If you have questions or concerns about your child's social, emotional, or behavioral development, you're not alone. The number of children affected by autism--an umbrella term for a wide spectrum of disorders that includes "classic" autism, Asperger's syndrome, and Rett syndrome--is growing every year. Most children are not diagnosed until they start school. But developmental problems can be recognized in infants as young as four months old. Early intervention can vastly improve a child's chances for a successful outcome and recovery. "Could It Be Autism? "provides vital information so you can recognize the red flags of developmental delays and begin treatment based on those first signs.
Nancy Wiseman is the founder and president of First Signs, the organization dedicated to educating parents, clinicians, and physicians on the early identification of and intervention for developmental delays. She is also the mother of a child who was diagnosed with autism at the age of two, and she draws on her own experiences as well as the latest research to present real strategies. Emphasizing warning signs, she describes the most important milestones at each stage of a child's growth, including things parents and pediatricians often overlook. She also empowers parents to act on their instincts and initial concern, rather than to "wait and see," which is often encouraged.
The book explains the steps parents can take to confirm or rule out a developmental delay or disorder. It details various diagnoses and show how sometimes multiple diagnoses may apply. But even more valuable is the information on how to design and implement the best intervention plan based on a child's unique developmental profile. Different treatments and therapies are outlined so parents can explore and understand what may work best for their child, based on his or her particular strengths and weaknesses.
Ultimately, "Could It Be Autism?" is about giving parents hope--hope that they can know one way or the other where their child is developmentally and hope that they can give their child what he or she needs to have the best life possible.
About the Author
Nancy Wiseman is the founder and president of First Signs, Inc., a national nonprofit organization dedicated to educating parents and pediatric professionals about the early warning signs of autism and other developmental disorders. First Signs provides professionals with tools and training and parents with education and support to help young children stay on a healthy developmental path. Nancy is the mother of Sarah, who was diagnosed with autism at the age of two. Today--at age nine--Sarah stands as a powerful and positive example of the impact that early identification and intensive intervention can have on young children with developmental delays and disorders. This little girl, once so profoundly delayed, has made remarkable progress, much like the organization she inspired seven years ago.
“This is a very-well-written, informative, and, at the same time, hopeful book from which both parents and professionals will learn. I can’t wait to recommend it to the families we see.” —Catherine Lord, Ph.D., Director, University of Michigan Autism and Communication Disorders Center (UMACC)
“Nancy Wiseman provides detailed steps of everything parents need to do from the moment they suspect their child may be delayed. I wish I had this book when my grandson was diagnosed with autism. This book is a gift to parents and grandparents who find themselves on the autism road but need a map.” —Suzanne Wright, cofounder, Autism Speaks
“I wish I’d had this book when I needed it. Reading Could It Be Autism? may help parents identify at-risk children and start intervention early enough to possibly slow or halt the development of autism. This book is a potential lifesaver.” —Christina Adams,
author of A Real Boy: A True Story of Autism, Early Intervention and Recovery
“Nancy Wiseman’s gem of a book is so surprising in that there is not one paragraph that does not inform, clarify, and reassure. The author is like an expert friend, several steps ahead, who never fails to turns around, gently leading parents where they need to go. This book reduces the heartbreak, offers hope, and empowers parents so they can provide optimal and timely treatment for their child.” —Demitri F. Papolos, M.D., and Janice Papolos, coauthors of The Bipolar Child