Book review – Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder

Reviewed by Rhonda Valentine Dixon

Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder – An outline of ASD for professionals.

Anna Tullemans’ books on Autism Spectrum Disorder always inform the reader from a place of personal experience (as a parent) and common sense.

There has been abundant research into the autism spectrum by many clinicians over recent years and it is widely believed that to disclose a diagnosis from a positive perspective is conducive to better outcomes for all.

In this book, Anna suggests sourcing current information from the Internet and from reputable books and organisations regarding ASD before disclosing a diagnosis to others.

Anna answers questions such as: –

  • Who needs to know?
  • When should you disclose a diagnosis?
  • What changes are you looking for in your life – post disclosure?
  • What are the potential outcomes for the significant people in your life after disclosure?
  • Why do people need to know that you, or your child, are on the spectrum?

Anna suggests throughout the book that the amount of information you give to others will depend on how involved they are in the life of the person with ASD.   It’s wise to anticipate how the recipients of the news are likely to respond and be ready for any adverse responses.

There will always be people who react negatively to a diagnosis.  Anna suggests tips on how to define ASD and on ways to promote understanding.

There is a very valuable section on assisting grandparents to comprehend and negotiate relationships post diagnosis.

Included in this book is an insightful sibling’s story which illustrates the anxiety, poignancy and value of growing up with an autistic brother.

A ‘must read’ for families new to a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

ISBN: 978-0-9923000-0-5