Challenging the Myths of Autism by Jonathan AldersonChallenging the Myths of Autism by Jonathan Alderson

Challenging the Myths of Autism

byJonathan Alderson

Paperback | August 23, 2011

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2012 International Book Award

2015 Non-Fiction Authors Association Silver Award

2016 Mom's Choice Gold Award

2017 National Parenting Products Award

How many times have you heard that people with autism lack creativity? That they reject affection or suffer from mental retardation? As the number of children diagnosed with autism surges, researchers and educators are racing to define the amorphous nature of this spectrum disorder and its widerange of symptoms. But in trying to characterize this widely varying group, people often perpetuate a host of limiting andpotentially damaging misconceptions in the media, in academic journals and even in textbooks. These myths don’t hold up when examined, and they don’t reflect Jonathan Alderson’s experience working with more than 2,000 children and familiesover two decades.

Provocative and meticulously researched, Challenging theMyths of Autism looks at the most prevalent fallacies, explainshow they developed, examines why dispelling them mattersand, most importantly, sets out a new understanding that will change the way parents and professionals view autism. With examples from his own practice, Alderson charts a whole new realm of possibilities for treatment and research.

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JONATHAN ALDERSON is an autism treatment specialist and Founder/ Director of theinnovative Intensive Multi-Treatment Intervention Program. A graduate ofHarvard University, with experience as a Curriculum Specialist Coordinator withTeach For America, he has trained at the Son-Rise Program in Massachusetts,where he worked as program admi...
Title:Challenging the Myths of AutismFormat:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.68 inPublished:August 23, 2011Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1554688701

