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Challenging the Myths of Autism: Unlock New Possiblities and Hope [Paperback]

Jonathan Alderson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Aug. 22 2011
How many times have you heard that people with autism lack creativity? That they reject affection or suffer from mental retardation? As the number of children diagnosed with autism surges, researchers and educators are racing to define the amorphous nature of this spectrum disorder and its wide range of symptoms. But in trying to characterize this widely varying group, people often perpetuate a host of limiting and potentially damaging misconceptions in the media, in academic journals and even in textbooks. These myths don't holdup when examined, and they don't reflect Jonathan Alderson's experience working with more than 2,000 children and families over two decades. Provocative and meticulously researched, Challenging the Myths of Autism looks at the most prevalent fallacies, explains how they developed, examines why dispelling them matters and, most importantly, sets out a new understanding that will change the way parents and professionals view autism. With examples from his own practice, Alderson charts a whole new realm of possibilities for treatment and research.

Frequently Bought Together

Challenging the Myths of Autism: Unlock New Possiblities and Hope + Carly's Voice: Breaking Through Autism
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  • Carly's Voice: Breaking Through Autism CDN$ 13.71

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Review

"Bringing to bear decades of experience and a fresh open-mindednessrarely found among autism experts, Jonathan Alderson tackles the conventional wisdom that has systematically undervalued our children, terrified parents, and blocked innovation in treatment. If you really want to understand an autistic child, dump your old textbooks and readthis book instead."
- Jill Escher, "Autism Tomorrows" ()

About the Author

JONATHAN ALDERSON is an autism treatment specialist and founder of the innovative Intensive Multi-Treatment Intervention Program. A graduate of Harvard University, with experience as a Curriculum Specialist Coordinator with Teach For America, he has trained at the Son-Rise Program in Massachusetts, where he worked as program administrator and a senior therapist trainer. Now based in Toronto, Jonathan is a sought-after speaker and instructor who works with children and families around the world. In 2010, Jonathan was nominated as one of The Globe and Mail’s “25 Transformative Canadians.”


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most insightful read of the year! Aug. 12 2012
By Joe G.
Format:Paperback
I've worked with kids on the autism spectrum for over four years mostly in ABA/IBI (behavioural therapy). Challenging the Myths of Autism made me rethink what I've learned and assumptions I long held to be true about autism. The insights in this book are enlightening and motivating.

The chapter about repetitious behaviors (stims) resonated most with me since I was taught to see them as negative and worked hard to reduce them. The research, science and real-life examples that Alderson weaves together present a more accepting, more positive, and more humane approach – and one that, in my own experience, gets better results.

Most refreshing, the author isn’t biased or selling one particular method. Instead it’s clear he’s personally tried many different strategies and ideas and he shares this wealth of practical experience with us. His book helps us to recognize the potential within each child.

Parents, grandparents, teachers, and therapists or friends of a child should read this book! Seriously – there’s nothing else like it out there! Apparently it recently won the 2012 International Book Award for Best Parenting/Family Resource and they’re using it in courses at San Francisco State University!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MUST-READ! July 28 2012
By SFoster
Format:Paperback
As a practitioner and masters student in the area of autism I have to insist that Challenging the Myths of Autism is one of the most relevant and uplifting books surrounding autism that exists today. Through each chapter of this book I found myself re-thinking my previous learning and broadening my view of the current beliefs surrounding children with autism. Not only does Alderson back up his claims with real-life anecdotes from his successful private practice, but he shows empirical evidence and an in-depth historical account of each myth to allow the reader a complete understanding of each claim.

This book is one that can transform the way autism is viewed by all of society and allows for a positive evolution of the current trends in treatment of those with all levels of autism. More than anything, this book views children as people before viewing them through their disorder. The perception of behaviour as purposive allows for more insight into the mind of a child with autism than is common of most professionals.

It is no wonder that this book recently won the 2012 International Book Award for Best Parenting/Family Reference. The author takes an unbiased approach to a large number of theoretical bases and common practices, and introduces a multi-faceted approach to children with autism that sees each child as unique with their own set of specific needs. The book celebrates interactions with each and every child in a way that should be prevalent in all work with children.

A must read for anyone who has had the joy of working or interacting with someone who has autism.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for Parents and Professionals Sept. 20 2011
Format:Paperback
As a parent with an autistic son I can't help thinking of the day when the doctor gave us his diagnosis. Cold ,callus and a few paper hand outs. We left with no insight into what we were going through or about to go through. Jonathan's book would have made an instant impact. The insight this book will give you will change your vision of your child forever and every medical professional should read it, absorb it and offer it , no,mandate, that the parents, caregivers, therapist and all who are capable take this book to heart. Children are special, all children.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
This absorbing book impresses us, not only the with vast experience that Jonathan Alderson has had with families involved with Autism, and his scholarly research, but also, hidden within each of the stories he reveals an observant and compassionate heart. Families, educators and medical professionals - everyone who reads this book, will find themselves approaching their Autistic charges with a new perspective and a new heart, and some essential strategies that can change the way they view Autism. The frontiers of science are always looking to move forward in understanding. With this definition, this book is 'science' at its best - moving forward in understanding - assessing what has gone before, with a willingness to challenge the limitations and distortions of theories that have fossilized into assumptions and judgements, while offering new possibilities for re-defining the future of Autism.

Whether you are involved with Autism in any way or not, please read this book, as it will inspire you to understand that we are all unique, all different, and that it requires little more than a compassionate heart to respect the differences and enable each individual to find their own unique place in this world.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"Challenging the Myths of Autism" unlocked hope in my heart for self growth. I have worked as an ABA therapist for over four years and Jonathan Alderson's personal recollections and real-life examples have given me a profound perception and realization of the world of Autistic children. I am astonished at how well written, straightforward and objective this book is. Jonathan does not take sides, he backs up each and every claim he makes with facts and a realistic viewpoint. Parents, therapists, teachers and the general public will benefit immensely from this book because they will enter a world of autistic people which is rarely portrayed with so much sensitivity and understanding.

After reading this book, I no longer view Autism as a disorder but as a different experience of life which we should, as neurotypical people, learn from. Autistic people need acceptance before treatment. Jonathan invites us to explore their world and gain their acceptance through respect and love. People with Autism should not be made to follow a standard but given the opportunity to choose their own lives with the help that Jonathan Alderson's therapy, IMTI, provides; he is a professional and a friend to the children he has helped and continues to help.

I have found my answers in Jonathan's book to become a better therapist. More importantly, I have become a more aware and conscious human being so needless to say, this is a MUST READ and the benefits of the layout of the chapters is that you can come back to it, make use of the helpful sources Jonathan provides and take your time as your eyes are opened example by example.
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