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Choosing Autism Interventions: A Research-Based Guide Paperback – 20 Apr 2015
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About the Author
Bernard Fleming is the Information Manager at Research Autism, the only UK charity exclusively dedicated to research into interventions in autism. He has worked in the disability sector for the last 29 years and served on the editorial board of NHS Choices for five years. He currently runs the Research Autism information service. Dr Elisabeth Hurley PhD, Bsc, is the Research Officer at Autism West Midlands, the leading charity in the West Midlands for people on the autism spectrum. She has co-authored The Good and Bad Science of Autism (2013) with Dr Neil Walsh and edited the book Ultraviolet Voices: Stories of women on the autism spectrum (2014). The Goth was diagnosed 13 years ago with high-functioning autism, and has been working as a trainer and advocate in the autism field since then. He has advised on two television series that featured autists and co-written Asperger's Syndrome for Dummies (2010).
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Top customer reviews
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Fleming, Hurley and the Goth combine personal experience with research kudos and trustworthiness. They approach the subject by first asserting quality control through the NHS Information Standard quality mark. The authors then separate wheat from chaff in a matter of fact way without labour or emotion. It is refreshingly honest and well written.
The 27 chapters of the book are divided into five sections which are colour-coded for ease of reference; a good idea which will make the book accessible and attractive to readers. Interventions are classified according to broad types with acknowledgement of over-lap. Common, and some not so common, interventions are then examined against the existing evidence base, according to set standards. The book concludes with an outline of key principles of good practice that will help inform decision making.
A brief analysis of the nature of evidence and some discussion on the challenges surrounding research into autism interventions was a welcome backdrop. Some more discussion on ascertaining the 'risk' attached to interventions would have been welcome as many intervention research studies do not actively measure for harms. Stating 'no risk' may simply mean that harmful effects were not directly studied, as opposed to an intervention having no risks. Indirect harms such as time wasted, loss of opportunity, financial costs, family disruption and stress, are undeclared consequences of many comprehensive interventions.
This is an exemplary piece of work and strikes a tone of objectivity and balance that is rarely seen in books claiming a similar purpose. It should be on the essential reading list of those who have a professional responsibility to advise, train or support individuals on the autism spectrum and their families. It is a recommended resource for any parent whose child has received a diagnosis and who now needs objective and impartial information on the best way forward. A gem of a book.
The first thing I need to say is that I love this book. I was so very excited to finally read it, and after having heard so many wonderful things about it, I have to say that I was not disappointed.
This book I feel should be given to every family whose child is given a diagnosis of autism, as it contains everything you will ever need to know (and I mean everything). This is the holy grail of autism books. I really wish that this book had been available when my son was given his diagnosis, nearly three years ago.
This book presents in jargon free language what autism is, in reference to the latest definitions and guidelines. There is also an entire section that lists interventions, and then a further section containing useful information. At the end of the book there are also first hand accounts from those who are directly affected by autism; so the individual, parents, caregivers and so on.
This book is neutral, it is Switzerland, it merely presents the facts so that you as the reader, can make an informed decision. All the information given has been thoroughly researched and is evidence based. It is most importantly, unbiased and carries the NHS Information Standard quality mark.
I will break the book down into the sections already mentioned so as to give a more detailed description.
The book is colour coded into sections. The first section is:
This section gives the reader an overview of what autism is and I feel that for any parent or caregiver who is new to the world of autism having just been given a diagnosis, then this information is vital. I remember that feeling of being completely lost when my son was given his diagnosis, and of not really fully understanding what autism meant. The information presented here is clear and concise.
This is the main body of the book and describes in great detail all of the different interventions that are used, as well as the evidence based research behind the intervention. This section covers topics such as behavioural therapies, dietary interventions, psychological and sensory based interventions, medication as well as animal assisted therapies. It covers everything. Once you have read a particular intervention and want to learn more, then there is a comprehensive reference list that will give you further information and direction.
Making the Decision.
This section pretty much sums everything up and provides you with help in choosing a particular intervention. It also provides a summary of questions to ask. It provides guidance from NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence).
This is the section that includes personal perspectives. I know that as a parent of a newly diagnosed child, this would have been the section that I would have read first.
I cannot praise this book highly enough. I can only talk as a parent, but this book I feel should be recommended to every parent caring for a child on the spectrum, as well as teachers, the medical profession… in fact everyone. It covers everything you will ever need to know in a well structured and easy to read format.
Thank you to all involved for writing such an informative and much needed book. It will help so many parents out there, who at the moment feel completely lost.
The guide is an excellent resource for parents and professionals, it is unbiased and sticks to the facts and it is based on the research available on the interventions themselves. Waffle free and precise, which is exactly what is needed.
It helps to guide you through the maze of interventions that are out there, giving you enough information to make an informed choice, its also a handy reference tool for those that work in the autism field too.
I highly recommend the book to parents and professionals alike, well done all involved in this book
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