ISBN - 13:9781554688708

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from A must read A must read for parents, therapists, educators and anyone who works with children along the autism spectrum. As the book title indicates, Jonathan challenges the myths of autism, therefore individuals should have an open mind when reading this. This book provides insight on some of the complexities and dimensions of autism and provides new perspectives on some of the statements many of us hear, or have been told about autistic children. I have come to better understand many of the issues he talks about in his book, especially after having had the opportunity to provide therapy through Jonathan’s IMTI program and later on (elsewhere) providing IBI therapy for clients. Strongly recommended for (ABA) therapists - likely an eye opener for many.
Date published: 2018-04-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved it! I have no family members with autism, yet I read the book and I recommend everyone to read it even if you are not around any people with autism (which you absolutely are and you may not know of it!). When I started working with a child with autism as a therapist, I needed to read some resources, I was so lucky to get a copy of "Challenging the Myths of Autism". This is an excellent, updated and factual book. Not all of those myths I had believed before reading it, the book itself helped me to prevent believing more myths about autism in advance. I know all the concepts in this field is so dynamic and changing, but I so agree with the author about many things in the book like respecting the body dignity and ritualized and restricted behaviors of people with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This book was/is a rich university for me and I guess for many individuals. In each line, I learned a new thing. I learned so many scientific expressions and approaches. I noticed that the most of the examples of children with ASD come from Jonathon's own work during 20 years of experience and all of the facts he has cited are based on scientific research and based on professors and Medical Doctors' works. This is so humble of the author that he has not referred even a single fact to his own rich experiments. I regret that the book is just in English, while there are many people around the world that they need to read this book. "Challenging the Myths of Autism" needs to be translated to many languages to help changing the quality of lives of many individuals with ASD and other developmental disorders.
Date published: 2017-10-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Important Read As a mother of a son diagnosed with autism, Jonathan’s book resonated with me deeply. His multi-treatment approach strikes such a strong chord of common sense and the undertone of empathy, understanding and genuine love is something so positive and important for everyone to read who wants to better understand a child with autism. Jonathan’s book provided me with a renewed sense of optimism and inspired me to further think more creatively about how we approached our son’s treatment. It is such an emotional and deeply exhausting experience for a family to try to determine how to best help their child and often very deeply difficult for the child themselves to be understood and supported. Rarely are these very real issues addressed in conventional approaches to therapy for families.
Date published: 2014-05-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A heartfelt view of the world of autism "Challenging the Myths of Autism" unlocked hope in my heart for self growth. I have worked as an ABA therapist for over four years and Jonathan Alderson's personal recollections and real-life examples have given me a profound perception and realization of the world of Autistic children. I am astonished at how well written, straightforward and objective this book is. Jonathan does not take sides, he backs up each and every claim he makes with facts and a realistic viewpoint. Parents, therapists, teachers and the general public will benefit immensely from this book because they will enter a world of autistic people which is rarely portrayed with so much sensitivity and understanding. After reading this book, I no longer view Autism as a disorder but as a different experience of life which we should, as neurotypical people, learn from. Autistic people need acceptance before treatment. Jonathan invites us to explore their world and gain their acceptance through respect and love. People with Autism should not be made to follow a standard but given the opportunity to choose their own lives with the help that Jonathan Alderson's therapy, IMTI, provides; he is a professional and a friend to the children he has helped and continues to help. I have found my answers in Jonathan's book to become a better therapist. More importantly, I have become a more aware and conscious human being so needless to say, this is a MUST READ and the benefits of the layout of the chapters is that you can come back to it, make use of the helpful sources Jonathan provides and take your time as your eyes are opened example by example.
Date published: 2013-12-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A MUST READ Challenging the Myths of Autism is a must read for parents and educators alike. Jonathon Alderson uses his years of experience and expertise to outline and debunk the myths that surround people with autism that so many operate according to. We are often taught that those with autism cannot communicate, are not social beings and are unable to imagine. This is simply not the case and this book explains why. As a teacher, therapist and auntie to children with autism this book was extremely important in informing my practice and daily interactions. This book challenges the reader to move from a place of tolerance to one of acceptance and understanding. I sincerely recommend enjoying this quick and informative read. It is full of amusing anecdotes and historical facts. As said before it is a must read!
Date published: 2013-10-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Real Deal I have been recommending Jonathan and his book to colleagues and parents since being introduced to Intensive Multi Treatment Intervention in 2011. He walks the talk of challenging the myths and finding the right strategies to help children, backed up by his years of study and hands on intervention. You will be energized to look at each child with new insight and information that will help you provide the right support and programming. Read it and start making a difference!
Date published: 2013-09-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from MUST HAVE!! I read this book and then quickly went out and bought 6 more copies for all the the people/educators involved in my son’s life. As a parent of a child with autism I wanted to share Jonathan Alderson’s insight into how we can change the way our children are perceived. Even the doctors, social workers and some therapists showed pity and did not share any sense of hope at his diagnosis. This book is filled with useful information and wonderful stories of acceptance and love that parents and all those in the child's life should hear when the child is first diagnosed and should be reminded of as time goes by. Our children are capable of so much more than the diagnosis suggests. Jonathan offers a new sense of hope, knowledge and power to continue to find ways to help our children.
