Book Review: Ten Things Every Child With Autism Wishes You Knew by Ellen Notbohm

Last week I visited a thrift shop and came across the book “Ten Things Every Child With Autism Wishes You Knew” by Ellen Notbohm This book has been one of the better Autism reads I have read in a very long time because it taught things about me that I didn’t know.

As a matter of fact, it explained to me what echolalia is and I did a video on my YouTube Channel this weekend on that. This is developed as a result of having a Gestalt Language Leaning Style (Something that I will discuss later.) The book also explained briefly about proxemic communication, something I know that I need to work on as well.

Below, I have included the ten points and some of the highlights that those with autism would want you to know:

  1. I am first and foremost a child. I have autism. I am not primarily autistic.
    1. The word “autistic” sets up an expectation that one is lower than what the child is capable of.
  2. My sensory perceptions are distorted
    1. Visual: This is the strongest
    1. Auditory:
      1. I hear tremendous amounts of information
      1. Oftentimes it is loud
    1. Tactile
      1. Prevalent in Clothing
    1. Olfactory
      1. Smells can have bad effects
    1. Gustatory
      1. Often and recently discovered
      1. Known as picky eaters
    1. Vestibular / Propriety
      1. Loses Balance
  3. Won’t (Chooses) not to vs. Cant’ (not) able to
    1. All behavior Is communication
    1. Happens for a reason
    1. Types of behavior
      1. Resistant / Avoidant
        1. Unfamiliar about it
        1. Its unpleasant to them
      1. Attention Seeking
        1. Wants Attention
      1. Self-Regulation
        1. Calm/alert, over/under  stimulated senses
          1. May Be Organic reason
        1. Sensory
          1. Under stimulated Visual
            1. Rockng/Swaying
            1. Changes in Elevation
            1. Fascinated in Moving Objects
          1. Under stimulated auditory
            1. Speaks Loudly
            1. Lines noisy appliances and fixtures
            1. Handles objects loudly
          1. Under stimulated tactile
            1. Hurting when stimming
          1. Under Stimulated Olfactory
            1. Pica
            1. Non-effective smells
          1. Under stimulated Gustatory
            1. Excessive Eating
        1. Fun – Amuses himself or others
        1. Order / Re-Orders his environment
        1. Retaliation
          1. Retaliation for what may seem unfair to them
  4. I am a concrete thinker ( I interpret language literally)
    1. Eliminate
      1. Idioms / clichés
      1. Nonspecific instructions
      1. Inferences
      1. Phrased Verbs
  5. Please be patient with my limited vocabulary
    1. Gestalt Learning Style
      1. Stage 1: Learned /Spoken in its Entirity
      1. Stage 2: Mitigation into chunks
      1. Stage 3: Isolation of single words / metaphors beginning years of original 2 larger phrases
      1. Stage 4: More Complex Sentences
  6. I am very visually oriented because language is difficult for me
    1. Visual Schedule
      1. Provides structure/predictability
      1. Provides Touchstones
      1. Reinforces First/Then
      1. Ability to perform autonomically and increase independent transition
      1. Ease rigidity of thinking and inflexibility
      1. Grow “curveballs”
      1. Incorporate skill building
  7. Focus / Build on what I CAN do / rather than what I can’t do
    1. Brings Negativity to the child and families
  8. Please help me with Social Interactions
    1. Flexibility
      1. Let me see it and how it “rolls”; recognize mistakes
    1. Motivation
      1. Help me understand why and how it matters to do it
    1. Self-Esteem
      1. Teach me to have faith, learn and grow, be able to deflect from the negative comments
    1. Awareness of Non-Verbal Communication
      1. Vocalic
        1. Show me the “don’t gets”
      1. Kinesthetic
        1. Help me understand body language, facial and emotional language
      1. Proxemic
        1. Help me understand personal space and appropriate communication
  9. Try to Identify what triggers Meltdowns
    1. Sensory Overload
    1. Physical / Psychological
      1. Food Allergens / sensitivity
      1. Sleep Disorder
      1. Gastrointestinal Issues
      1. Inadequate Nutrition
      1. Biochemical Imbalance
      1. Unarticulated illness / injury
    1. Emotional
      1. Frustration
      1. Disappointment
      1. Maltreatment
      1. Sense of Unfairness
    1. Poor Examples from Adults
  10. Love Me Unconditonally

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