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Parenting Your Child with Autism


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Parenting Your Child Through the Challenges of Autism takes a revolutionary approach to helping parents find and implement the most effective and powerful treatments for children with autism.

About the Author

M. Anjali Sastry, PhD, teaches system dynamics and global health delivery at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her innovative action learning lab has put close to two hundred graduate students to work on challenges on the front lines of delivering health care in resource-constrained settings, mostly in Africa. As a member of the Global Health Delivery Project, she collaborates on field research at Harvard Medical School. She lives with her family on the Boston-Brookline border. Blaise Aguirre, MD, is an expert in child, adolescent, and adult psychotherapy, including dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and psychopharmacology. He is medical director of 3East at Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital, a residential DBT program for young women exhibiting self-endangering behaviors and borderline personality traits. He has been a staff psychiatrist at McLean since 2000 and is widely recognized for his extensive work in the treatment of mood and personality disorders and personal development in adolescents. He is on the psychiatry faculty at Harvard Medical School and lives in Lexington, MA.


"Parenting Your Child with Autism is a guide to managing your life and family when you have a child on the autistic spectrum. This is not a book of answers, but a book of methods and processes. Sastry and Aguirre teach you how to find the help you need, how to manage all the meetings with doctors and educators, and how to evaluate all the conflicting opinions and recommendations. Most importantly, they teach you how to do the best for your child."
--Brian G. R. Hughes, parent, entrepreneur, and university trustee

"As a lay person who has both worked with adolescents for over thirty-five years and is an aunt to a nephew with Asperger's syndrome, I found this book captivating. The simple (without being simplistic) explanations of the autism spectrum and the practical guides to coping left me feeling empowered. The mystery of autism was swept away and, in its place, I was left with a feeling of hope. Although there is currently no cure for autism, Sastry and Aguirre are encouraging with their advice. They assure caregivers of children with ASD that they can significantly improve the quality of life of those affected by autism. A very practical and optimistic read."
--Linda Schuyler, cocreator and executive producer of the award-winning Degrassi television franchise

"Finally, a book for parents of children newly diagnosed with autism that's accurate and practical without being intimidating or alarmist. This how-to guide will help parents focus their energy and efforts so that their child benefits. I wish I'd had this introduction to autism when my daughter was first diagnosed."
--Alison Singer, president of the Autism Science Foundation

"As indicated by its subtitle, this book is not a how-to manual, nor is it a book that advocates one view or another regarding this very complex disorder known as autism. The authors have presented a guide for parents, families, and caregivers with regard to understanding what is and is not known about the disorder, evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the child, establishing medical and educational teams to best support the needs of the child and the family, becoming an effective advocate for the child, handling potential family stresses, and negotiating a multiplicity of interventions and treatment options. This book is well-researched and exceptionally well-balanced in its approach and is a thoughtful, common-sense guide to setting reasonable expectations and successfully negotiating the world of the autistic child."
--Margaret L. Bauman, MD, associate professor of neurology at the Harvard Medical School, director of the Autism Research Foundation and the Autism Research Consortium, and founding director of the Lurie Center for Autism

"This book is highly readable and makes the complexity of autism highly accessible to parents, who have an urgent need to know how to help their child. The authors bring to the book their invaluable mix of first-hand and professional experience."
--Simon Baron-Cohen, FBA, professor of developmental psychopathology at Cambridge University and director of its Autism Research Centre

"A refreshing, parent-centered approach that empowers parents to go with their gut feeling while also providing realistic advice that promotes critical thinking. This book is an inclusive guidebook with practical notes for parents at all stages of the autism diagnosis."
--Lisa Borges, executive director of the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism, Inc.

"This wonderful book will bring comfort and practical help to many families as they search for creative ways to relieve their children's distress, develop new skills, and find areas of joy. The biggest gift that Anjali M. Sastry and Blaise Aguirre offer is that their shared wisdom will spare some parents from the painful and slow trial-and-error process of sifting through the sea of options they encounter on the Internet. Their book is deeply respectful of every parent as the true expert on their own unique child's strengths, interests, and challenges. It is also uniquely thoughtful about mindfulness and other ways that parents can sustain themselves along the journey. This is an important addition to the family literature on autism spectrum disorders."
--Joseph Gold, MD, chief medical officer at McLean Hospital

"This book is a user-friendly, insightful, and practical guide for parents of children with autism. It empowers parents to take a leading role as an expert in their child's care and to bring their invaluable expertise as the primary care providers to the table. I highly recommend this book and believe that it will be of enormous benefit to children with autism and their families."
--Roya Ostovar, PhD, author of The Ultimate Guide to Sensory Processing Disorder

"A parent who has been there and a compassionate doctor combine to create a winning combination of practical assistance and compassion. I recommend this book to any parent who wants to learn more about taking care of their child with autism--and themselves."
--Ken Duckworth, MD, medical director at National Alliance on Mental Illness and assistant clinical professor at Harvard Medical School

"Feeling overwhelmed and confused about what to do to help your autistic child? Help awaits you with this book, an authoritative yet deeply empathetic and highly practical guide to navigating the challenging terrain of autism, from getting a diagnosis to choosing the right therapy. I wish my wife and I had had such an enormously useful primer when my son was diagnosed with autism in the late 1990s. It would have been our bible, like What to Expect When You're Expecting is for pregnancy. The authors have done parents of children with autism a huge service with this book, which, above all, offers a truly hopeful way forward."
--Peter Tyson, father of a fifteen-year-old autistic boy

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