Uniquely Human: Updated and Expanded: A Different Way of Seeing Autism Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
Winner of the Autism Society of America’s Dr. Temple Grandin Award for the Outstanding Literary Work in Autism
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).
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|Listening Length||11 hours and 48 minutes|
|Author||Barry M. Prizant PhD, Tom Fields-Meyer - contributor|
|Narrator||Barry M. Prizant|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||April 19, 2022|
|Publisher||Simon & Schuster Audio|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #3,116 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#4 in Autism & Asperger's Syndrome
#7 in Children's Health (Audible Books & Originals)
#8 in Medical Developmental Psychology
Reviewed in the United States on August 28, 2015
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I am so grateful I came across this book. It literally was exactly what I needed at just the right time. I have told everyone in my family how important it is to me that they get themselves a copy and read it. I have told my son's OT, ST and ABA therapists how much this has impacted me positively and how it really helped me see things from a much needed perspective. I loved every single sentence in this and I cannot recommend this book enough to ANYONE who wants some refreshing insight into ASD. Thank you so much for writing this. This book came into my life at exactly the right moment and I will use everything I've learned in this writing as much as humanly possible.
Knowing that we have many ways of coping, of communicating, of managing to survive if not thrive in this neurotypical world is essential to understanding who we are. Too many people — professionals and parents — think that autistics need to be forced into becoming as "normal" as possible."Uniquely Human" breaks that mould. Barry understands that neurotypicals and neurotypical social constructs should instead move toward inclusion of autistics just as they are. Of course, if an individual's behaviours are in some way harmful, then we would want to reduce the possibility of harm, just as we would want to do for anyone, autistic or not.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is either autistic themselves or for whom autism is a part of their lives, personally or professionally.
— Robert Watkins, autistic self-advocate, Neurodiversity Ambassador, autistic.ly
So many therapists (both in school and private operations) don't "get it". They focus on the deficits and "extinguishing behaviors" when they should be asking "why is that behavior present"? My wife and I finally figured much of it out after trying therapy after therapy and enduring years of meltdowns and stress.
The "answers" for our son were
1) Our son has sensory over-responsivity. Parties, amusement parks, recess are all massively over-stimulating and stressful. We don't avoid these things but know he can handle only a few hours.
2) He has some challenges reading and absolutely hated to do it UNTIL we discovered how to use his "enthusiasms" e.g. Star Wars, Minecraft, World War 2, to get his engagement
3) He can relate better to folks if they meet him in "his world" - from there he comes to trust you and is willing to enter your world.
We just finished a two-week trip to Europe where we employed lots of sensory supports (e.g. ear muffs), using a rental car rather than public transportation (which is loud, somewhat 'unpredictable' and out of our control), we alternated "big" sensory days (e.g. amusement parks) with "low" sensory days - watching TV and going to the pool. And he had NOT ONE meltdown.
We had to discover all of these strategies by ourselves largely.
Having more folks like Dr. Prizant we could have discovered these strategies MUCH earlier.
My one suggestion is that the book seems to under-estimate the effort that comes with convincing (often intransigent and overworked) schools to try new approaches. That more than anything was the most stressful part of the journey - because that's where our son receives the most "therapy" time. And if you can't get those changes done you have to either move schools, move district or home-school. In the end, the school system we attended could not put him in a smaller classroom with peers so we had to involve a professional advocate and lawyers to get an outplacement.
Sometimes you can be "positive" minded as much as you want but the school administration needs to know you will do all you can to get what your child needs.
That said, I plan to buy three or four copies for many of the autism therapists in our world. If everyone could adopt Dr. Prizant's viewpoint I think special needs educators would achieve massive improvements in results and parent's lives could become much less stressed and uncertain.