Saturday, August 18, 2018

The Politics of Autism By Bryna Siegel, Ph.D. Review

Increasing numbers of autism diagnoses. Hysteria around vaccines. The mystique of the autistic savant… Amid so much buzz about autistic spectrum disorders (ASDds) there’s painfully little focus on how we can better support children with autism and their families right now. Today.

Enter distinguished autism scientist Bryna Siegel, Ph.D., who has devoted her career to seeking solutions to these immediate issues. In her new book, The Politics of Autism (Oxford University Press, September 3, 2018), Siegel examines our culture’s ideas about autism and the reasons for the misconceptions driving counter-productive decision-making in both the public and the private realms.

The Politics of Autism also exposes just how vulnerable the autism community remains from a political and social perspective. Treatment options and choices about the futures of individuals with ASDs are often driven by deeply flawed policies and regulations, the book explains. This has led to misguided priorities that neglect the real needs of most individuals and families living with autism.

From the diagnosis process and its impact on access to services, to flaws in autism education programs and treatments, The Politics of Autism offers a 360 degree look at the contradictions and misinformation obstructing the way to a more constructive dialogue and effective solutions.


The book does a deep dive on the following topics, among many others:

What is fake news about autism, and what’s real?
Real reasons the number of autism diagnoses is increasing.
Why “full inclusion” and “core curriculum” emphases in autism education may be inappropriate and even harmful.
Why we should ditch traditional academic curriculum for most with ASDs, instead focusing on independence and vocational skills to help prevent ASDs adult unemployment (which is rampant).
What’s behind excessive costs of some autism treatments, and how can it be changed?
How the Internet lures parents into trying miracle ‘medicines,’ creates myths and disinformation, and can result in disillusionment when costly fake cures don’t work.
Unpacking the vaccine wars - and why vaccines do not cause autism.

Ultimately, The Politics of Autism argues that we can do much better. Reaching into the very depths of identity politics, Siegel recommends a sensible, policy- and science- based way forward.

I received a complimentary copy. 

Cassandra's Review-  Some of my children have special needs so I know firsthand about the majority of what is being covered in this book.  Of course I will never be an expert and finding all the information I can is always a valuable resource.  Every child is super different no matter how many books are specializing in making them all the same. 

The book holds a lot of great discussions starters and topics that people could both agree and disagree with. Everyone can give an option or option on the topic and think that is is just that simple but nothing with autism is simple and everyday it takes work.

 If you are a parent or caregiver of a special needs child, just remember to be patient and understand that your child is trying their best already, there should be no expectations or added pressure, just be there to help and guide, not make life overwhelming based on how you feel they should be. 

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