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Accidentally beautiful: the collective wit and wisdom of autism and ADHD

ANDERSON, Laura

2010    122 Pages    (Laura Anderson)

ISBN 13: 9780557764310   

This book will strike a chord especially for parents of kids with special needs. This book is unique in the approach it takes to addressing the chaos and the sharp learning curve of a household which has just been introduced to an autistic child, or one with ADHD, or in this case both! ‘Accidentally Beautiful’ reminds you that there is humour to be found and blessings to be embraced if you allow yourself the time and spirit to do so. It is so easy to get caught up in the ‘ [...]

This book will strike a chord especially for parents of kids with special needs. This book is unique in the approach it takes to addressing the chaos and the sharp learning curve of a household which has just been introduced to an autistic child, or one with ADHD, or in this case both! ‘Accidentally Beautiful’ reminds you that there is humour to be found and blessings to be embraced if you allow yourself the time and spirit to do so. It is so easy to get caught up in the ‘progress’, in the appointments, in the therapies, in the diets and medications, that sometimes we forget to enjoy what else the situation brings. This book embraces the difficulties but also celebrates the enormous victories and recognises the depth and meaning that these special children bring to the lives of everyone they touch. [less]

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ADHD the devil within: a true story of a family's struggle with their ADHD son

COLLINS, R. A.

2007    107 Pages    (R A Collins)

ISBN 10: 0955483611

This is my story of raising Daniel, our ADHD son. Coming to terms with Daniel’s condition has been a long, hard journey for all of us, every aspect of which, from clinical diagnosis to alternative medicines, special needs schools to mainstream education, drug therapy to respite care – is here laid bare. You will also read of the remarkable achievements Daniel has made, despite his difficult start in life. He is amazing, he is my son, and he does me proud.

This is my story of raising Daniel, our ADHD son. Coming to terms with Daniel’s condition has been a long, hard journey for all of us, every aspect of which, from clinical diagnosis to alternative medicines, special needs schools to mainstream education, drug therapy to respite care – is here laid bare. You will also read of the remarkable achievements Daniel has made, despite his difficult start in life. He is amazing, he is my son, and he does me proud. [less]

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Back-to-front boy: a true story of adopting a boy with attachment disorder, The

WRIGHT, Rebecca

2004    133 Pages    (Covenanters Press)

ISBN 10: 1905022093

This is a true story. Rebecca Wright and her partner, John, adopted a young child. It wasn't until later that they discovered just how needy he was and how their love and commitment to him would change his life. The strength they show in going through the complex process of helping Sam, who has attachment disorder, to grow into a rounded human being, will be an inspiration to anyone caring for children with problems, behavioural or emotional. Their story is funny, sad, angry, grateful and [...]

This is a true story. Rebecca Wright and her partner, John, adopted a young child. It wasn't until later that they discovered just how needy he was and how their love and commitment to him would change his life. The strength they show in going through the complex process of helping Sam, who has attachment disorder, to grow into a rounded human being, will be an inspiration to anyone caring for children with problems, behavioural or emotional. Their story is funny, sad, angry, grateful and relieved in turns - the emotional rollercoaster experienced by anyone dealing with child psychiatrists, educational psychologists, the state school system and social work departments. Rebecca understates the difficulties of a life totally focused on a very demanding child, bringing out instead the many positive rewards of life with Sam. The Back to Front Boy will inspire, challenge and comfort many about to adopt, considering adoption, or already parenting a difficult child. You are not alone. In their search for help and understanding, Rebecca, John and Sam have forged a family unit of incredible strength through the practice and discipline of love - the real thing. "This is a 'must read' for anxious and caring parents, students in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), practitioners leading courses in HEIs, link professionals, case managers, SENCOs and I predict it will contribute massively to knowledge in what are largely uncharted waters." Geoff Edmondson, OBE, Teaching Fellow, University of Exeter. With a Foreword by Caroline Archer, author of "Parenting the child who hurts." [less]

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Beyond the silence: my life, the world and autism

MUKHOPADHYAY, Tito Rajarshi

2000    108 Pages    (National Autistic Society)

ISBN 10: 1899280316

Tito is an 11 year old boy from south India with a special talent. Although almost completely non-verbal, he can communicate his thoughts and feelings through remarkable prose and poetry, written in fluent English. Tito also has autism. Through his writing he explains how he deals with this hidden disability and how it affects his view of the world. This book contains the first parts of his story so far, written when he was 8 and 11 years old, as well as philosophical prose and poetry. The Mind [...]

