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From the Library of The Center of Excellence on Autism Spectrum Disorders...



Book Title: Uniquely Human

Author:   Barry Prizant

Reviewed by:  Deborah L. Puglia

In his most recent book,  Uniquely Human, Dr. Barry Prizant gives his perspective of individuals with ASD and their families. Dr. Prizant proposes a paradigm shift regarding how we view individuals with autism and he suggests that we consider their unique human qualities rather than defining them by their disability. He believes that a behavioral assessment approach of determining an autism spectrum disorder defines the individual as a problem to be solved rather than an individual to be understood.

Throughout the book, Dr. Prizant gives the reader tips on how to accomplish this paradigm shift. Through his experiences he has identified those providers who "get it" as possessing traits and instincts that include empathy, sensitivity, humor, trust and flexibility. For those providers who don't "get it" he suggests strategies that explore the why of behaviors that are deemed "inappropriate" and decries attempts to eliminate behaviors that are most often strategies used by the individual with autism to cope with disregulation.

In the chapter "The Real Experts" Dr. Prizant shares his experiences with Ros Blackburn, Michael John Carly and Stephen Shore - three adults with autism who Dr. Prizant credits as being positive influences on this thinking, understanding and everyday work with individuals with autism.

Uniquely Human represents Dr. Prizant's perspective regarding individuals on the autism spectrum. The reader comes away with a unique perspective of individuals with ASD and with an appreciation of the fact that despite our individual profiles of strengths and challenges we are all uniquely human!



Rating:  ***

*       Not recommended
**     Recommended
***    Highly recommended