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Let Me Hear Your Voice: A Family's Triumph over Autism Paperback – Jul 19 1994


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Let Me Hear Your Voice: A Family's Triumph over Autism + Beyond the Autism Diagnosis: A Professional's Guide to Helping Families + You and Others: Reflective Practice for Group Effectiveness in Human Services
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1 edition (July 19 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0449906647
  • ISBN-13: 978-0449906644
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 1.7 x 20.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 318 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #27,839 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Kirkus Reviews

A vivid and uplifting story of how a family pulled not one but two children out of the torments of autism--and into a normal life. Maurice is the pseudonym for a mother of three whose courage and determination overrode the pessimistic prognosis that ``autism is incurable.'' She was already pregnant with her third child when her one-year-old daughter, Anne-Marie, was diagnosed as autistic. Maurice and her husband cast about to find not merely a relief from symptoms but a cure, finally adopting the form of behavior modification found successful in carefully controlled studies by O. Ivar Lovaas, a California-based researcher. The program involved a daily regimen of repetitious training, the resetting of patterns of behavior that had gone awry, and the replacement of sympathy by discipline, interrupting the child's repetitive motions and self- withdrawal no matter how she resisted or cried. The family hired a teacher skilled in behavior modification who worked with Anne-Marie every day, as well as a speech therapist who visited three times a week. To counter what she at first felt were the mechanistic techniques of behavior modification, Maurice also took up ``holding therapy,'' which calls for holding the child tightly for at least an hour a day. It was the behavioral techniques that succeeded, and, in less than two years, the girl was pronounced ``normal''--as was Maurice's younger son, also autistic. Unlike other recent books about children who've recovered from autism (e.g., Donna Williams's Nobody Nowhere, 1992), this offers not only hope but a road map, with names, addresses, and phone numbers for Lovaas and others. (Caveat: Behavioral therapy, Maurice says, benefits measureably only about 50% of autistic kids.) Powerful in her detailing and in her intelligent, honest observations, Maurice offers new strength to parents who refuse to give up on their autistic children. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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may have been signs, but we didn't know what they indicated, not then. Indeed, for every crying incident, there were as many scenes of charm and joy. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Julia on July 26 2002
Format: Paperback
As the mother of a daughter who was diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder just after her second birthday, I felt especially raw when I read this book.
If I hadn't read this book, I may have delayed ABA therapy for my own daughter. My home-based, daycare-based program has shown better results than any other therapy that we had tried before I found out about ABA. Although I have not had heard the words "recovered" or "cured", I have seen a marked improvement in my child's language, behavior and social skills. Her pediatrician remarked that the outstanding progress that we've seen is typical in about 5% of children who are diagnosed with ASD.
Thank goodness for this book. It gave me hope and set me in motion. It showed me that I could use ABA in combination with other ongoing therapies. I didn't need to choose a single path.
I don't have the funds nor the lifestyle of the author. What I do have is a drive to find a way to bring my daughter back into the world of human contact.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 12 1999
Format: Paperback
I was very offended and concerned with the nature of this book. The author seemed to be on a mission to "drag" her children from autism, as she said. Autism is no picnic, as I know...I have a 4-year-old son with autism, and I work with him every day. I am so worried that others will read this book and it will continue to perpetuate the belief that autism can be cured. As a mother and a physician, I know that it CAN be managed. A family, and the world can learn so much from an autistic child. My son has beautiful gifts and talents, and we embrace him for who he is. We work in earnest on his behalf. Finally, readers should be warned that this book strongly advocates, even pushes, the Lovaas method. Lovaas is not a method for most people to consider, because of it's requirements. Lovaas greatly disrupts a family, and a marriage. There are SO many wonderful options for autistic children, and if you are looking for an honest discussion of autism, and living with autism, and managing it while retaining your own identity, your marriage and a healthy family life, I suggest you search for additional books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 27 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a well-written and interesting book. Catherine Maurice's devastating criticisms of the fraudulent therapies which attempt to make mothers feel guilty for their children's autism would alone make the book worth reading.
However, I have three very major concerns about the book.
The first is that Maurice presents Lovaas's version of ABA as the only possible option, ignoring the fact that there are other educational methods (such as TEACCH, Greenspan, or the various other techniques within the behavioural field such as the Koegels' modifications of ABA), which also have solid scientific evidence backing them.
Secondly, she also ignores the experts who have raised doubts about Lovaas's claim to have effected complete "recoveries" from autism, and who have pointed out that greatly improving a child's level of functioning, while vitally important, is not the same as a "cure". I've seen too many parents who read Maurice's book and immediately start to plan on the basis that after a few years of Lovaas treatment, their child will be completely normal. The overwhelming balance of evidence is that as a rule autistic children grow up to be autistic adults. We (I have high-functioning autism) may grow up to be independent, happy and successful adults, such as Dr. Temple Grandin, but we remain "different", and often experience great stress from the constant pressure placed on us by families and society to be more "normal".
Thirdly, I was worried by the way in which she constantly treats autism as a tragedy and a fate worse than death, and speaks of dragging her children kicking and screaming out of autism, forcing them to be "normal".
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Format: Paperback
I found this book heart-rending, inspiring and informative. Maurice describes vividly the pain, terror, hope and confusion that a diagnosis of autism precipitates. She also presents in a clear-eyed way the difficulties of dealing with doctors, the seduction of fake miracle cures, and the continuing difficulties of parenting an autistic child when everyone's suddenly an expert on your kid and how to raise him or her. Maurice is a devout Catholic and described beautifully how religion affected her journey: I found these sections gutsy and inspiring. She does an excellent job providing an introduction to the best-documented treatment for autism, applied behavioral analysis. She also provides resources at the back for setting up programs, getting them paid for etc. Maurice does not make herself out to be perfect in this book: at times she is hot-headed, impatient and a bit of a know-it-all who has to bite back sharp comments. However, this is real life and I am glad she showed her strengths and weaknesses. If the book has any negative, it is that in one chapter Maurice spends a chunk preaching about how people today are not disciplining their kids. Since her oldest kid is only 7 when this book ends, it seems a bit premature to give others advice on the best way to raise children who will lead productive, responsible lives. However, she may be right. In any case, I recommend this book wholeheartedly.
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