum. The ground-breaking model charts nine distinct stages of development - from pre-identification, to learning to live with changes in self-image following a late diagnosis, through to self-acceptance and wellbeing. Using the model as a framework each chapter focuses on a particular stage of the process. Experts provide personal insights into the environmental and societal challenges faced by individuals with autism, and dispel a number of popular misconceptions.
The positive developmental model described in this book will encourage people on the Spectrum to accept themselves by focusing on their gifts rather than weaknesses, and to avoid identifying with negative medical classifications. The developmental process which the authors describe is also applicable to other ‘hidden’ neurological conditions such as Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Aphasia, and ADHD.
The book should be read by anyone who wants to understand the real nature and experience of autism and will also be essential reading for a range of professionals seeking to work more effectively with individuals on the spectrum.

Table of Contents

Part One: The Autism Spectrum  1. Introduction, Tony Attwood  2. A Spectrum of Neurodevelopment, Manuel Cassanova & Emily Casanova  Part Two: The Nine Degrees of Autism  3. The first degree of autism: Being born on the autism spectrum, Michael Fitzgerald & Philip Wylie  4. The second degree of autism: Knowing that we are different, without understanding why, Louise Page  5. The third degree of autism: Developing secondary health problems, Laura Battles 6. The fourth degree of autism: Self-identification, Debra Moore  7. The fifth degree of autism: Consideration of all Options, Stephen Shore  8. The sixth degree of autism: Resolution to live with autism: The crisis of identity, Altazar Rossiter  9. The seventh degree of autism: Self-acceptance and commitment in autism, Wenn Lawson  10. The eighth degree of autism: Service to society, Sara Heath  11. The ninth degree of autism: Recognition, mastery and unity, Temple Grandin and Debra Moore

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Philip Wylie is a freelance writer, researcher, and independent management consultant who was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome in 2013. He conceived The Nine Degrees of Autism during his identity alignment process while writing a book about very late diagnosis of Asperger's syndrome.

Wenn B. Lawson is a researcher, psychologist, writer, and poet with high-functioning autism. He has operated his own private practice for more than twenty years and written several books and research articles on the topic.

Luke Beardon is a Senior Lecturer at The Autism Centre at Sheffield Hallam University, UK. He has worked for several years in the fields of autism and Asperger's syndrome, in capacities ranging from practitioner to researcher to trainer.


"The book should be read by anyone who wants to understand the real nature and experience of autism and is essential reading for Play Therapists seeking to work more effectively within individuals on the spectrum. It will help you to identify and assess children who are on the spectrum and the stage they are at." - Jeff Thomas Registrar PTUK, Play for Life

"The Nine Degrees of Autism is an asset to the field of autistic spectrum disorders (ASD). The current literature on ASD provides medical and psychopathological models. However they do not provide a comprehensive guide on how to help individuals understand and facilitate wellbeing on the autism spectrum...To sum, this is a timely book of 2016 which will aid readers to shift their attitude and lack of understanding about ASD. A great tool for the clinicians toolkit and an inspirational bookshelf aid for individuals with ASD."  – Dr Bijal Chheda-Varma, The Psychologist

"This book gives an honest account of how personal understandings of one’s differences can help reshape self-identity. I found this novel approach, focusing on the ‘developmental journey’, rather than symptoms of disability, refreshingly positive, encouraging progression towards self-acceptance and self-fulfilment....Overall a really worthy book."  – Abbie Turner, Devon Autism and ADHD Service, The Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health

"This is a book written for, and largely by, individuals on the autism spectrum giving accounts of personal or professional experiences of how they progressed in their understanding of, and coming to terms with, their differences from the typical majority. It is more than a heartfelt plea for more understanding and support from that majority (although it is that as well) and aims to be a kind of guide to getting through the stages of recognition, struggle and, sometimes, despair to reach the final stage of self actualization as an autistic person. It is a broadly optimistic book and I was inspired by the courage and wisdom of many of the accounts, while having a few sad memories of those on the spectrum who never reached that final stage." – Rita Jordan, School of Education, University of Birmingham, UK

"This book has had an overwhelming effect on me. It has brought all the Degrees of Autism that I have lived through and experienced before my very eyes, and it is a MUST READ for everyone on the autism spectrum, their families, teachers, therapists, and simply, everyone. It provides the reader with a clear understanding of what we truly go through on our journey through life on the autism spectrum. It enables the autistic reader to understand where they came from, where they currently are, and where their journey may continue. Dr. Tony Attwood's Foreword is stunningly brilliant, as are all the authors who obviously put their heart and soul into their writings. I was rendered speechless by the profound effect it had on me. I burst into tears as the book takes you to a place you have never been. A place where you clearly see into yourself like never before. This book is, without a doubt, the one that can change lives. It is the most awe-inspiring read you shall ever pick up, and you won't be able to put it down until the final page." –  Anita Lesko, BSN, RN, MS, CRNA, author of Asperger's Syndrome: When Life Hands You Lemons, Make Lemonade