Tito is an 11 year old boy from south India with a special talent. Although almost completely non-verbal, he can communicate his thoughts and feelings through remarkable prose and poetry, written in fluent English. Tito also has autism. Through his writing he explains how he deals with this hidden disability and how it affects his view of the world. This book contains the first parts of his story so far, written when he was 8 and 11 years old, as well as philosophical prose and poetry. The Mind Tree, and poems used in a BBC TV documentary Inside Story: Tito’s Story. Tito’s gives us a unique insight into the mind of someone with autism, as well as a fascinating account of growing up with a disability in modern India. [less]

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Born on a blue day: a memoir od Asperger's and an extraordinary mind

TAMMET, Daniel

2006    242 Pages    (Hodder & Stoughton)

ISBN 10: 0340899743

Daniel sees numbers as shapes, colours and textures and can perform extraordinary maths in his head. He can also learn to speak a language fluently from scratch in a week. He has Savant syndrome, an extremely rare form of Asperger syndrome that gives him almost unimaginable mental powers, much like the Rain Man portrayed by Dustin Hoffman. Daniel has a compulsive need for order and routine - he eats exactly 45 grams of porridge for breakfast and cannot leave the house without counting the number [...]

Daniel sees numbers as shapes, colours and textures and can perform extraordinary maths in his head. He can also learn to speak a language fluently from scratch in a week. He has Savant syndrome, an extremely rare form of Asperger syndrome that gives him almost unimaginable mental powers, much like the Rain Man portrayed by Dustin Hoffman.
Daniel has a compulsive need for order and routine - he eats exactly 45 grams of porridge for breakfast and cannot leave the house without counting the number of items of clothing he's wearing. If he gets stressed or unhappy he closes his eyes and counts. But in some ways Daniel is not at all like the Rain Man. He is virtually unique amongst people who have severe autistic disorders in being capable of living a fully independent life. It is his incredible self-awareness and ability to communicate what it feels like to live in a unique way that makes his story so powerful.
Touching as well as fascinating, 'Born on a blue day' explores what it's like to be special and in so doing gives us an insight into what makes us all human - our minds. [less]

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Callous disregard: autism and vaccines, the truth behind a tragedy

WAKEFIELD, Andrew J.

2010    271 Pages    (Skyhorse Publiching)

ISBN 13: 9781616081690    ISBN 10: 1616081694

**BEWARE This book is about the now de-bunked theory that MMR causes autism. We have included it in this Library, so that people can read it from a historical perspective** As Andrew Wakefield states in his prologue, “If autism does not affect your family now, it will. If something does not change—and change soon—this is almost a mathematical certainty. This book affects you also. It is not a parochial look at a trivial medical spat in the United Kingdom, but dispatches from the [...]

**BEWARE This book is about the now de-bunked theory that MMR causes autism. We have included it in this Library, so that people can read it from a historical perspective** As Andrew Wakefield states in his prologue, “If autism does not affect your family now, it will. If something does not change—and change soon—this is almost a mathematical certainty. This book affects you also. It is not a parochial look at a trivial medical spat in the United Kingdom, but dispatches from the battlefront in a major confrontation—a struggle against compromise in medicine, corruption of science, and a real and present threat to children in the interests of policy and profit. It is a story of how ‘the system’ deals with dissent among its doctors and scientists.”

In the pursuit of possible links between childhood vaccines, intestinal inflammation, and neurologic injury in children, Wakefield lost his job in London’s Royal Free Hospital, his country of birth, his career, and his medical license. A recent General Medical Council ruling stated that he was “dishonest, irresponsible and showed callous disregard for the distress and pain of children.” Maligned by the medical establishment and mainstream media, Wakefield endeavors to set the record straight in Callous Disregard. While explaining what really happened, he calls out the organizations and individuals that are acting not for the sake of children affected by autism, but in their own self-interests. [less]

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Different like me: my book of autism heroes

ELDER, Jennifer

2006    48 Pages    (Jessica Kingsley Publishers)

ISBN 13: 9781843108153   

Different Like Me introduces children aged 8 to 12 years to famous, inspirational figures from the world of science, art, math, literature, philosophy and comedy. Eight-year-old Quinn, a young boy with Asperger's Syndrome, tells young readers about the achievements and characteristics of his autism heroes, from Albert Einstein, Dian Fossey and Wassily Kandinsky to Lewis Carroll, Benjamin Banneker and Julia Bowman Robinson, among others. All excel in different fields, but are united by the fact [...]

