Understanding Autism on the Field – Kathy Stanton
I tread back into the realm of Kindle Unlimited books with this book that indicated it contained coaching tips for autistic children.
As with many books on Kindle Unlimited, this is a short offering – coming in at 24 pages total in e-book format. 6 of these pages are dedicated to the front cover, splash page, contents, copyright information and self-promotion of another book – so 18 pages of content.
The book starts by congratulating me on downloading it which I find a bit patronising really so that didn’t get me off to the greatest of starts, which wasn’t improved when poor grammar and awkward phrasing was apparent from the first chapter.
This condition makes the person with autism difficult to converse with and relate to others. With autism, all parts of the brain work, but fail to work together and function accordingly. Almost all children and adult with autism will, at all times, have some dilemma relating to others.
Also, as you can see from the quote above – not the kind of approach or understanding of autism that automatically fills one with confidence that the book is going to contain great insights into supporting autistic children into sports. In fact, the biggest positive I can find from the first chapter is that it isn’t anti-vaccine and instead reminds readers how important vaccinations are for their children.
The awkward grammar and syntax make it difficult to follow the flow of the paragraphs at times – although the first three chapters seem to be the same chapter but written in an increasingly expanding way. All three discuss the symptoms or presentation of autism (with some extra about the causes), except it gets increasingly more specific:
b) Frequent and cliched types of activites, interests, and recreation. Examples consist of…
h) Same body movements, or patterns of activities, such as spinning, hand flapping, and head shaking and banging;
Chapter 4 is where the sport-specific information starts and there really isn’t much in the way of substance to it. Chapter four is predominantly a list of sports that would be good for an autistic child – mainly solo activities as opposed to more social complex team sports – and chapter five is about how to coax autistic children into doing the sports mentioned in chapter four. That’s the whole book.
It seems to have somewhat good intentions – especially evident as it is clear that never should an autistic person be forced into trying a sport and that they should retain the final say but it’s buried beneath this awkward worded and at times inaccurate information. Also, considering the presentation of autism frequently described within the text is of a child with quite significant support needs – there is no discussion of how sports and activities should be adapted to allow autistic children to access them. As for coaching tips, which are a part of the front-page subtitle? There doesn’t seem to be any of them – unless coaching is taken to mean ‘encouraging a person to even try in the first place’, which is arguably a form of coaching.
There’s just not enough substance here to make it worthwhile.