Being a therapist for folks with Autism is likely the best job ever. In the last few years, resources available to therapists and families have exploded where Autism is concerned (yay!). That said, we often find that we have a more resources for some parts of that population (pronounced: children) than other parts of that population (ahem, really smart adults with college degrees). Further, those of us who are lucky enough to be therapists for adults on the spectrum are often grasping to find relevant research.
Happily, help is on the way! Dr. Valerie Gaus just released the 2nd edition of her fabulous book Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Dr. Gaus takes great pains to explain her intended audience for this book, and yay for us, her intended audience is therapists like me, with clients like mine: smart, articulate, sensitive, anxious, disorganized folks just like my clients! What a relief to hear that there is growing research available to provide guidance for therapists like me! (To my clients reading this: you were already in good hands. Also, I’m not overhauling my practice. Breathe. No big changes pending. I was already generalizing research over to our work, and now I have a book to point to, and a few more ideas to add to the mix.)
Back on track: Dr. Gaus provides a framework for understanding smart but struggling adults with ASD, provides the background on CBT, and provides a blend of research and clinical examples of how to put this work into action. The research presentation helps me remember to behave like the scientist-practitioners that psychologists are supposed to be, and the clinical examples reminded me of the fun and challenging conversations that have taken place in my office over the years.
This book is not for the faint of heart. This book is perfect for grad students, for therapists wanting to be better clinicians for their clients with ASD, and for seasoned therapists in the ASD lane who want a high five for making smart guesses over the years. I would say that your clients might not love reading this book, yet so many of my clients are such researchers of the ASD experience that they may like this book, too.
Dr. Gaus has a more hands-on book, Living Well on the Spectrum, that may be more practical for clients. I’ll let you know after I finish that one!
In any event, thank you to Dr. Gaus for continuing my education. This book should be mandatory reading for any clinician who is or plans to work with adults with ASD. Great job, Dr. Gaus!