Top Five Books Reviewed so Far
This post, as the title might suggest, marks the 100th blog post I have made to Books On Autism. Whilst the Sensory Series and Communication Series have contributed to these 100 posts there are currently over 60 book reviews.
So, looking back over these reviews I decided to give my top five books that I’ve reviewed so far. I did contemplate doing five best and five worst but in all honesty I’d rather celebrate the good books that are out there than be reminded of the awful ones. So with that typed, onto the list.
5. Autism Spectrum Disorders and De-escalation Strategies: The books that I found most useful and rated highly will always be framed by the fact that I work with autistic students. Obviously being autistic will have an influence, but I’ve always found practical books about working in the field appeal to me more. This is one of the few books that openly discusses the area of restraint and how it is at times necessary, but also provides a variety of techniques and methods to de-escalate situations before they get the point of needing physical interventions. The author has a very matter-of-fact style of writing and does not shy away from discussing difficult topics.
4. Different…Not Less: This book is the only one on my top five that appealed to me more as an autistic person than as a professional. When I was first diagnosed I was not happy about any of it, I didn’t want it to be true and I became quite despondent over the matter. I certainly did not achieve this sense of relief that so many claim accompanied their diagnosis. I still have some of these feelings but this book helped. The writings in this book are all from adults older than myself who shared how they achieved what they did. It showed me that I could circumvent things to achieve what I wanted to achieve, and learn different ways to deal with things that cause me problems. I guess it made me feel less alone.
3. Sensory Stimulation: Differences in Sensory Processing have finally become a part of the diagnostic criteria – although their existence within autism have been well known within the community for decades. This book is full of information on sensory needs and sensory processing and has loads of ideas of ways to introduce sensory components into day-to-day life. Even if the ideas are too complicated for straight-forward use (which many are for the students I work with) there are so many parts of them that can be extracted and adapted for use that this is a relatively minor complaint.
2. A History of Autism: I know that Neurotribes has become the much celebrated piece of writing on the history of autism, but I haven’t got around to reading that yet so I can’t compare it. Feinstein’s writings are objective and detailed – he discusses and interviews people involved in the changes to the field of autism that I didn’t even know about before reading his book. Yes his book has a focus on the non-autistic professionals and little on autistic people, and that is the one let-down of this text, but the quantity and quality of information he provides is still impressive.
1. Access and Inclusion for Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder: This was one of the first books I read after I started working in a Resourced Provision. Frustrated and let-down by the limitations and lack of awareness that seemed to restrict everything that I tried to do within the Provision, I sought out something from someone who had already gone through it. I found Hesmondhalgh’s writing engaging and relatable – the problems and barriers I was butting up against, he and his team had spent years dismantling. Whilst they didn’t win every battle, they made huge changes and reading about the team and the students that they worked with gave me renewed energy for my own work.
So that is my top five, what are yours? Maybe they’re books you read long before looking at this blog, or maybe there’s one that you were encouraged to borrow or buy after reading about it on here. Either way, let me know in the comments section.
Until next time.