Michael is a young man who has succeeded in managing his autism and is experiencing success in life despite a diagnosis that might have predicted only disability and despair. He did not talk in early childhood and displayed the classic traits of a severely autistic child, but he has broken out of his silence to help others to learn from his insights and experiences.
An explosion of newly diagnosed cases of autism has resulted in a keen interest in the stories of autistic individuals, and many people are touched by knowing a family with an autistic child. This unique book reveals a silent world through the voice of an insightful, articulate young adult with autism. The book also gives perspectives from Michael's family, friends and the professionals who have known him from diagnosis in early childhood through to adult, independent life. After each chapter, the author presents "reflections" that highlight the key issues pertinent to autism and the relevant stage of development.
Michael's story is poignant and moving, and provides information and hope to families of autistic individuals and the professionals who work with them.
Judith H. Cohen is a Full Professor of Education at Adelphi University, New York. She holds a Ph.D. in Literacy Education with a specialization in special education. Dr. Cohen is also an attorney in New York State and works as a child advocate in both school districts and the courts. She is a published author of many articles, curriculum materials and textbooks, and has been a well respected teacher and educator for over 30 years. She has devoted her life to both advocating for and educating children and their teachers. Dr. Cohen met "Michael" when he entered the teacher education program she coordinated at the University and has been a friend of his and his family since that time.
One day I naively asked Michael what's it like to be autistic. He replied, "I don't know. I've always been autistic."
from Succeeding with Autism
Personal narratives on Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are valuable to illustrate how we respond to autism. Cohen (education, Adelphi Univ.) draws on the oral history tradition to create a truly distinctive entry in the literature. Her subject is "Michael," a 24-year-old man for whom she served as college adviser. Despite graduating and securing a math and computer-science teaching positions, Michael had difficulty interacting with others and adapting to adult life. Cohen uses lengthy quotes from his family, friend, teachers and Michael himself to provide a vivid portrait not only of his actions but also of how others responded to them. This helps convey the challenges that Michael faced in various aspects and different stages of his life. Of particular note are his social interaction with teachers and the friends he met through college clubs and the trouble he had obtaining and keeping teaching positions as well as responding to the demands of employment. Strongly recommended for all public and academic libraries with ASD or education collections.
Succeeding with Autism: Hear My Voice is a fascinating journey through the life of an extraordinary young man with Autism. It follows him through his college years and initial employment, while disgressing into his childhood through interviews with a wide array of teachers, family members, and others who played important roles in his life... this account stands out because of the additional perspectives of so many significant people and the comparison of these perspectives on the same events and times. Michael's own thoughts about how he developed from a child ruled by anxiety and dyscontrol provide important insights into the individual and family effort required to create the changes now evident in this successful young adult. This book poignantly illustrates how little is truly understood about the prediction of adult outcome from childhood functioning for individuals on the Autism spectrum with the vast majority of high functioning adults on the spectrum under or unemployed, it is important to pick out the aspects of external support and internal willpower that contributed to Michael's success at getting through college and landing his first job we must find ways to utilize this community resource in support of children and adults on the spectrum who are trying to be included in schools, jobs, and social communities.
On The Spectrum
a deeply interesting account, imbued with knowledge and understanding of the condition of autism, which provides hope and reassurance for all those struggling with similar situations, but without flinching from or downplaying some of the more difficult moments.
Good Autism Practice
Judith Cohen first met Michael when she interviewed him for a teacher education programme. This book provides an honest portrayal of Michael and an insight into how he developed from a child into a remarkable individual battling with autism. Cohen interviewed Michael's friends, family, and various professionals who have worked with him. What interested me was how Michael viewed his autism, and how he addressed particular events in his life compared with other people.
It is clear that, in general, Michael has left a positive impression on everyone he has met despite his difficulties and has built life-long friendships.
This book may be particularly beneficial to individuals who would like to learn more about autism from the perspective of the child as they try to break the stereotypes that we don't realise we all have.
Table of Contents
|Prelims (Acknowledgements, Contents, Introduction)|
|1. Sustainable Design – the big issues|
|2. Social, Economic & Environmental Choices|
|3. Taking Practical Action|
|4. The Six Rs – activities for students|
|11. Eco-design Tools|
|End matter (Where to find more information)|