Different Like Me introduces children aged 8 to 12 years to famous, inspirational figures from the world of science, art, math, literature, philosophy and comedy. Eight-year-old Quinn, a young boy with Asperger's Syndrome, tells young readers about the achievements and characteristics of his autism heroes, from Albert Einstein, Dian Fossey and Wassily Kandinsky to Lewis Carroll, Benjamin Banneker and Julia Bowman Robinson, among others. All excel in different fields, but are united by the fact that they often found it difficult to fit in-just like Quinn. Fully illustrated in colour and written in child-friendly language, this book will be a wonderful resource for children, particularly children with autism, their parents, teachers, carers and siblings. [less]

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Discovering my autism: apologia pro Vita Sua (with apologies to Cardinal Newman)

SCHNEIDER, Edgar

1999    125 Pages    (Jessica Kingsley Publishers)

ISBN 10: 1853027243

This text provides an account of Edgar Schneider, a high-functioning autistic, with attention deficit disorder (ADD), who was misdiagnosed as a schizophrenic in the late 1970s. However, 16 years later, after the chance reading of an article on autistic savants Schneider was alerted to the possibility that he had been wrongly diagnosed. Schneider examines his difficulties with relationships, his high pain threshold, his lack of concentration and his highly absorbent intelligence, all of which are [...]

This text provides an account of Edgar Schneider, a high-functioning autistic, with attention deficit disorder (ADD), who was misdiagnosed as a schizophrenic in the late 1970s. However, 16 years later, after the chance reading of an article on autistic savants Schneider was alerted to the possibility that he had been wrongly diagnosed. Schneider examines his difficulties with relationships, his high pain threshold, his lack of concentration and his highly absorbent intelligence, all of which are related to his autism. He also describes the pleasure he derives from art, music and literature, the importance to him of his religious beliefs and his work with parents' support groups. [less]

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Eating an artichoke: a mother's perspective on Asperger sundrome

FLING, Echo R.

2000    207 Pages    (Jessica Kingsley Publishers)

ISBN 10: 1853027111

In November 1991, Echo Fling was told by her son's teacher, at the schools' parents' evening, that his behaviour in class was "not normal". After two years at school, Jimmy had failed to make any friends, and recently had started to act aggressively towards his classmates and react violently to any changes in his routine. Echo was not taken completely by surprise: she had suspected for some time that her son was different to other children. For the next five years, she [...]

In November 1991, Echo Fling was told by her son's teacher, at the schools' parents' evening, that his behaviour in class was "not normal". After two years at school, Jimmy had failed to make any friends, and recently had started to act aggressively towards his classmates and react violently to any changes in his routine. Echo was not taken completely by surprise: she had suspected for some time that her son was different to other children. For the next five years, she and her husband accompanied Jimmy to more than a dozen doctors, medical specialists, learning consultants and psychologists. finally, at the age of ten years old, Jimmy was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. Written in the first person, this volume tells Jimmy's story from his mother's viewpoint as well as charting Jimmy's development from infancy to pre-adolescence, Echo provides practical advice for parents of children with Asperger syndrome evolved from her own experience and gleaned from conferences she attended. She describes the diagnostic criteria and provides information on resources and support groups. This is the book that she needed when she first set out to have Jimmy diagnosed, and it will enable parents and teachers to understand and help other children with Asperger syndrome. [less]

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Friend like Henry: the remarkable true story of an autistic boy and the dog that unlocked his world, A

GARDNER, Nuala

2008    342 Pages    (Hodder)

ISBN 13: 9780340934029   

This is the inspiring account of a family’s struggle to break into their son's autistic world - and how a beautiful retriever dog made the real difference. Dale was still a baby when his parents realised that something wasn't right. Worried, his mother Nuala took him to see several doctors, before finally hearing the word ‘autism’ for the first time. Scared but determined that Dale should live a fulfilling life, Nuala describes her despair at her son's condition, her struggle to prevent [...]

