’This book looks at different situations that cause anxiety within children who are autistic’
Title: Autism Supporting difficulties. (Handbook of ideas to reduce anxiety in everyday situations)
Author: Gaynor M Jackson
Publisher: Troubador Publishing Ltd
Reviewer: Elizabeth Watson, nursery support worker and undergraduate: Early years, Play Work and Education, Anglia Ruskin University
What was it like?
This book looks at different situations that cause anxiety within children who are autistic and suggests different ways of helping them to deal with this explaining what often happens when a child with ASD becomes anxious (parents avoiding the situation) and explains how parents can overcome this. This book then goes into how parents can adapt and help their children to lessen their anxiety of the situation. I was rather sceptical about this book as reducing anxiety within children, regardless of where they are on the autistic spectrum, is not as simple as the title initially suggested. Saying this, however, on reading this book I was pleasantly surprised to find that Jackson suggests different ways that parents can help their autistic children. However, she is aware that anxiety cannot just be distinguished by placing a few separate approaches in place. I found the case studies throughout the book to be a effective way of Jackson explaining the ideas and approaches in a real life setting and with these case studies enabling the issues and the resolutions to be brought into real life, which makes it relatable for parents of autistic children.
Strengths & weaknesses:
When I initially read this book, I felt that, as a practitioner working in an Early Years setting, the book was rather simplistic and was lacking in academic writing. However, on reading it a second time I felt that the simplistic way it was written made it an easy read, and if I were a parent of an autistic child I would appreciate the simplicity. The examples of picture cards throughout show clearly what Jackson is trying to portray; by using these illustrations (as well as the simple narrative) it enables this book to be accessible for parents of varying academic levels.
This book is focused on autistic children, however I believe that it could have been focused on children and parenting in general. The Autistic Spectrum Disorder, as is said in the name, is a spectrum disorder which means that we all feature on this spectrum whether at the severely autistic end or the less severe end; I feel that if any parent were to read this book they would notice similarities with their own children and the children described in this book, and could use some of the ideas and approaches for improving the wellbeing of their children.
What were the highlights?
This book looks at varying situations, which can cause anxiety within children. These range from brushing their teeth to going to the doctors and the hospital. It is able to clearly highlight that there are many different situations that can cause anxiety within children who are on the autistic spectrum and offers support and advice on how to manage this.
Who should read it?
After reading this I would suggests that this book would benefit the parents of children who, regardless of where they are on the autistic spectrum or get anxious about new situations, not to mention practitioners such as myself who encounter these behaviours on a daily basis.
autism supporting difficulties