Uniquely Human: Updated and Expanded A Different Way of Seeing Autismby Prizant, Barry M.; Fields-Meyer, Tom
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A groundbreaking book on autism, by one of the world’s leading experts, who portrays autism as a unique way of being human—this is “required reading...Breathtakingly simple and profoundly positive” (Chicago Tribune).
Autism therapy typically focuses on ridding individuals of “autistic” symptoms such as difficulties interacting socially, communication problems, sensory challenges, and repetitive behavior patterns. Now, this new and revised edition of Dr. Barry M. Prizant’s Uniquely Human tackles new language such as shifting from “person-first language” to “identity-first language,” diversity of identity in the autism sphere, and the future of autistic advocacy by amplifying the voices of autistic and neurodivergent individuals.
“A must-read for anyone touched by autism…Dr. Prizant’s Uniquely Human is a crucial step in promoting better understanding and a more humane approach” (Associated Press). Instead of classifying “autistic” behaviors as signs of pathology, Dr. Prizant sees them as part of a range of strategies to cope with a world that feels chaotic and overwhelming. Rather than curb these behaviors, it’s better to enhance abilities, build on strengths, and offer supports that will lead to more desirable behavior and a better quality of life.
Uniquely Human is a “brilliant” (Steve Silberman, author of NeuroTribes) approach to autism in the modern age that provides “common sense [and] practical advice” (Temple Grandin, author of The Autistic Brain) drawn from Dr. Prizant’s four-decade career. It conveys a deep respect for people with autism and their own unique qualities. Filled with humanity and wisdom, Uniquely Human “should reassure parents and caregivers of kids with autism and any other disability that their kids are not broken, but, indeed, special (Booklist, starred review).
Tom Fields-Meyer is author of the critically acclaimed memoir Following Ezra: What One Father Learned About Gumby, Otters, Autism, and Love from His Extraordinary Son, a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award. His work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post. The coauthor (with Barry M. Prizant) of Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism, and former senior writer for People, he lives in Los Angeles, where he teaches in the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program.
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