Cutting-Edge Therapies for Autism is a new series of books started last year by two fathers of autistic children. Cutting-Edge Therapies for Autism 2011-2012 is the second and newest edition, and hopefully a new edition will be coming out, if not yearly, at least biennially. It is a wonderful overview of autism therapies available, treatments in development and theories concerning autism. It is an ever changing area of study, and parents want all the information they can get to find good therapy matches for their children, with the diagnosis.
Ken Siri and Tony Lyons, the editors of the book, do not claim to be experts themselves, but have done a wonderful job of gathering and compiling overviews and opinions about a wide array of autism therapies directly from experts in each type of therapy.
The therapies themselves are a mixed bag. Some (in my humble opinion) border on quackery, while others have proven track records of success. I liked that all were covered, regardless of general acceptance. I prefer to get all the information possible, and make selections that I feel would help my own child. Who is to say something I deem frivolous, might not be just the key for someone else’s child. After all, The innumerable ways autism presents itself has a good deal to do with the extensive array of therapies available.
I found the section on technological-based interventions particularly interesting myself. I have been wanting to get our daughter an iPad, since there are some great therapeutic apps which have been developed, and many children have been making a good deal of verbal progress using them. I’ve heard from a few other parents about the strides their kids have made, and after reading more about the applications in this book, I do think my daughter would benefit from them.
More traditional approaches are of course also covered in this book, such as ABA, occupational and speech therapy. Most children on the spectrum are like my daughter, either already receiving these established therapies (or on waiting lists to receive them), so the emerging therapies are generally not a replacement, rather, in most cases, they are auxiliary treatments. In years to come, perhaps, some of these may become the go-to autism therapies, so it is wise to be informed.
This volume is reasonably priced, and provides an excellent general overview of the various treatment options available for autistic individuals. I would suggest Cutting-Edge Therapies for Autism 2011-2012 Edition, as an addition to the bookshelf of anyone with a child on the spectrum. The book is currently available at most major booksellers.
Disclosure: Press copy of this title provided for the purpose of review. all opinions presented here are my own.