Ever read a non-fiction book that makes you feel even more loving towards your kid? On the weekend, I planned to flip through a few pages of Raising Resilient Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders by Robert Brooks and Sam Goldstein. But I ended up reading (sometimes skimming) the whole book. And then I ran off to hug Tal.
Here’s what I loved about it: The authors remind us that kids with autism are, most of all, kids. All of them have personalities, temperaments and talents that make them unique. Like all kids, they want to feel good about themselves, so we need to build on our kids' strengths and to nurture their self-esteem. Most of all, we need to find ways to connect with our kids.
None of this is rocket science. It’s just good parenting. But often, in trying to help our kids, we focus on their challenges. We search for ways to build their fine motor skills or perhaps their social skills, and sometimes we forget to focus on our kids' passions and abilities. The authors refer to these strengths as “islands of competence.”
Here are a few of the authors' ideas that resonated for me:
While aimed at parents of children with ASD, this book is also helpful for other special needs parents. If you’re drowning in a morass of therapies, interventions and goals, give this book a whirl. Be warned—while the writing is wise, it tends to be repetitive. But hang in. You'll find concrete ideas for celebrating your kids, for connecting with them and for building their resilience. Chances are—you probably already use some of these strategies intuitively. This book will give you encouragement and a gentle pat on the back.