This is the inspiring account of a family’s struggle to break into their son's autistic world - and how a beautiful retriever dog made the real difference.
Dale was still a baby when his parents realised that something wasn't right. Worried, his mother Nuala took him to see several doctors, before finally hearing the word ‘autism’ for the first time. Scared but determined that Dale should live a fulfilling life, Nuala describes her despair at her son's condition, her struggle to prevent Dale being excluded from a ‘normal’ education and her sense of hopeless isolation. Dale's autism was severe and violent and family life was a daily battleground.
But the Gardner's lives were transformed when they welcomed a gorgeous Golden Retriever into the family. The special bond between Dale and his dog Henry helped them to produce the breakthrough in Dale they had long sought. From taking a bath to saying 'I love you', Henry helped introduce Dale to all the normal activities most parents take for granted, and set him on the road to being the charming and well-adjusted young man he is today.
This is a heartrending and fascinating account of how one devoted and talented dog helped a little boy conquer his autism. [less]

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Growing up severely autistic: they call me Gabriel

RANKIN, Kate

2000    208 Pages    (Jessica Kingsley Publishers)

ISBN 10: 1853028916

Gabriel is a teenager who is severely autistic: he is completely unsocialised, is incontinent and is unable to speak. In this book his mother, with great honesty, describes what it is like to bring up an autistic child who requires constant care and exhibits challenging behaviour. Written partly in diary form, ‘Growing up severely autistic’ covers the minutiae of daily life with vivid immediacy, from preventing Gabriel eating the goldfish, to helping him through his grief on the [...]

Gabriel is a teenager who is severely autistic: he is completely unsocialised, is incontinent and is unable to speak. In this book his mother, with great honesty, describes what it is like to bring up an autistic child who requires constant care and exhibits challenging behaviour. Written partly in diary form, ‘Growing up severely autistic’ covers the minutiae of daily life with vivid immediacy, from preventing Gabriel eating the goldfish, to helping him through his grief on the death of his father. Gabriel's life and relationships with his family are traced from early childhood, through his schooldays to his entry into residential care at the age of 17. With affection and humour, Kate Rankin has written a personal and intimate study of someone who is very different from those around him, and who cannot himself articulate his experiences. [less]

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Hidden tears and happy smiles: living with Andrew and other special children

COOPER, Rachel

2001    94 Pages    (Lucky Duck Publishing)

ISBN 10: 187394263

Rachel tells a powerful story about the difficulties she faced as Andrew's mother. Claire Rayner writes of this book: This account of life with a disabled child and other people with disabled children, written by an author who, herself, started out with a disability is a labour of love that deserves the attention of a great many people who work in this field, as well as, of course, other parents. It’s touching, it’s highly readable, but it is, above all, real. I do recommend it [...]

Rachel tells a powerful story about the difficulties she faced as Andrew's mother.
Claire Rayner writes of this book:
This account of life with a disabled child and other people with disabled children, written by an author who, herself, started out with a disability is a labour of love that deserves the attention of a great many people who work in this field, as well as, of course, other parents. It’s touching, it’s highly readable, but it is, above all, real. I do recommend it to you.
This book will help professionals understand the difficulties parents have to face. It will help and guide parents with special children. It is powerful because in it we hear the voices of real people. [less]

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Horse boy: the true story of a father's miraculous journey to heal his son, The

ISAACSON, Rupert

2009    322 Pages    (Penguin)

ISBN 13: 9780141033631   

Isaacson's journey to heal his son is just that, a healing, not a cure. But he wouldn't want it any other way. While the author's purpose was to draw Rowan out of his autism, he came to realize the overlooked gifts it entails. The Horse Boy will leave readers with a new appreciation for autism and the healing techniques of other cultures; like Rowan, they, too, will be changed forever.

Isaacson's journey to heal his son is just that, a healing, not a cure. But he wouldn't want it any other way. While the author's purpose was to draw Rowan out of his autism, he came to realize the overlooked gifts it entails. The Horse Boy will leave readers with a new appreciation for autism and the healing techniques of other cultures; like Rowan, they, too, will be changed forever. [less]

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Joe: the only boy in the world

BLASTLAND, Michael

2007    216 Pages    (Profile Books)

ISBN 10: 1861979444

An exceptionally haunting memoir that also shows us what it is to be really human. In a hardware store, Joe sits on a display toilet amidst the throng of customers and wees, smiling serenely. He thumps crying babies. He is amazed when the car he runs in front of actually hits him. Joe is ten and mentally disabled. He's funny, fascinating and maddening, and this memoir tells his moving story, but also argues that until we know Joe's life, we can't understand our own. Through [...]

