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About Barry M. Prizant
Barry M. Prizant, PhD, CCC-SLP, (www.barryprizant.com) is among the world’s leading authorities on autism, and is recognized as an innovator of respectful, person- and family-centered approaches for individuals with autism and neurodevelopmental disabilities. With close to fifty years of experience as a scholar, researcher, and international consultant, he is an adjunct professor at Brown University, a certified speech-language pathologist and director of Childhood Communication Services, a private practice. Barry is coauthor of The SCERTS Model: A Comprehensive Educational Approach, now being implemented in more than a dozen countries. He has published four books, more than 130 articles and chapters and has received many awards, including the Honors of the American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association (their highest recognition), the Princeton University Eden Foundation career award in autism and the "Divine Neurotypical Award" of GRASP, the world's largest autistic self-advocacy organization. He has been a two time featured presenter at the United Nations on World Autism Awareness Day. Barry lives in Cranston, Rhode Island, with his wife, Dr. Elaine Meyer, a clinical psychologist and nurse, and Associate Professor in the Harvard Medical School. Barry is a performing percussionist and has a specific interest in the impact of the arts on enhancing quality of life for individuals with disabilities and their families. He sits on the boards of two inclusive theatre companies co-founded by and including autistic actors.
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A groundbreaking book on autism, by one of the world’s leading experts, who portrays autism as a unique way of being human—this is “required reading....Breathtakingly simple and profoundly positive” (Chicago Tribune).
Autism therapy typically focuses on ridding individuals of “autistic” symptoms such as difficulties interacting socially, problems in communicating, sensory challenges, and repetitive behavior patterns. Now Dr. Barry M. Prizant offers a new and compelling paradigm: the most successful approaches to autism don’t aim at fixing a person by eliminating symptoms, but rather seeking to understand the individual’s experience and what underlies the behavior.
“A must-read for anyone touched by autism... Dr. Prizant’s Uniquely Human is a crucial step in promoting better understanding and a more humane approach” (Associated Press). Instead of classifying “autistic” behaviors as signs of pathology, Dr. Prizant sees them as part of a range of strategies to cope with a world that feels chaotic and overwhelming. Rather than curb these behaviors, it’s better to enhance abilities, build on strengths, and offer supports that will lead to more desirable behavior and a better quality of life.
“A remarkable approach to autism....A truly impactful, necessary book” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review), Uniquely Human offers inspiration and practical advice drawn from Dr. Prizant’s four-decade career. It conveys a deep respect for people with autism and their own unique qualities. Filled with humanity and wisdom, Uniquely Human “should reassure parents and caregivers of kids with autism and any other disability that their kids are not broken, but, indeed, special” (Booklist, starred review).