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Good reading materials to learn about autism?

(29 Posts)
confuseddotcodotuk Thu 23-Jun-11 15:02:45

I've recently started a nannying job and one of my charges is austistic. Obviously I want to learn as much as possible about this but am finding myself trawling through sites with lots of words but little information iyswim? I wondered if anybody could recommend a few good websites or reports I could read to get a better understanding on the subject, including things which discuss ABA or diet intervention?

Also some books that may be worth buying? I'm reading various books at the moment, mainly diet books which I'm finding really interesting, easy to understand and full of relevant information, but anything else on the subject of autism would be brilliant to have for my own bookshelf smile

And just to add to my reading list, I know it's controversial but I'm interested in reading more about the MMR/autism discussion as well if anybody knows of a good report about that (it just came up in conversation and I'm curious to the views behind it and reasons).

Thanks in advance! I will be back this evening smile

IndigoBell Thu 23-Jun-11 15:07:24

10 things

CanYouBeHappyAnyway Thu 23-Jun-11 15:14:28

the Treating Autism site is a good read, as is Talk About Curing Autism (hideous title, good info).

the vaccination topic on here has a few threads with lots of info (both sides) on the MMR stuff - but the threads are looooooong

drivemecrazy63 Thu 23-Jun-11 15:35:56

as a basic guide for everything there is to know there actually is a Autism for dumbies book which is in laymans terms

chuckeyegg Thu 23-Jun-11 15:39:39

I was going to write 10 things too. smile

signandsmile Thu 23-Jun-11 17:15:13

ah really useful... (was gonna start a thread like this myself), so will def put the 10 things one on the list,

ps it is on offer at 'The Book Depositary' I think £7.09. also I have a 10% off thingy, (a thing that I can pass on... basically I give the company your email address and they send the code for the discount to you,) so if anyone wants that PM me...

any others anyone recommends?

I will have a look on the site, (they have loads of books related to autism) and will post the ones I think might be relevant to us, to see if any of you knowledgable ladies have read/used them...

Sorry confused Don't mean to hijack, blush

CanYouBeHappyAnyway Thu 23-Jun-11 17:28:32

Jessica Kingsley publishers are a good source for actual books - lots of different titles, from PLaying Laughing and Learning, to Diet books, to teaching aids.

I would be cautious with eg dummies books, as from reading them on other subjects I have found them to be full of generalisations and over-simplification. I couldn't finish the 10 things book - it just grated for some reason.

ABA wise, moondog has made a few suggestions over the years, but Let ME Hear Your Voice is probably the main starting point for an overview by a parent. Lots of different instructional manuals if you involved in more of a teaching role.

dolfrog Thu 23-Jun-11 18:37:27


Medical Research papers are the only realistic way to learn about austim and the related issues, books tend to focus on a single issue or narrow range of issues rather than the full spectrum of issue that make up the wide Autistic Spectrum.
Autism Spectrum Disorders
Identification and Evaluation of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders
Management of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders
Motor-auditory-visual integration: The role of the human mirror neuron system in communication and communication disorders
From music making to speaking: Engaging the mirror neuron system in autism

The MMR/autism research has disproved any links some years back and there are some links to this research in the first two papers i listed.

CanYouBeHappyAnyway Thu 23-Jun-11 18:52:50

I'm not sure how you can claim that books have a more narrowed focus than research papers, which tend to hone in on one aspect of whatever they are trying to prove/disprove hmm.

I do agree that, on the whole, you do not get books which cover eg sensory issues and dietary issues. but to claim that research papers are not sharply focussed on single issues is odd.

another website which might be useful would be the Floortime/ICDL/Greenspan site. Lots of Greenspan books too - very interesting reads, especially on sensory issues and how to get involved/playing/get children playing with you.

dolfrog Thu 23-Jun-11 19:03:32

Research papers have to provide documentary references to support the existing position regarding a topic prior to the research program being carried out, Review and Position papers are based on the archives of previous research to explain the current understanding of a particular issue. Research papers are subject to Peer Review prior to publication. Online research papers provide links supportive documentation.
Books express the opinions of the author, or a team of editors, and most are not Scientifically peer reviewed.

moondog Thu 23-Jun-11 19:19:49

This is great.
Lots of evidence nad research is summariesed and it's a (realtively) easy read.

amberlight Thu 23-Jun-11 19:55:30

and ask away on here. Some of us are autistic and very happy to help.

Parietal Thu 23-Jun-11 19:59:18

For a general but science based overview, go for uta frith's Autism: Explaining the enigma. For real life stories, read Temple Grandin or The Siege by Clara Park Claibourne. (might have name wrong). For vaccines, read Autisms false prophets by Offit.

confuseddotcodotuk Thu 23-Jun-11 20:03:00

Thanks so far smile Treating Autism is the main one my boss mentioned to me today smile I cannot believe that there is a Autism for Dummies book!

signandsmile: feel free to hijack, I'm not fussed if it gives me more to look at smile

dolfrog: I intend to at first read more about the things that relate to the child I look after and then start reading the rest so books focussing on set things are handy smile Thank you for the research links too, I wanted some of those as well!

