Break Through Autism – Amina Athman
A short book written by the mother of an autistic boy. It contains anecdotes from around the time her son Ahmed was diagnosed with autism, then some advice, and then this “Seven Step Home-based Program” that is mentioned in the tagline of the book.
This book actually has a surprising happy, upbeat, and overall positive attitude about it and there are sections of good advice that can be forgotten in other books like this (what I think of as ‘Parent Autism Books’):
All in all, I believe that autism in itself is not dreadful. What is dreadful, however, is not understanding it. It can be extremely frustrating for you and for those who love and care for your child if no one understands his seemingly unusual behavior.
Now I’m not saying that the above quote is something outlandish that should be lavished with praise for it’s positive attitude – I’m just pointing out that in this genre of books, it’s an attitude that often isn’t present. In fact, there isn’t much in the way of woe-is-me, everything-is-terrible in this book at all. Although that’s not to say that everything this book is upbeat about is necessarily a good thing, since the general attitude is once again that autism is something to be broken out of and once the child has broken out of their autism everything is wonderful.
This was without a doubt a huge risk, and perhaps a naive one, but I could not afford to concentrate on the negative. All I knew was that Ahmed was going to beat autism and that I was going to do everything in my power to help him.
There are snippets of good advice throughout the book, but most of it is general things that you would probably be able to find out an internet forum or from a few conversations at the school gate with other parents of autistic children. As for the whole Seven Steps part of it…well the steps themselves are really vague and not very informative. Most of them fall under general categories of: don’t give up, look after yourself, start early and other things like that. I mean, it’s not like I was expecting Athman to have come up with her own intervention or therapy that she used with her son, but to call it a Seven Step program seems a bit pointless.
Is it worth reading? I think this book is free on Kindle Unlimited but even though it has it’s good moments, I find it difficult to actually recommend downloading it just because there’s not that much in the way of substance to it.