“1001 Tips For The Parents Of Autistic Boys” by Ken Seri is a fantastic and informative read. He literally has collected 1001 tips for raising Autistic Boys. These tips are compiled from various sources and put together in a way that is really easy and enjoyable to read. He touches on some very important topics along the way ranging from diagnosis and intervention to planing for life after their 18th birthday. Not only is this a must read for anyone starting this journey but also those involved in their lives. Grandparents, aunts, uncles and even teachers could get a better understanding of life on the other side of an Autism diagnosis. As a single father to an Autistic son, Ken has been there. I can personally relate to much of his writing. As a father to 3 boys in various places on the spectrum I found these tips to be extremely relevant to my personal reality.
I am by no means a professional writer. If you read my blog you’re sure to find typo’s and other grammatical errors. However, the other thing you will find is honesty. One of the things I liked about Ken’s book is that it is very honest. It’s also very accessible to anyone. So many times over the past 10 years we have received advice from people who (well intentioned) have no idea what “it’s like” to be us. That’s not the case with “1001 Tips For The Parents Of Autistic Boys”. These ideas are actually practical, realistic and applicable to real life situations. For the purpose of this brief review I want to touch on one chapter in particular as I think it’s good timing and it just touched our lives again yesterday.
Chapter 85, “Tip’s for surviving the holiday’s” is very relevant as the holiday’s are here already. These tips are compiled from “Twelve Tips for Helping People with Autism and Their Families Have a Happy Holiday” by the Autism Society of America. The holiday’s are the worst time of year for my family because it is full of anticipation and anxiety for our kids. All the anxiety and anticipation translates into over-stimulation and meltdowns. We just had this exact situation play out last night. We celebrated Thanksgiving early so all the family could be there. Gavin (our oldest) became distressed over not being able to have seconds of desert. Before we could step in to defuse him he was already well on his way to a meltdown. My mother was almost colateral damage as Gavin was melting down and we were getting him away from everyone. The ironic part is that I just finished reading that chapter after we got home and got the kids in bed.
This chapter has some really good ideas about preparing your child ahead of time for the stressful situation. There is good advice on preparing your child for large family gatherings and familiarizing them with unfimiliar family and friends. All the advice is really good and hits very close to home. We struggle to keep the anxiety levels at a minimum especially during the holiday’s because each of our 3 kids on the spectrum feed off each other. I also feel that my family would benefit greatly from this section because it would help them become aware of how dificult these types of situations are for kids on the spectrum and their parents.
In short, this book is a great way to gain insight and even some foresight into the world of Autism. I consider myself pretty aclimated to raising Autistic children but there were many ideas I had never even considered. Whether you are a special needs parent yourself or a friend or family member of someone who is you should read this book.
Thank you Ken for putting together all this very useful information. By doing so you are helping to spread Autism awareness and understanding. That is so critical and done so well in “1001 Tips For The Parents Of Autistic Boys” by Ken Seri.