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The Conscious Parent's Guide to Autism

Book Description

Help your child feel confident and capable!

If your child has a diagnosis of "on the autism spectrum," you may be feeling overwhelmed and most likely intimated. Often the focus is on "disabilities" rather than "abilities," and you may be left wondering what you should expect as your child journeys through life. With The Conscious Parent's Guide to Autism, you will learn how to take a relationship-centered approach to engage your child. Conscious parenting means being present with your children and taking the time to understand their point of view. Using this mindful method, you can help your child improve language skills, motor skills, and social skills.

You'll also learn how to:

  • Honor your child's unique perspective and cognitive strengths
  • Adapt a conscious parenting philosophy that works for everyone
  • Identify triggers that can lead to sensory overload
  • Help your child feel in control with calming routines
  • Lower stress levels for the entire family, including other siblings
  • Educate your family and friends about autism
  • Advocate for your child
  • Find ways to improve communication
With The Conscious Parent's Guide to Autism, you'll learn to create a calm and mindful atmosphere for the whole family, while helping your child succeed and thrive.

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Copyright Page
  3. Acknowledgments
  4. Introduction
  5. Chapter 1: Conscious Parenting
    1. The Benefits of Conscious Parenting
    2. Self-Awareness and Self-Control
    3. Empathy and Communication
    4. Engaged Listening
    5. Understanding Behavior
    6. Important Points to Consider
  6. Chapter 2: The World of Autism
    1. What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
    2. Related Spectrum Disorders
    3. Age of Onset
    4. Your Emotional Reaction
    5. Possible Causes
    6. Important Points to Consider
  7. Chapter 3: Detecting Warning Signs and Coexisting Conditions
    1. Sensory Processing Disorder
    2. ADHD and OCD
    3. Visual Processing Disorder and Motor Problems
    4. Sleep Disorders
    5. Auditory Processing Disorders and Seizure Disorder
    6. Depression, Bipolar Disorder, and Tourette Syndrome
    7. Intellectual Concerns
    8. Physicality
    9. Hearing Impairments
    10. Gastrointestinal and Bowel Disorders
    11. Important Points to Consider
  8. Chapter 4: Managing Challenging Behaviors with Empathy
    1. Handling Behaviors with Mindfulness
    2. Autism and Obsessive-Compulsive Behaviors
    3. The Need for Routine
    4. Protecting Your Child from Self-Injurious Behavior
    5. Understanding Stimming
    6. Preventing Elopement
    7. Important Points to Consider
  9. Chapter 5: Communicating with Your Child
    1. Building Communication
    2. Lacking Conceptual Images
    3. Receptive Language
    4. Expressive Speech and Sign Language
    5. Communication Boards
    6. Other Communication Methods
    7. Important Points to Consider
  10. Chapter 6: Practical Approaches to Handling Tantrums, Meltdowns, and Discipline
    1. Temper Tantrums versus Meltdowns
    2. Handling Tantrums
    3. Managing Meltdowns with Conscious Parenting
    4. When Your Child Does Not Understand
    5. Behavior Modification
    6. Medications
    7. Important Points to Consider
  11. Chapter 7: Autism and Your Marriage
    1. How Mom Is Affected
    2. How Dad Is Affected
    3. Keeping ASD from Affecting Your Marriage
    4. Your Priorities
    5. Valuing Extended Family
    6. Handling Your Work
    7. Friends, Hobbies, and Everything Else
    8. Important Points to Consider
  12. Chapter 8: Conscious Parenting As a Single Parent
    1. Unique Challenges
    2. Working and Caring for a Child with an ASD
    3. Finding Reliable Daycare
    4. Dating and Future Relationships
    5. The Possibility of a Stepparent
    6. Concerns of Moms
    7. Concerns of Dads
    8. Important Points to Consider
  13. Chapter 9: Responding to Your Other Children’s Needs
    1. Older Siblings
    2. Teaching Mindfulness to Siblings
    3. Younger Siblings
    4. Growing Up Too Fast
    5. The Isolated Sibling
    6. The Social Impact of Having an ASD Sibling
    7. Considering Future Children
    8. Important Points to Consider
  14. Chapter 10: Autism and Your Extended Family
    1. Grandparents
    2. The Unique In-Law Problem
    3. Other Family Members
    4. Celebrating Family Holidays
    5. Special Occasions
    6. Explaining Conscious Parenting to Extended Family
    7. Important Points to Consider
  15. Chapter 11: Dealing with Society
    1. Shopping
    2. School Functions
    3. Restaurants
    4. Vacations
    5. Important Points to Consider
  16. Chapter 12: Starting School
    1. What You Need to Know about the Law
    2. Integration and Special Education
    3. Individualized Education Program
    4. Further Education
    5. Bullying
    6. Parents’ Expectations
    7. Important Points to Consider
  17. Chapter 13: The Transition from Child to Teenager
    1. Physical Changes of Puberty
    2. Emotional Changes of Puberty
    3. Sexuality
    4. Menstruation
    5. Birth Control
    6. Inappropriate Behaviors
    7. Staying Sensitive to Your Child’s Changes
    8. Important Points to Consider
  18. Chapter 14: Autism and Life As an Adult
    1. Living Independently
    2. Building the Daily Care Habits
    3. Residential Living
    4. Providing after You Are Gone
    5. Guardians
    6. Financial Protection
    7. Important Points to Consider
  19. Chapter 15: Challenging Obstacles with an Engaged Presence
    1. Conscious Parenting Triggers
    2. Communicating Needs
    3. Learning How to Handle Challenging Situations
    4. Safety Concerns
    5. Toilet Training
    6. Important Points to Consider
  20. Chapter 16: Expanding Abilities Through Intervention
    1. Who’s Who among Physicians
    2. Selecting the Right Physician
    3. The Importance of Qualified Therapists
    4. Emerging Treatment Programs
    5. Diet and Nutrition
    6. Important Points to Consider
  21. Chapter 17: Finding Support and Assistance
    1. The Importance of Support
    2. What Is Support?
    3. Finding the Right Support Group
    4. Forming a Support Group
    5. Support on the Internet
    6. Important Points to Consider
  22. Appendix A: Glossary
  23. Appendix B: Additional Resources
  24. Appendix C: Frequently Asked Questions about Autism