Autism books: Writers share journeys with autism, Asperger’s

As autism spectrum disorders have become more common, the trickle of books, articles and films about living with these afflictions has become a flood.

Amidst the multitude, perhaps the most helpful titles are the autobiographies written by autistics themselves, whose accounts of their struggles to achieve a normal life provide inspiration and proof that success is possible.

These memoirs provide insight into lives whose challenges are nearly incomprehensible to those of us not facing them.

via Diane Bronson: Writers share their journeys with autism, Asperger |

Many Alzheimer’s Patients Find Comfort in Books

Familiar music can engage those with Alzheimer’s when almost nothing else can, researchers have shown. Now it appears that books written for these patients may have a similar effect.

Researchers have found in a number of studies that reading can improve a patient’s quality of life. The meanings of written sentences can be understood by — and prompt cogent responses from — even those who have difficulty handling verbal exchanges.

via Many Alzheimer’s Patients Find Comfort in Books – The New Old Age Blog –

Rodney Peete: ‘Not My Boy!’ Facing the trauma of autism diagnosis

In “Not My Boy!”, former NFL quarterback Rodney Peete writes about dealing with his son R.J.’s autism. After meetings with teachers and appointments with specialists, the Peetes were soon given their son’s devastating diagnosis: “We think your son is unteachable,” “He’s never going to be able to look you in the eye” and “He’ll never be able to tell you he loves you.” After a period of anger and denial, Peete joined his wife, actress Holly Robinson Peete, in her efforts to help their son.

via ‘Not My Boy!’ Facing the trauma of autism diagnosis – Family and health.

Author tells tragedy of his family’s early-onset Alzheimer’s

Gary Reiswig recounted his family’s history with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, including their role in the discovery of a genetic marker for Alzheimer’s, in the book “The Thousand-Mile Stare: One Family’s Journey Through the Struggle and Science of Alzheimer’s.” Here is an interview with Reiswig from the Dallas Morning News:

How did you hear or see Alzheimer’s affect your family?

There was an observed family rumor that my great-grand- father Christian was senile by age 43. He died in 1903. I knew my grandfather well. I would hold his hand on walks so he wouldn’t get lost. He got to where he couldn’t speak and was silent with “the thousand-mile stare.” My dad’s oldest sister, Pearl, would put the ice tray in the stove instead of the fridge. She grew angry and violent and had to go into a care facility. Another of my dad’s younger sisters got so disoriented and forgetful she could not take care of her son, who had to live with relatives. … One of the largest impacts of this disease is that, when we finally understood what was happening, it blew our family apart.

via Author of ‘Thousand-Mile Stare’ recounts tragedy of his family’s early-onset Alzheimer’s | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News | Life/Travel: Health.

Fire safety book for children with autism

The National Fire Protection Association has a new fire safety book for children with autism. It has been reviewed by autism educators and encourages parents to develop a fire safety plan with their autistic kids. Here’s a report from KOTV:

QUINCY, MASS – A new, interactive fire safety book has been designed to help children with autism spectrum disorder respond appropriately to the sound of a smoke alarm.

“I Know My Fire Safety Plan,” produced by The National Fire Protection Association NFPA, can also be helpful to children with other developmental disabilities, according to Lisa Braxton of the NFPA public education project.

“Autism is the fastest growing developmental disability. It is important that we reach children on the autism spectrum and encourage parents and caregivers to use this new NFPA educational tool to help children understand what they should do to escape safely when they hear the smoke alarm sound,” Braxton said.

The book uses easy-to-follow steps in a story format, acknowledging the apprehension children with autism may feel at the sound of a smoke alarm or presence of fire trucks and firefighters.

via Fire Safety Book Designed For Kids With Autism – – Tulsa, OK – News, Weather, Video and Sports – |.