An exceptionally haunting memoir that also shows us what it is to be really human. In a hardware store, Joe sits on a display toilet amidst the throng of customers and wees, smiling serenely. He thumps crying babies. He is amazed when the car he runs in front of actually hits him. Joe is ten and mentally disabled. He's funny, fascinating and maddening, and this memoir tells his moving story, but also argues that until we know Joe's life, we can't understand our own. Through philosophy, psychology and medical research, the author explains how we are mind-readers, how we make sense of other people and how we understand guilt and innocence, and shows that Joe sets our humanity in sharp relief. But in that case, is Joe part of it? The author who asks that outrageous question is Joe's father. [less]

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Let me hear your voice: a family's triumph over autism

MAURICE, Catherine

1998    323 Pages    (Robert Hale)

ISBN 10: 0709063466

This is the profound moving story, told by their mother, of how two children were rescued from of autism - and the first account in which diagnosis, therapy and authentic recovery are fully documented. From the opening page, when we are present at the first birthday party of Ann-Marie Maurice, readers of this extraordinary book enter deeply into the life of the Maurice family. We witness their rising anxiety as Anne-Marie, not long after that first birthday, begins to lose the words she has [...]

This is the profound moving story, told by their mother, of how two children were rescued from of autism - and the first account in which diagnosis, therapy and authentic recovery are fully documented. From the opening page, when we are present at the first birthday party of Ann-Marie Maurice, readers of this extraordinary book enter deeply into the life of the Maurice family. We witness their rising anxiety as Anne-Marie, not long after that first birthday, begins to lose the words she has learned, to behave in bizarre ways, to become 'a person with a self' - and their response when they learn the truth - Diagnosis: autism; Prognosis: incurable. We follow their frantic search for anyone who might offer hope, we follow their prayers and finally their providential discovery of intensive behavioural therapy - a treatment that has been documented to lead to dramatic improvement, and in some cases full recovery from autism. We are with the Maurices as they scramble to set up a home programme using the principles of applied behavioural analysis; we share their anguish and doubts as the difficult therapy proceeds, and their anger and frustration with professionals who subscribe to the 'blame-the-mother' theory of autism, and with those who, while condemning behavioural therapy as 'mechanistic ' and 'inhuman', prey on desperate parents by offering false hopes and anecdotal accounts of 'miracles'. With the Maurices we rejoice as Anne-Marie begins to 'come back' with and we feel their renewed pain as Michel, born just a few days before Anne-Marie's diagnosis, shows symptoms of the same illness. Finally, we know the profound joy and thankfulness, when the day arrives that the two children and their older brother, Daniel, can play together like any other siblings, and Anne-Marie's kindergarten teacher reports that she has 'taken off like a rocket'. A powerful, inspiring and beautifully written account a family's struggle and triumph, ‘Let me hear your voice’ is unforgettable. [less]

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Life at the edge: living with ADHD and Aspergers syndrome - the true story of Luke's life with labels

GREENMAN, Jan

2006    124 Pages    (Jan Greenman)

ISBN 13: 9780955498206   

This book is the true story of a boy called Luke. It is his story, but because we are his family, it is our story too. Almost every aspect of Luke’s behaviour is unwrapped in terms that both professionals and parents alike will find helpful. His labels came slowly, separately and in many ways too late... Luke has so many labels that he had his own business cards printed with all the letters after his name. Like a lot of children on the autistic spectrum, he is hell on two legs: - funny, [...]

