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Book Reviews
Written By Linda M. Olsen M.Ed.

Book - Autistic Logistics: A Parent’s Guide to Tackling Bedtime, Toilet Training, Tantrums, Hitting, and Other Everyday ChallengesAutistic Logistics: A Parent’s Guide to Tackling Bedtime, Toilet Training, Tantrums, Hitting, and Other Everyday Challenges
By Kate C. Wilde
Copyright Kate Wilde, 2015
Reviewed by Linda M. Olsen, M.Ed.

This book was written by Kate Wilde, a Senior Teacher in the Son-Rise Treatment Program of the Autism Treatment Center of America of Sheffield, MA. It tells the story of her discovery of and participation in that program with the goal of giving parents help in understanding their child’s world.
At thirteen, Kate decided she wanted to work with children on the autism spectrum. She was inspired by a movie called Son-Rise: A Miracle of Love, a real-life story about Raun, the son of Samahria and Barry Kaufman who started the Sunrise Treatment Program. Raun was diagnosed with severe autism and an under-30 IQ at 18 months. Instead of viewing what their son had as a tragedy, they approached him with love and acceptance. They decided to “join” him in his world -- engaging themselves in his repetitive behaviors and stims.
The author also notes that as a teenager, she had a friend with a three-year-old son who would run back and forth from one wall to another. When she was with him she joined him in his activities and showed her delight in doing so. This experience made her believe that joining in with a child in their activities was a great way to connect with them.
Later, after Kate graduated from college, she worked for Dr. Rachel Pinney who founded the Children’s House in North London.
There, she worked with children with autism and some who were emotionally disturbed.
After working with Dr. Pinney she returned to the United States to begin her formal Son-Rise Treatment Program training at the Autism Treatment Center of America. Kate was awed when she discovered this was run by the family in the movie, Son-Rise: A Miracle of Love.
At present, Kate is a Senior Teacher and also helps to direct the Son-Rise Treatment Program. She writes that her book is designed to help children and parents with their everyday challenges like tooth brushing, hair cutting, toilet training, sleeping challenges and others.
The author believes parents need to help their child with autism gain an understanding of their life experiences which involves their senses of hearing, smell, touch and vision. She writes that parents need to investigate what the cause of their child’s particular behavior could be. One example she gives is of a young boy in the Son-Rise Program who would display very disruptive behavior in the lunch room at school. The parents investigated and discovered he had an over-sensitivity to the smell of bananas! The author writes “no wonder our children want to retreat from us to create their own ordered world that they can control.”

Autistic Logistics gives specific steps to follow to help our children in such areas as setting boundaries, believing in their ability to learn, observing what motivates, why they have tantrums, and self-help skills. All of these areas help parents to understanding their child’s world. Autistic Logistics is a great guide for helping teachers and parents to meet their children’s individual challenges.

 

Book - Parents Have The Power To Make Special Education Work: An Insider GuideParents Have The Power To Make Special Education Work: An Insider Guide
By Judith Canty Graves and Carson Graves,
Forward by Robert K. Crabtree, Esq., 2014, Jessica Kingsley Publishers

Reviewed by Linda M. Olsen, M.Ed.

In the forward of this book attorney Crabtree writes that parents of special needs children need to educate themselves about their child’s disability, the special education process, and learn how to be an effective advocate for their child. He believes this book is an excellent start to this process! In my opinion the book does do these things. The authors write that when they entered the world of special education in the early 1990’s there was no online sites or ways to meet other parents dealing with the same issues and this is why they wrote this book.
In the first chapter the authors give an overview of the special education process, the referral, evaluation, the eligibility meeting, related services, the IEP (Individual Education Plan), meetings, accommodations and modifications, progress reports, the yearly review, the three-year evaluation process, The Individuals With Disability Education Act (IDEA), and No Child Left Behind, (NCLB).

In the following chapters the authors go into further details of how these topics and the roles of others help to educate parents on how to be strong advocates for their children. One of these areas is school personnel. They write about the roles of the school superintendent, the classroom teachers, physical education teachers, librarian, art and music teachers, guidance counselors, liaisons, para-professionals, aides, teaching assistants, psychologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists and adapted physical education instruction.

They also make the strong point of how important it is for the parents to maintain a cordial relationship with all personnel involved in the process.

They clearly describe how to do this. Included in the back of the book is a glossary of the most common special education terms and acronyms.

This is a “must have” guide book for parents dealing with the special education process or anyone else who wants to learn more about the special education process!

 

 

   

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