Autism is an epidemic.The Department of Health (United Kingdom), has estimated that 1 in 166 children under the age of 8 is affected.The figures in America are 1 in 150 children.Very scary and urgent statistics indeed.My son has Autism and I am constantly on the lookout for books relating to this subject. This author, Chantal Sicile-Kira also has a son with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and I found that for this reason her book was sincere and very readable.I felt like a "fellow mom" reading about someone else''''s experiences.But the book is much more than that.It is extremely informative and has great links to websites,books and places to get help, mainly in the United Kingdom.The author begins by explaining some myths about Autism, which include such things as "everyone with an ASD has a special talent - such as Rainman" through to the myth that people with autism "have no emotions and cannot get attached to anyone."Chantal then deals with what Autism Spectrum Disorders are,what signs to look for in your own children and she goes into great detail as to the Diagnostic Criteria for autism.What is very frustrating to parents of Autistic children is the fact that they (being scientists, medical professionals etc) have not as yet found a cause for this disorder. Chantal Sicile-Kira speaks in detail about the possible causes and what has already been investigated. Some of the possible causes include genetic predispositions,vaccinations,brain circuits and environmental factors, such as lead and aluminum.I found Chapter 4 of the book extremely helpful, it deals with "After the Diagnosis" and is very encouraging and practical for parents who have to face life after their child is diagnosed.
I found the author to be very realistic about what to expect and "how to feel".She provides much timely advice on how to take care of yourself mentally and physically after the trauma of a diagnosis.Chapter 5 deals with "Treatments,Therapies and Interventions". There is a wealth of knowledge in this chapter, as she lists the different types of therapies as well as organizations to contact and numerous books.The author then goes on to a chapter about family life and how the diagnosis affects various family members including the siblings of the affected child.She speaks about how to stay healthy and how to still enjoy the activities you engaged in before.She also discusses Schedules and going on holiday as a family, as well as a number of other factors regarding family life.Chantal Sicile-Kira does not leave us in the lurch regarding the future and dedicates a chapter to "Adults living and working with ASD''''s" which gives us a glimpse into what life may be like for our future adult autistic children.I found this book to be extremely informative and have found myself going back and reading certain sections over again. As mentioned before, the author lists a number of organizations, websites and books and so the book proves to be a reference guide and an invaluable resource for parents, teachers and health care professionals alike.