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Challenging the Myths of Autism: Unlock New Possiblities and Hope
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on December 24, 2013
"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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on July 24, 2013
As a graduate in the field of ABA and having the opportunity to work with individuals with Autism in different settings and communities for over 4 years, Challenging the Myths of Autism was one the most inspiring and insightful book that I have ever come across during the past few years.
The sections about the myth of socialization and evidence were the most interesting parts of the book for me. When we mention an evidence-based approach in the field, ABA is the first and most of the times the only approach that comes to mind either in college/university settings or in practice settings such as communities and organizations. Alderson definitely challenges such outdated rigid beliefs by introducing fresh and different perspectives based on the current studies and his own research through his therapy and practice of IMTI.
I highly recommend this book to parents, caregivers, school-teachers, medical professionals, students, professors, therapists, and anyone who is somehow engaged in this field. It is a well-structured, research-based, empowering, and positive book. Each chapter walks you through a completely different and refreshing path of theories and findings, which consequently bring a more positive, engaging, and strong relationship between the child, the family/caregivers, and the therapist.
If you ask me about one thing that was glued to my mind after reading this book, I would say it was Alderson’s beautifully-stated yet simple argument regarding his multifaceted approach to treating Autism. He says “The underlying belief of the IMTI model is that the factors contributing to your child's behaviour, communication and learning challenges are multifaceted: therefore, treatment should be multi-faceted as well.”
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on May 5, 2013
As a special education teacher who has worked with children with autism in both Canada and the U.K., I highly recommend this book to educators, school staff, parents, extended family members and friends. The book is research-based, accessible, and positive and leaves one feeling very hopeful about options for children with autism. The author makes outstanding connections between research and his own therapeutic practice and leaves the reader feeling inspired, well-informed and ready to take action. His commitment to supporting families, educators and other support people is clear. Thank you for writing this important book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 12, 2012
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
on July 28, 2012
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
on September 20, 2011
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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on September 20, 2011
Challenging the Myths of Autism is a wonderful resource for anyone in contact with persons (especially children) with autism. Alderson writes with warmth, understanding, and great experience about the myths that have grown up around this challenging condition. He explains the origins of seven myths and discusses the evidence refuting them.

The book is well researched, with footnotes, index, and a large list of resources (books and websites); at the same time, it is very readable for the non-scholar.

The subtitle of the book, "Unlock New Possibilities and Hope", is very apt. I have personally seen the difference made in the life of an autistic child who has been treated with the respect, love and dignity advocated here. I highly recommend this book for parents, educators, friends, therapists, and medical professionals.
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on August 28, 2011
As a parent of a child with autism, I recommend this book to everyone who has a child with autism in their lives: parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, educators and doctors. All will benefit from Mr. Alderson's wisdom and vast hands-on experience. In seven packed chapters, the author delves into seven pervasive myths about people with autism. Packed with references to current research, Jonathan Alderson seamlessly blends science with real life anecdotes. His passion for his work and for our children with autism comes alive. An engaging author, this book will appeal to everyone regardless of their knowledge of autism. Anyone who reads this book will gain a better understanding of autism.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 16, 2011
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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