This book is the true story of a boy called Luke. It is his story, but because we are his family, it is our story too. Almost every aspect of Luke’s behaviour is unwrapped in terms that both professionals and parents alike will find helpful. His labels came slowly, separately and in many ways too late... Luke has so many labels that he had his own business cards printed with all the letters after his name. Like a lot of children on the autistic spectrum, he is hell on two legs: - funny, angry, aggressive, misogynistic, politically incorrect, pedantic and very insightful into his own condition. He is a toddler emotionally with the intellect of a twenty-year-old all wrapped up in a teenager’s body. [less]

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Like colour to the blind: soul searching and soul finding

WILLIAMS, Donna

1999    239 Pages    (Jessica Kingsley Publishers)

ISBN 10: 1853027200

This is the last of three volumes of autobiography, in which Donna Williams recounts the story of her struggle with autism. Following on from ‘Nobody Nowhere: The Remarkable Autobiography of an Autistic Girl’ and ‘Somebody Somewhere: Breaking Free from the World of Autism’, this volume tells of Donna's relationship with Ian, a man with difficulties similar to her own. She describes how they learn to admit to, and live with, their feelings for one another, as they [...]

This is the last of three volumes of autobiography, in which Donna Williams recounts the story of her struggle with autism. Following on from ‘Nobody Nowhere: The Remarkable Autobiography of an Autistic Girl’ and ‘Somebody Somewhere: Breaking Free from the World of Autism’, this volume tells of Donna's relationship with Ian, a man with difficulties similar to her own. She describes how they learn to admit to, and live with, their feelings for one another, as they search for a true sense of self. [less]

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Loving Olivia: bringing up my autistic daughter

ASTOR, Liz

2006    242 Pages    (Rodale International Ltd.)

ISBN 10: 140508815

This is the moving story of devastating disability in a world of privilege. "Why is my story of bringing up a child with autism in any way different from all the other stories? The more I ask that question, the more reasons there seem to be. For a start, I don't know anyone with a name like Astor - and title to boot - who has told their story. Many people within the aristocracy still lock their skeletons firmly in the cupboard." Liz Astor's honest and personal account - of [...]

This is the moving story of devastating disability in a world of privilege. "Why is my story of bringing up a child with autism in any way different from all the other stories? The more I ask that question, the more reasons there seem to be. For a start, I don't know anyone with a name like Astor - and title to boot - who has told their story. Many people within the aristocracy still lock their skeletons firmly in the cupboard." Liz Astor's honest and personal account - of coming to terms with the fact that things weren't quite right' with her daughter Olivia; of accepting Olivia's limitations while struggling to do and to get the best for her; of having to balance this daughter's needs with the needs of the rest of her extensive family; of fighting to raise public awareness of autism; of the myriad treatments, therapies and exercises that the author has been in able to put to the test and the results of which she shares; of feelings ranging wildly from deep despair and rage to intense happiness and pride - shows that there is much for us all to learn from those who suffer from this profound disability. ‘Olivia's story’ offers hope and inspiration for children like Olivia and those who love them. [less]

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Marching to a different tune: diary about an ADHD boy

FLETCHER, Jacky

1999    122 Pages    (Jessica Kingsley Publishers)

ISBN 10: 185302810

This text is a day-by-day account of how Stefan Fletcher, a boy diagnosed with ADHD, unusual and difficult behaviour affects and disrupts family life. The author describes in detail the struggles, embarrassments and triumphs her family experiences throughout a four-year period of Stefan's childhood. The diary ends with an expression of the family's love for Stefan - as he approaches adolescence, they will learn new ways to cope with the challenges of his behaviour, applying the [...]

This text is a day-by-day account of how Stefan Fletcher, a boy diagnosed with ADHD, unusual and difficult behaviour affects and disrupts family life. The author describes in detail the struggles, embarrassments and triumphs her family experiences throughout a four-year period of Stefan's childhood. The diary ends with an expression of the family's love for Stefan - as he approaches adolescence, they will learn new ways to cope with the challenges of his behaviour, applying the knowledge they have gained through experience. The book gives a different perspective to the understanding of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder - it describes this complex set of behaviours from the inside. The last chapter gives a clinical description of ADHD; the appendices contain useful addresses for more information and support networks, and a list of recommended reading. [less]

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Not stupid: the heartbreaking, inspiring true story of one mother's fight to rescue the lives of her children from autism

KENNEDY, Anna

2008    299 Pages    (John Blake)

ISBN 13: 9781844545070   

Turned away by no fewer than 26 special needs schools when searching for appropriate educational facilities for their boys, Anna and Sean were down - but not out. Anna was determined to prove that for children like their sons, the challenges of growing up with autism - to demonstrate to the world that they were simply Not Stupid - did not have to end in defeat. Through sheer guts and determination, they turned their situation into a victory by establishing a centre of excellence for the care and [...]

