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Older Adults and Autism Spectrum Conditions: An Introduction and Guide

Older Adults and Autism Spectrum Conditions: An Introduction and Guide 2021-08-22


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VictorR submitted a new resource:

Older Adults and Autism Spectrum Conditions: An Introduction and Guide - Introduction on aging as it pertains to autism

The first book to look seriously at the practical issues facing older adults with autism spectrum conditions (ASC), Wenn Lawson's groundbreaking handbook offers support, advice, and sensible ways in which to look at the issues.

Informed by current research, interviews with older people diagnosed with ASC and his own experience, the author covers a multitude of issues including dealing with transitions and changes to routine, communicating an individual's particular needs and wishes to care...

Read more about this resource...
Chapter List:

Introduction: Definition of Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC) and Aging

1. Stress Support Needs

2. Building Appropriate Communication Strategies

3. Working with Personality

4. Identifying Feelings, Thoughts, and Actions

5. Support for Older People in Transition

6. Preparing for Later Years

7. ASC, Dual Diagnosis, Mental Health and Other Issues

8. Aging Comfortably

I finished this book a while ago but struggled with writing a review, so here goes.

For review #23, I made a selection from Jessica Kingsley (JKP), a longtime publisher of books relating to the autism spectrum – and was delighted to see a book on autism and aging since this is a topic that we inevitably have to address – there is far too little work on the topic, and as many of us on the spectrum acknowledge (and especially for those with very late diagnoses or identification), we don’t exactly age out of autism, though we may learn to better cope with time.

Dr. Wenn Lawson is a pioneer in autism, both for being one of the earlier autistic individuals to publish their stories, but also in that alongside Dr. Temple Grandin, they were also relatively open about being a gender and/or sexual minority – something that we’ve only started to see more narratives and research on in the 2010s. I really should be going back and looking at some of their earlier works as well.

Anyways, getting back to the book itself, it is self-labelled as the first book on autism and aging.

As with many books, the spacing is somewhat generous so it’s not that much of a read as the page count would suggest. That being said, I did find it a bit hard to follow – the first part, which included some pictures of brain scans, and which tries to talk about autism on a neurological level, kind of went over my head.

The rest of the book is a melange of current work / knowledge on aging interspersed with suggestions on how autism may make things different, along with examples from their own life, and their mother’s life. As always, I always appreciate examples as they help liven things up.

As Wenn himself acknowledges, this is a first work in the field, and there is much to be done. In some ways, it’s nice that the book essentially compiles the existing knowledge in the field into one book, so it’s all there, but if you’ve read a bunch of other literature already, this book to be honest doesn’t really offer too much. For example, Wenn acknowledges that many autistic individuals struggle with retiring and the loss of structure in their life that comes with that, but doesn’t have any specific suggestions.

So in the end, we have a book that in some ways, seems like a rushed mash-up for the sake of being the first book on the topic. I’ll give credit for the effort, but this had the potential to be better.

Rating: 4.5/5.0

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