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Secrets to Success for Professionals in the Autism Field
An Insider's Guide to Understanding the Autism Spectrum, the Environment and Your Role319
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Gunilla Gerland's extensive experience of the autism spectrum means she is expertly placed to offer a fresh perspective on working with autism as well as a wealth of effective tools and interventions to use in practice. In a highly readable style, with many inspiring examples, this book offers original explanations of the impairments associated with autism, showing how to discover the root cause of behaviours that are challenging, not just how to manage them superficially. It looks objectively and non-judgementally at the common pitfalls and difficulties that autism professionals may encounter, explaining how to deal with these and transition to more effective working relationships. An important section on ethics and reflection equips the reader with the knowledge and skills needed to grow professionally in the field. Packed with original insights and practical, hands-on tools and strategies, this is essential reading for teachers, teaching assistants, support workers, counsellors, social workers and anyone else working with individuals of any age on the autism spectrum.
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The sections on empathy, ethics, moral competence and reflection are particularly informative. Entertaining and inspiring anecdotes to entertain, amuse, educate and inform are scattered throughout this book. I give it a ringing endorsement. -- Nursing Standard Gunilla Gerland has developed an unusually insightful, "hands-on" approach to psychoeducational assessment and intervention in Asperger syndrome, an approach that is not only theoretically sound but also readily applicable in real life situations. In this book she shares this wisdom in a highly readable and well-structured way...It is a must for all teachers, relatives and friends of people with Asperger syndrome and related autism spectrum disorders. It should also be required reading for all autism specialists. -- Christopher Gillberg, MD, PhD, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and Institute of Child Health, UK It is rare to find a book like this, with pages so packed with insights and well-exampled ways of getting all practitioners not only to understand their charges with autism but also to understand themselves and thus to modify their practices. I have spent a lifetime trying to help this population, but this book inspired me to want to start again, to see if I could improve my own practice as well. It is truly an exceptional and much-needed text. -- Professor Rita Jordan, Emeritus Professor in Autism Spectrum Disorders, University of Birmingham Gunilla Gerland uses her professional experience and amazing first-hand knowledge of what it is like to be autistic to give a guide to the education and care of autistic people. It is an authoritative guide, but it is also fun to read. The book is bursting with vivid examples. This is crucial as every individual case is different and needs to be understood in depth before any kind of intervention or trouble shooting can be effective. But there is not only talk of problems and troubles and how they can be overcome. There is also a celebration of people who know they are different and people who are genuinely tolerant of differences. Gunilla generously shares her extensive and imaginative toolkit, and above all she shows how a combination of critical knowledge, basic humanity and sound common sense can make special education special. -- Professor Uta Frith, Emeritus Professor of Cognitive Development, University College London Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
Gunilla Gerland was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome several years ago. She has more than 15 years' experience in the autism field, working as a counsellor, supervisor and educator. She is well-known internationally for her autobiography A Real Person: Life on the Outside, and is very active in informing people about autism, through writing and lecturing all over Europe. She lives in Stockholm, where she also works closely with the Swedish National Autism Society. She is the author of Finding Out About Asperger Syndrome, High-Functioning Autism and PDD, also published by JKP.
1. Helping the Helper Help. A preface of sorts: about me, why and for whom. Section I: The Professional Role...which deals with interactions and reflects on professionalism. 2. The Framework and Ideologies - a chapter on how it can be a constructive action to smash a window. 3. Same Same but Different - a chapter for everyone but especially for those who have previously worked in psychosocial treatment settings. 4. Just doing your job or being a true professional? A chapter with some thoughts about what professionalism could mean. 4.1. Awareness, Development and Change. 4.2. Making right and doing wrong. 4.3 Empathy, ethics and moral competence. 4.4. Some ideas. 5. Remove the cake even if you don't think it's ready: Common pitfalls for staff - A chapter on things you would rather avoid. 5.1. Pitfall 1 and 2: Falling into another role (than the professional) - "Parent" or "Buddy". 5.2. Pitfall 3: That's the way he wants it! 5.3. Pitfall 4: Prohibit or allow - this is not the question! 5.4. Pitfall 5: Steering the will of others. 5.5. Pitfall 6: Excessive empathy. 5.6. Pitfall 7: Lack of empathy. 5.7. Pitfall 8: Universal truths. 5.8. Pitfall 9: "We know this". 5.9. Pitfall 10: More normal than normal. 5.10. Pitfall 11: The gender trap? 5.11. Pitfall 12: Good aids that no one uses. 5.12. Pitfall 13: "What if everybody...?" 5.13. Pitfall 14: Other children will never accept... 5.14. Pitfall 15: Normality produces quality of life. Section II: Understanding the Impairments...which deals with the symptoms we often see and what may cause them. 6. "You never know if orange juice will taste like orange juice." A chapter on sensory processing issues. 6.1. The visual perception. 6.2. The tactile perception. 6.3. The auditory perception. 6.4. The olfactory sense. 6.5. The sense of taste. 6.6. Balance. 6.7. Proprioception - "Muscle and joint sense". 6.8. Interoceptive senses. 6.9. Synaesthesia. 6.10. Sensory integration problems. 6.11. Desensitization (Habituation). 6.12. Different is not always a problem. 6.13. How do we know, what do we do? 7. The man with two left feet - a chapter on motor skills. 7.1. Motor automization. 7.2 Other motor difficulties. 7.3. Practical implications. 8. One person may be of many ages. - a chapter on the development perspective. 8.1. Mentalization in practice. 9. Say what you mean and mean what you say - a chapter on communication. 9.1. Language comprehension poorer than verbal expression. 9.2. Echolalia. 9.3. Truths, lies and subtext. 9.4. To announce your actions. 9.5. Literal language comprehension. 9.6. Lack of "auto correction". 9.7 "Attitude". 9.8. Restorative Communication. 9.9. Repetitive communication. 10. Living without a spare gas can - a chapter on energy and stress. 10.1. The drop excavates the stone (and the straw that broke the camel's back). 10.2. Stress and stress management. 10.3. Sleep. 10.4. Time Perception. 11. I don't give a damn about the chores! A chapter on cognition. 11.1. Executive functions. 11.2. Working memory. 11.3. Categorization. 12. The short and boring chapter - a chapter on definitions, incidence and other things you may want to know, but which are of little help little in practice. 12.1. Definition. 12.2. Incidence. 12.3. Causes. 12.4. Criteria. 12.5. Work-up. Section III: The Change Process...which is an important element of the craftsmanship. 13. Can we make a deaf person hear better by setting limits? A chapter on punishment of "violations", and consequences of action. 13.1. Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes. 13.2. Truth and Consequence. 13.3. Making the professional "environmental friendly". 13.4. Avoid a financial crisis on the trust account. 13.5. The development of mature strategies - how does it come about? 14. CRAP - a chapter with thoughts on the use of Confirmations or Rewards, the idea of being Affirmative, and why Punishments do not work. 14.1. Attribution. 14.2. Penalty mar