What Science Tells Us about Autism Spectrum Disorder
Making the Right Choices for Your Child
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What have scientists learned about the causes of autism spectrum disorder? Why do different kids have such different symptoms, and what are the best ways to deal with them? Will there ever be a cure? From leading autism researchers, this accessible guide helps you put the latest advances to work for your unique child. Separating fact from fiction about causes, treatments, and prevention, the book guides you to make lifestyle choices that support the developing brain. From the impact of sleep, exercise, diet, and technology, to which type of professional help might be the right fit, the authors cover it all with expertise and compassion. Learn about the choices you face--and the steps you can take--to build a happier, healthier life for your child and family.
Winner (Second Place)--American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Award, Consumer Health Category
Table of Contents
1. A New Understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder
2. What Are the Essential Features That Define the Autism Spectrum?
3. What Causes Autism?
4. How Does the Brain Develop Differently in Autism?
5. What Are the Best Practices for Helping a Child with Autism?
6. Exercise, Sleep, and ASD
7. Gastrointestinal and Feeding Problems, Food, and Diet in ASD
8. Technology and ASD: Latest Findings on the Peril and the Promise
9. Adolescence and Autism
10. Adulthood and Autism
11. Tying It All Together
Raphael A. Bernier, PhD, is Affiliate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington (UW), where he was formerly Associate Director of the Center on Human Development and Disability and the William J. and Lydia N. Gumerman Endowed Chair in Child Psychiatry. He was also formerly Executive Director of the Seattle Children's Autism Center. Dr. Bernier is an active clinician and researcher whose work focuses on how autism develops, how the brain is involved, and ways to improve the quality of life of individuals with autism spectrum disorder and their families. He is the author of more than 100 scientific articles and book chapters.
Geraldine Dawson, PhD, is the William Cleland Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Director of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences, and Director of the Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development at Duke University. She served as Founding Director of the University of Washington Autism Center. An internationally recognized autism expert with a focus on early detection, intervention, and brain plasticity in autism, Dr. Dawson is a passionate advocate for families. She is codeveloper of the Early Start Denver Model, the first empirically validated comprehensive intervention for toddlers with autism. Dr. Dawson is coauthor of the parent resources What Science Tells Us about Autism Spectrum Disorder, An Early Start for Your Child with Autism, and A Parent's Guide to High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder, Second Edition. Her books for professionals include Early Start Denver Model for Young Children with Autism. Dr. Dawson is a Fellow of the American Psychological Society and the American Psychological Association. She is a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Psychological Science and awards for Valuable Service and Research Contributions from the Autism Society of America.
Joel T. Nigg, PhD, is Director of the Division of Psychology and Professor of Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and Behavioral Neuroscience at Oregon Health and Science University. He is widely recognized for his research on the neuropsychological and biological correlates of children’s neurodevelopmental problems, including work on developmental connections of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder. Dr. Nigg is a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and past president of the International Society for Research in Child and Adolescent Psychopathology. He is the author or coauthor of two books for parents: Getting Ahead of ADHD and What Science Tells Us about Autism Spectrum Disorder.
“This is the book I have been waiting for--one I can recommend without reservation to parents of children newly diagnosed with autism. It is full of all the facts and practical information that families need to understand the causes of autism and get their child on the right treatment path. I wish this resource had existed when my daughter was diagnosed. If you’re going to buy one book about autism, this is the one!”--Alison Singer, President, Autism Science Foundation
"This book demystifies the most current research to help you make everyday decisions about caring for your child, based on brain science. The authors’ expertise shines through as they describe the 'why' behind your kid's behavior, as well as what can help. They emphasize that there are almost no universals in ASD, showing how you can focus on your child's particular needs. The friendly, helpful explanations and to-do lists in each chapter will go a long way toward replacing worry and stress with practical steps forward."--Sally J. Rogers, PhD, coauthor of An Early Start for Your Child with Autism
"I searched in vain for a book like this when my child was diagnosed 20 years ago. Even with a master’s degree in social work and experience with autism, I was lost trying to navigate scarce resources and figure out how to best help her. Today, parents have perhaps too much information to sort through, and there will always be the promise of some quick fix that will make autism go away. My advice--buy this book. The authors have taken complex information and made it digestible through stories, metaphors, and a liberal dose of common sense. This book is, in a word, practical!"--Lynn V., Seattle
"After my son was diagnosed, understanding the complexities of autism and separating myth from fact left me overwhelmed and exhausted. This book makes the science accessible to all. It removes the fear and mystery of the unknown, and gives you an understanding of how autism varies from person to person, what treatment options are available, and how to make impactful decisions for your child. Absolutely essential reading!"--Jenn D., Seattle
"This highly readable and authoritative summary of the science of autism is a valuable resource for parents. The authors are leading experts who have the gift of science communication--a rare combination. The book is also a useful entry point for students and professionals new to the field."--Simon Baron-Cohen, FBA, FMedSci, Director, Autism Research Centre, Cambridge University, United Kingdom
"Vital reading for parents. At a time when information and misinformation about autism are equally easy to access--and nearly impossible to distinguish--this book meets a critical need. Three of the field’s brightest scientists and most compassionate clinicians distill cutting-edge science in a clear, comprehensible way."--James C. McPartland, PhD, coauthor of A Parent's Guide to High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder, Second Edition
"As a parent raising two children on the spectrum, it is encouraging to know my family's struggles are 'typical' within the culture of autism. This hopeful, straightforward book bridges the research and the real-life challenges parents endure. It explains the breakthrough science that is helping us understand how the autistic mind works and how we can best support our children."--Amanda S., Burlington, Washington
“Families looking for answers about autism deserve no less than the best science. But amid the flood of information, where is the science translated into ways that can help one family--and child--at a time? You are holding the answer in your hands. From some of the most outstanding clinical scientists in the field, this book is a treasure to be read by every family whose lives have been touched by autism.”--Ami Klin, PhD, Director, Marcus Autism Center, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory University-A great resource for professionals, including school psychologists, when it comes to assisting parents and caregivers who are caring for a child with the disorder….Each topic discussed included scientific evidence and, when the research was fairly new or if there was contradicting evidence, that information was noted for the reader to consider. As a professional who has closely worked with individuals with autism spectrum disorder and their families, it was refreshing to read information that included such thorough, yet practical recommendations and resources for families.--NASP Communiqué, 12/1/2020