I'm looking to read anything to be honest, main focus for now being ABA and diet, but expanding later on smile And as I mentioned before, the MMR/Autism thing for curiousity's sake as much as anything.

I'll start reading through the bits you've linked me to so far smile Thanks again!

CanYouBeHappyAnyway Thu 23-Jun-11 20:07:32

dolfrog: what you say in your recent post may be true (but does not address the fact that peer reviewed is not the Holy Grail, nor does it address the fact that most studies are biased in one way or another - a heavy bias, usually to do with funding sources) but it does not in any way focus on what I actually said: that research papers tend to be more narrowly focussed than books, which is what the OP is after. (not even going into the fact that many books are indeed also written by scientists, and are collections of data/info/presentations of papers)

arf at reading Offit to gain insight to the vaccine issue.

dolfrog Thu 23-Jun-11 23:09:02


a single research paper is never enough, which is why I have developed my research paper collections to get some perspective a full body research.
The funding issue can be an issue, especially when the funding interests own the research journals as well, and have some editorial control. Which has a factor in Dyslexia research over the years. But eventually the rebels find alternative publishing outlets. Books are written with an eye on marketing, and in many cases are the researchers pension fund lol.

Back to the OP I did list two position statement research papers and and one which is regularly updated inline with new research.
and to follow on from those individual research papers which have full free access there are more research papers covering a wider range of issues in my Autism and Autism and Regression collections.
Mind you due to my APD which causes my dyslexia, I do not like books because I can not copy and paste the text so that I can alter the font colourings and extra spacing to make them me friendly lol.

signandsmile Fri 24-Jun-11 09:12:15

been looking, and have picked out these, has anyone read/bought/heard about any of these?

wanting them to be relevant for DS (or going to be come relevant) he is nearly 5, ASD, significant speech delay, dx of mild to mod LD. starting school (MS) in sept,

1) The incredible 5 point scale.
2) My book full of feelings; How to control and react to the size of your emotions,
3)How Do I Teach This Kid to Read?: Teaching Literacy Skills to Young Children with Autism, from Phonics to Reading Comprehension,
4)Teaching Children with Autism to Mind-Read: The Workbook,
5) Social Skill Scenes for Very Young Children with Autism (eBook),
6) Social Communication Cues for Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Related Conditions


amberlight Fri 24-Jun-11 09:32:39

I've got The Incredible 5 point scale and didn't really get on with it. Quite strong language in part of it, for a start, and a lot of expressions. Plus when I'm panicked, the last thing in the world I'm able to do is rationalise my way through a five-point "where am I on this scale" list made of words. Might as well be in Greek. I think it works for some people, but it's not visual enough for me.

dolfrog Fri 24-Jun-11 13:58:55


Due the multiple underlying cognitive issues which can cause autism, it will be more than likely that children who have autism will not be able to cognitively use phonics, or phonetically sound out new words. They may need alternative ways of learning to use this man made communication system.

talbotpearson Fri 24-Jun-11 15:53:16

one good book which is highly recommended as the person who wrote it works in the field and has a child which asd: Lorna Wing The Autistic Spectrum.

From a mother who has a child on the spectrum.

dolfrog Fri 24-Jun-11 17:23:56

If you use this link you may be able to find a library close to you that may have the specific book.
so the The Incredible 5 point scale
would look like this
The incredible 5-point scale : assisting students in understanding social interactions and controlling their emotional responses.
and if you punch in your country and postcode it will try to locate the nearest library that has a copy or how to buy it online

hope this helps

signandsmile Fri 24-Jun-11 17:37:27

thanks amber that's really useful to know, (altho my ds is getting more verbal complex stuff is way over his head, but very visual.)

PS was thrilled to hear the treatment is going well. smile

signandsmile Fri 24-Jun-11 17:44:26

thank you dolfrog, that's really kind. I found the books I listed discounted on the 'book depository' website and have an additional 10% off too, but will check prices for places on link you added.

PS yeah, ds (as expected) is more 'whole word recognision' (like kids with Downs), so can already recognise quite a few words shock. but he is also liking the phonics they have been doing at pre-school, (can recognise / have a go at saying about 15 'phonics letter sounds' (I'm sure there is proper term) I am wondering how how he will get on with blending tho.... thought if I got myself prepared I could 'help' the school wink. and we are incredibly lucky to have a 'help accepting' school, smile

and thanks talbot I will have a look at the Lorna Wing book

drivemecrazy63 Fri 24-Jun-11 17:51:10

grin the autism for dumbies is a good referance book and very good for info on therapies and stratagies too horribel title though but its amongst the range of dumbies books

drivemecrazy63 Fri 24-Jun-11 17:58:27

ive got a list of ones ive read
1, the right place ( a parents guide to chosing a residential SS)
2, understanding and working with the spectrum of Autism by wendy lawson who herself AS and talks on the subject
3,Life behind glass wendy lawson
4,the curious incident
5,at home in the land of oz (autism my sister and me)

and for Dcs ...All cat's have Asperger Syndrome which you can look at on youtube here.

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