As always, parents have the best suggestions. A parenting team just suggested The Loving Push by Temple Grandin and Debra Moore, and they were right to suggest that I read this book. This book will now be required reading for all parents with a child on the spectrum. (Yes, this is now a rule. Read the book.)
The Loving Push employs examples from a dozen individuals on the spectrum, with quotes from the “kids” and their parents. (Sometimes the kids are in their 50s, so less like a kid, but these participants were certainly reflecting on their upbringing.) Some of the information will sound familiar (the need for routines, the need for chores, sensory management, and pushing your child to try things despite discomfort). Happily, the familiar information will bring you some comfort. The newer information will require you to up your game. You can do that: you can revise your parenting skills to help your child continue to grow and develop.
There are two chapters that stood out for me. Chapter 4: Stretching Your Child Outside Their Comfort Zone brought me to a standstill. I could only read a few pages at a time because I was quickly reminded of so many people with whom I am currently working. Sometimes I would actually stop reading, email a parent, and suggest the book – mid sentence! If you are raising a child on the spectrum, you know what it feels like when your child digs in and seems unable to move forward. Grandin and Moore offer ideas regarding how to reduce anxiety, frustration, and sensory overload, and how to move forward.
Secondly, Chapter 6: DANGER AHEAD: Compulsive Gaming and Media Recluses is perhaps the best chapter ever written for parents of a child on the spectrum. If you have a child using video games, this chapter is an absolute must read. If your child is too young yet to start video games, perfect! Read the chapter and avert a crisis. This chapter has clear, direct, research based recommendations regarding video game use and the impact that excessive using has on folks on the spectrum, their families, and development.
Read The Loving Push. (Direct, clear instructions. This should work, right??)
My newly revised list of book recommendations:
- For adolescents on the Spectrum:
- Socially Curious, Curiously Social by Michelle Garcia Winner and Pamela Crooke
- For parents raising someone on the spectrum:
- The Loving Push by Temple Grandin and Debra Moore
- For those married and on the spectrum:
- The Journal of Best Practices by David Finch
If you have other books to recommend, please let me know!!