Turned away by no fewer than 26 special needs schools when searching for appropriate educational facilities for their boys, Anna and Sean were down - but not out. Anna was determined to prove that for children like their sons, the challenges of growing up with autism - to demonstrate to the world that they were simply Not Stupid - did not have to end in defeat. Through sheer guts and determination, they turned their situation into a victory by establishing a centre of excellence for the care and support of those with autism. With more than half a million people in Britain affected by autism, it is little wonder that their school quickly became over-subscribed - proof that educational provision in this field is inadequate in the United Kingdom today, and proof also that it is still possible to transform a vision into reality through simply not giving up. Anna's story, and that of her ever-improving sons, is a beacon of inspiration for parents of special needs children all over the country. Not Stupid offers readers a rollercoaster of emotions but most of all it offers a real sense of hope for those whose lives are affected by autism. [less]

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Only a mother could love him: how I lived with and triumphed over ADHD

POLIS, Ben

2006    182 Pages    (Hodder Mobius)

ISBN 10: 0340838930

Ben Polis attended six different schools, served (he estimates) over 3,000 hours of detention, and drove his entire family into counselling. But against the odds, with a combination of self-taught concentration techniques and sheer determination, he made it through the education system to university. This is his triumphant story – and a remarkable look inside the mind of a person with ADHD. From his unique perspective, Ben describes what it’s really like to feel those constant [...]

Ben Polis attended six different schools, served (he estimates) over 3,000 hours of detention, and drove his entire family into counselling. But against the odds, with a combination of self-taught concentration techniques and sheer determination, he made it through the education system to university. This is his triumphant story – and a remarkable look inside the mind of a person with ADHD. From his unique perspective, Ben describes what it’s really like to feel those constant inexplicable impulses, to get all that medication, to desperately want to be ‘normal. Ben’s inspiring, frank and often funny account will enlighten every parent who’s ever despaired of their seemingly uncontrollable child; every teacher who’s ever vented frustration at a student who just won’t pay attention; every kid who has ever wondered ‘Why does everyone hate me?’ and indeed anyone who wants to understand the world of an ADHD child. [less]

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Passing for normal: Tourettes, OCD and growing up crazy

WILENSKY, Amy

1999    211 Pages    (Pocket Books)

ISBN 10: 1847390153

Amy Wilensky was eight years old when she started to suffer from Tourette syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The apple of her father's eye and a pretty, high achieving young girl, she watched as her body began to do things she couldn't control, her mind lurch and veer in ways she didn't understand. Ostensibly illogical, Amy's fears and compulsions ranged from an irrational dread of odd numbers, to a love of multiples of six; from denying herself water, to an [...]

Amy Wilensky was eight years old when she started to suffer from Tourette syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The apple of her father's eye and a pretty, high achieving young girl, she watched as her body began to do things she couldn't control, her mind lurch and veer in ways she didn't understand. Ostensibly illogical, Amy's fears and compulsions ranged from an irrational dread of odd numbers, to a love of multiples of six; from denying herself water, to an impulse to stockpile rotting food; from needing to touch wood to ward off harm, to balancing on the edge of the subway platform. This involuntary dimension to her life was bewildering and potentially crippling. Now a young woman and a powerful witness to her own dysfunction, Wilensky looks back on the emotional fall-out of this socially disabling condition. By turns tragic and comic, her gripping narrative extends our understanding of the complex human mind and, with subtlety, humour and an eye for the absurd, challenges our notion of what it is to be 'normal'. [less]

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Real person: life on the outside, A

GERLAND, Gunilla

1997    254 Pages    (Souvenir press)

ISBN 10: 0285633988

From her earliest years Gunilla Gerland knew that she was 'different'. In this remarkable book she writes with poignant clarity of a childhood in which, surrounded by her family, she was nevertheless alone. Her behaviour, reactions, feelings, fears and perceptions, prompted by inner compulsions she could not control, provoked constant scolding, rejection and blank incomprehension. Unable to function like other people, she struggled in vain to fit in, to be recognised, despite her differences, as [...]

