The aim of this book is to provide ideas and guidelines which will help parents, educators and children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) themselves learn to manage their difficulties.
Gaynor Jackson has worked in inclusive mainstream schools as an advisory teacher, working with young children with social communication difficulties and a range of special needs. Her most formative time has been working with children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in schools and during the course of her studies, which specialised on children with ASD. Having worked with numerous parents of children with ASD Gaynor has found many common difficulties, especially for parents of children who have been recently diagnosed. She has penned Autism Supporting Difficulties: Handbook of ideas to reduce anxiety in everyday situations
to provide ideas and re-enforcement as to how common some of these difficulties are, providing simple and informative tips about how children with ASD can be supported by their parents and professionals to manage their anxieties and difficulties.
From her work and studies with parents and professionals, she has selected a range of strategies and interventions which she has used to help children with ASD. These techniques are designed to help children overcome the daily difficulties that they encounter and, in most of these cases, have helped them learn to manage more effectively. The book contains many vignettes to illustrate how the ideas and strategies can work in real-life situations, and aims to shed light on underlying fears so that parents can deal with them early on – before children reach the ‘meltdown stage’.
“Children are individuals, no matter what they have in common. Autism is a spectrum of difficulties – and the degrees of difficulties and sensory issues are not uniform, but individual to each child. Sometimes we look too deeply, and sometimes not deeply enough,” comments Gaynor, underlining the importance of understanding each child’s personal needs and difficulties, rather than trying to apply the same techniques to everyone. There is no cure for autism, but Gaynor hopes that by learning to pre-empt some of the potential anxieties caused by the unfamiliar, parents, educators and the children themselves may be able to help manage their reactions and, in time, reduce some of their fears and anxieties.