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Autism has reached epidemic proportions and has been identified as the fastest growing, serious developmental disability in the United States, where nearly 2 million people are affected.
For parents, therapists, and teachers, one of the most frustrating aspects of autism and similar disorders is that children affected are not social. They do not interact with others--even parents and siblings--and often seem unaware of the people and environment around them. In this work, therapist Ann E. Densmore takes us with her as she works with children with autism in a remarkable program she has developed to lead such children into the social world. They travel to farms, ponds, playgrounds, and other natural settings where they interact with peers and siblings, and with the novel therapist whose play therapy has brought remarkable results for many children. Using a conversational style that allows readers to "look over her shoulder" during sessions, Densmore explains her approach to inspiring social contact, Narrative Play. A child moves through four stages in this approach, finally combining language, play and narrative skills to interact with others. The work includes interviews with parents of children with autism, and will be of wide interest to professionals, teachers, parents, and family members who can use this approach to help a child move into the social world. This work, and the theory it promulgates will also interest students of psychology, special education, pediatrics, neurology, and speech.
"Ann Densmore has some great new ideas for taking therapy out of the "therapy room" and bringing it into the real world. Families of children with autism or Asperger's interested in a "play based" therapy approach will find this book full of innovative strategies for working with their kids in more natural environments."--Suzanne Wright, Co-founder, Autism Speaks
"Unfortunately, a diagnosis of autism is given to children with very different causes of their symptoms; hence, this word does not represent one disease. This book will be welcomed by those parents of children called autistic who can be helped in a major way by the wise, compassionate therapeutic practices Ann Densmore clearly describes."-- Jerome Kagan, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Harvard University
Forewords by Edward M. Hallowell, MD; and Margaret Bauman, MD. 272 pages. 2007