From her earliest years Gunilla Gerland knew that she was 'different'. In this remarkable book she writes with poignant clarity of a childhood in which, surrounded by her family, she was nevertheless alone. Her behaviour, reactions, feelings, fears and perceptions, prompted by inner compulsions she could not control, provoked constant scolding, rejection and blank incomprehension. Unable to function like other people, she struggled in vain to fit in, to be recognised, despite her differences, as 'a real person'. No one seemed able to realise that she could not help being the way she was. Only in her twenties did the author discover that she had a form of autism known as Asperger Syndrome. She read avidly on the subject; at last she could hold her head up, confident that her 'differentness' was due to a know and identifiable biological disorder. Offering startling and deeply moving insights, ‘A real person’ will be of immense value to families and professionals striving to understand autistic people in their care. But it also stands firmly on its own as a work of the highest literary quality, a beautifully written account of an agonising childhood. [less]

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Reason I jump, The

HIGASHIDA, Naoki

2013    180 Pages    (Sceptre)

ISBN 13: 9781444776751   

The No. 1 Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller. Written by Naoki Higashida when he was only thirteen, this remarkable book provides a rare insight into the often baffling behaviour of autistic children. Using a question and answer format, Naoki explains things like why he talks loudly or repeats the same questions, what causes him to have panic attacks, and why he likes to jump. He also shows the way he thinks and feels about his world - other people, nature, time and beauty, and himself. [...]

The No. 1 Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller.

Written by Naoki Higashida when he was only thirteen, this remarkable book provides a rare insight into the often baffling behaviour of autistic children. Using a question and answer format, Naoki explains things like why he talks loudly or repeats the same questions, what causes him to have panic attacks, and why he likes to jump. He also shows the way he thinks and feels about his world - other people, nature, time and beauty, and himself. Abundantly proving that people with autism do possess imagination, humour and empathy, he also makes clear how badly they need our compassion, patience and understanding.

David Mitchell and his wife have translated Naoki's book so that it might help others dealing with autism and generally illuminate a little-understood condition. It gives us an exceptional chance to enter the mind of another and see the world from a strange and fascinating perspective.

The book also features eleven original illustrations, inspired by Naoki's words, by the artistic duo Kai and Sunny. [less]

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Somebody somewhere: breaking free from the world of autism

WILLIAMS, Donna

1999    208 Pages    (Jessica Kingsley Publishers)

ISBN 10: 1853027197

This is the second volume of Donna Williams' autobiography in which she recounts the story of her struggle with autism. Taking up the thread where ‘Nobody Nowhere: The Remarkable Autobiography of an Autistic Girl’ left off, this volume tells of her ongoing battle to overcome the compulsions and obsessions of autism, and her increasingly successful efforts to lead a normal life. The third volume, ‘Like Colour to the Blind: Soul Searching and Soul Finding’ continues [...]

This is the second volume of Donna Williams' autobiography in which she recounts the story of her struggle with autism. Taking up the thread where ‘Nobody Nowhere: The Remarkable Autobiography of an Autistic Girl’ left off, this volume tells of her ongoing battle to overcome the compulsions and obsessions of autism, and her increasingly successful efforts to lead a normal life. The third volume, ‘Like Colour to the Blind: Soul Searching and Soul Finding’ continues the story. [less]

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Thinking club: a fimstrip of my life as a person with autism

LOWERY, Alex

2015    120 Pages    (Dolman Scott Ltd)

ISBN 13: 9781909204669   

Alex's book outlines his detailed recollections of his life so far from his earliest memories at the age of 3 right up to the age of 19. His memories are acute and he can give virtual word for word, action by action descriptions of the whole of his life. This, he explains in the book, is one of his special skills that adds meaning to events that have happened every day as he enjoys retreating to a quiet place to run through the day in film-like sequences. What makes his story come alive is his [...]

Alex's book outlines his detailed recollections of his life so far from his earliest memories at the age of 3 right up to the age of 19. His memories are acute and he can give virtual word for word, action by action descriptions of the whole of his life. This, he explains in the book, is one of his special skills that adds meaning to events that have happened every day as he enjoys retreating to a quiet place to run through the day in film-like sequences. What makes his story come alive is his analysis of what he was feeling and how others around him have responded. This is a heightened level of awareness of self and others that is supposed to be missing in the autism spectrum but Alex uses his sensitivity to share some poignant moments as well as sources of humour. Lynn Plimley, writer, researcher and trainer in ASC [less]

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