Date published: 2012-08-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Must-Read! I've worked with kids on the autism spectrum for over four years mostly in ABA/IBI (behavioural therapy). Challenging the Myths of Autism made me rethink what I've learned and assumptions I long held to be true about autism. The insights in this book are enlightening and motivating. The chapter about repetitious behaviors (stims) resonated most with me since I was taught to see them as negative and worked hard to reduce them. The research, science and real-life examples that Alderson weaves together present a more accepting, more positive, and more humane approach – and one that, in my own experience, gets better results. Most refreshing, the author isn’t biased or selling one particular method. Instead it’s clear he’s personally tried many different strategies and ideas and he shares this wealth of practical experience with us. His book helps us to recognize the potential within each child. Parents, grandparents, teachers, and therapists or friends of a child should read this book! Seriously – there’s nothing else like it out there! Apparently it recently won the 2012 International Book Award for Best Parenting/Family Resource and they’re using it in courses at San Francisco State University!
Date published: 2012-08-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from MUST-READ ! As a practitioner and masters student in the area of autism I have to insist that Challenging the Myths of Autism is one of the most relevant and uplifting books surrounding autism that exists today. Through each chapter of this book I found myself re-thinking my previous learning and broadening my view of the current beliefs surrounding children with autism. Not only does Alderson back up his claims with real-life anecdotes from his successful private practice, but he shows empirical evidence and an in-depth historical account of each myth to allow the reader a complete understanding of each claim. This book is one that can transform the way autism is viewed by all of society and allows for a positive evolution of the current trends in treatment of those with all levels of autism. More than anything, this book views children as people before viewing them through their disorder. The perception of behaviour as purposive allows for more insight into the mind of a child with autism than is common of most professionals. It is no wonder that this book recently won the 2012 International Book Award for Best Parenting/Family Reference. The author takes an unbiased approach to a large number of theoretical bases and common practices, and introduces a multi-faceted approach to children with autism that sees each child as unique with their own set of specific needs. The book celebrates interactions with each and every child in a way that should be prevalent in all work with children. A must read for anyone who has had the joy of working or interacting with someone who has autism.
Date published: 2012-07-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Blessing to Families. Challenging the Myths of Autism is a book that is packed with heartwarming stories and useful information that will aid so many families in opening up their minds to new ways to help their children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Professionals and families alike should read this book as it would change the way they treat kids with Autism. It would fill people's hearts with new hope and strength to continue on in finding suitable treatments and never giving up on children with ASD. Definitely a must read!!!
Date published: 2011-12-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A must for parents and professionals As a parent with an autistic son I can't help thinking of the day when the doctor gave us his diagnosis. Cold ,callus and a few paper hand outs. We left with no insight into what we were going through or about to go through. Jonathan's book would have made an instant impact. The insight this book will give you will change your vision of your child forever and every medical professional should read it, absorb it and offer it , no,mandate, that the parents, caregivers, therapist and all who are capable take this book to heart. Children are special, all children.
Date published: 2011-09-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Revolutionary book Challenging the myths of autism is a must read for families and educators of children with autism. Jonathan challenges these myths through hard research and personal stories of the many children he's worked with. This book shows how these myths limit the potential of our children. I would want everyone in my daughter's life to read this book. It has a beautiful message of love, hope, and acceptance. I am excited about how this book will change the way people look at someone with autism. The personal stories about these children really demonstrate their true potential and the struggles they have to deal with. As an educator and mother of a daughter with autism I feel this book should be in every school and library.
Date published: 2011-09-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful resource Challenging the Myths of Autism is a wonderful resource for anyone in contact with persons (especially children) with autism. Alderson writes with warmth, understanding, and great experience about the myths that have grown up around this challenging condition. He explains the origins of seven myths and discusses the evidence refuting them. The book is well researched, with footnotes, index, and a large list of resources (books and websites); at the same time, it is very readable for the non-scholar. The subtitle of the book, "Unlock New Possibilities and Hope", is very apt. I have personally seen the difference made in the life of an autistic child who has been treated with the respect, love and dignity advocated here. I highly recommend this book for parents, educators, friends, therapists, and medical professionals.
Date published: 2011-09-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from MUST READ!! As a parent of a child with autism, I recommend this book to everyone who has a child with autism in their lives: parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, educators and doctors. All will benefit from Mr. Alderson’s wisdom and vast hands-on experience. In seven packed chapters, the author delves into seven pervasive myths about people with autism. Packed with references to current research, Jonathan Alderson seamlessly blends science with real life anecdotes. His passion for his work and for our children with autism comes alive. An engaging author, this book will appeal to everyone—regardless of their knowledge of autism. Anyone who reads this book will gain a better understanding of autism.
Date published: 2011-08-29

Editorial Reviews

"Bringing to bear decades of experience and a fresh open-mindednessrarely found among autism experts, Jonathan Alderson tackles the conventional wisdom that has systematically undervalued our children, terrified parents, and blocked innovation in treatment. If you really want to understand an autistic child, dump your old textbooks and readthis book instead."
- Jill Escher, "Autism Tomorrows" ()