Right From the Start: A Practical Guide for Helping Young Children with Autism – independent book review – non-fiction

I picked up this book after a friend’s grandchild was diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. I wanted to understand more about how caring adults can best help this child prosper. Awarded five stars on Goodreads.

Though I skimmed many parts of the book, I could tell immediately how valuable RIGHT FROM THE START is as a guide for parents, caregivers, and educators. It offers practical advice on how to handle situations common for young children (primarily ages 2-6). Setting limits, learning self-regulation, reading body language in others, initiating play, following rules in a group setting — all are topics included. Along with explanations of how any child on the spectrum might see a situation differently. So, the book promotes better understanding among adults.

The book is short (160 pages) but jammed with information and written from first hand experience. Author Karin Donahue is a behavioral specialist who worked with co-author Kate Crassons –the mother of a boy who has been labeled as on the spectrum. Both argue that the earlier adults learn how to care with compassion (rather than annoyance), the better off each child will be.

It’s no surprise that assisting a child with different brain wiring requires attention, commitment, and care. Though it may seem intimidating at first to learn all of the practical techniques offered in this book, the payoffs for those willing to invest the time seem substantial.

More about the authors:

Karin Donahue

Kate Crassons

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