Nonfiction Book Award Status: Silver
Author Name: Jonathan Alderson
How many times have you heard that people with autism lack creativity? That they reject affection or suffer from mental retardation? As the number of children diagnosed with autism surges, researchers and educators are racing to define the amorphous nature of this spectrum disorder and its wide range of symptoms. But in trying to characterize this widely varying group, people often perpetuate a host of limiting and potentially damaging misconceptions in the media, in academic journals and even in textbooks. These myths don’t holdup when examined, and they don’t reflect Jonathan Alderson’s experience working with more than 2,000 children and families over two decades.
Provocative and meticulously researched, Challenging the Myths of Autism looks at the most prevalent fallacies, explains how they developed, examines why dispelling them matters and, most importantly, sets out a new understanding that will change the way parents and professionals view autism. With examples from his own practice, Alderson charts a whole new realm of possibilities for treatment and research.
Jonathan Alderson is the Founder and Director of the Intensive Multi-Treatment Intervention program, a unique and innovative method that integrates behavioural, social, cognitive, physical, and biomedical treatments for autism. This approach is the culmination of his experience as Curriculum Specialist Coordinator with Teach For America in Houston, Texas, an internship with the Harvard Family Research Project and eight years at the Autism Treatment Center of America in Massachussetts in their Son-Rise Program working as Administrator and senior family therapist. In his two decades as an autism specialist, teacher, trainer and parent coach, Jonathan has had the honour to serve more than 3000 families, designing and directing home-≠-based programs in Canada, the USA, England, Ireland, Holland, Spain, Australia, Israel and Mexico.
Jonathan holds a Masters degree from Harvard University and an Honours BA in developmental and educational psychology from Western University in Ontario, Canada. He also spent a year at the Sorbonne University of Paris. Jonathan served as chair of the Board of Drum Artz Canada, a trustee of the Awesome Foundation and is currently on the advisory committee for the Seneca College Behavioural Sciences program. His book, Challenging the Myths of Autism sparked a national conversation about how we treat and think about people with autism and won the 2012 International Book Award for Best Parent-Resource.