A groundbreaking book on autism, by one of the world’s leading experts, who portrays autism as a unique way of being human—this is “required reading....Breathtakingly simple and profoundly positive” (Chicago Tribune).
Autism therapy typically focuses on ridding individuals of “autistic” symptoms such as difficulties interacting socially, problems in communicating, sensory challenges, and repetitive behavior patterns. Now Dr. Barry M. Prizant offers a new and compelling paradigm: the most successful approaches to autism don’t aim at fixing a person by eliminating symptoms, but rather seeking to understand the individual’s experience and what underlies the behavior.
“A must-read for anyone touched by autism... Dr. Prizant’s Uniquely Human is a crucial step in promoting better understanding and a more humane approach” (Associated Press). Instead of classifying “autistic” behaviors as signs of pathology, Dr. Prizant sees them as part of a range of strategies to cope with a world that feels chaotic and overwhelming. Rather than curb these behaviors, it’s better to enhance abilities, build on strengths, and offer supports that will lead to more desirable behavior and a better quality of life.
“A remarkable approach to autism....A truly impactful, necessary book” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review), Uniquely Human offers inspiration and practical advice drawn from Dr. Prizant’s four-decade career. It conveys a deep respect for people with autism and their own unique qualities. Filled with humanity and wisdom, Uniquely Human “should reassure parents and caregivers of kids with autism and any other disability that their kids are not broken, but, indeed, special” (Booklist, starred review).
Barry M. Prizant
Simon & Schuster
Simon & Schuster
Simon & Schuster
Simon & Schuster
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
My son was diagnosed with ASD in January 2012 and it took us 3 years to put all the "pieces" together to get where we are today. Many of that 3 years of exploration, failure and discovery could have been reduced in duration if we had access to Dr. Pizant's book.
So many therapists (both in school and private operations) don't "get it". They focus on the deficits and "extinguishing behaviors" when they should be asking "why is that behavior present"? My wife and I finally figured much of it out after trying therapy after therapy and enduring years of meltdowns and stress.
The "answers" for our son were 1) Our son has sensory over-responsivity. Parties, amusement parks, recess are all massively over-stimulating and stressful. We don't avoid these things but know he can handle only a few hours. 2) He has some challenges reading and absolutely hated to do it UNTIL we discovered how to use his "enthusiasms"...
"Uniquely Human" is by far the most beautiful and sensitive book about autism I have ever read and way overdo! Hopefully more and more people will "get it" as a result of reading this book and individuals on the spectrum will be treated with the dignity and respect they deserve!! Maria Teresa Guanabara (parent of Justin Canha, young adult with autism, whose journey is mentioned in this fabulous book)
As a sibling of a person with autism, I really enjoyed reading Uniquely Human - the combination of firsthand experiences, stories, and Dr. Prizant’s earnest enthusiasm for individuals with autism allowed me to connect deeply with the book. “Autism isn’t an illness. It’s a different way of being human.” One of the central themes of the book is the importance of perspective. I really appreciated the author’s emphasis on listening, asking “Why?”, and trusting one’s gut instinct.
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