Adults on the Autism Spectrum Leave the Nest
Release Date:01 Dec 2008
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Adults on the Autism Spectrum Leave the Nest

Achieving Supported Independence

Jessica Kingsley Publishers

Children on the Autism Spectrum often grow up to find they are unable to cope effectively with the challenges of adult life. This book shows that, with the appropriate lifelong care from parents and carers, it is possible for those with neurodevelopmental disabilities to achieve supported independence and live fulfilling adult lives.

Adults on the Autism Spectrum Leave the Nest provides a guide for parents on how to prepare their children for adulthood, and describes in detail the kinds of services people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) need in order to live independently, away from the parental home. The author explains the importance of the cognitive abilities that enable us to regulate behaviour and adapt to changing situations, known as Executive Functions, and how an individual's deficits in this area can be especially problematic in the adult world. The book provides approaches to managing Executive Function Deficits and describes an innovative therapeutic program that successfully allows adults with ASDs to live with their peers and develop meaningful adult relationships.

This book provides practical and accessible guidance for parents, therapists, people with ASDs, and anyone with an interest in helping people on the Autism Spectrum lead their lives with a sense of dignity and independence.

Perry thoroughly discusses the importance of teaching self-help skills and domestic responsibilities to children on the autism spectrum before they become adults with more ridged patterns of living and learning. Perry also explains why and how the program creates structure and guidelines to best support adults on the autism spectrum so that they can avoid common pitfalls and live as independently as possible. Peppered with both cautionary tales and success stories, Perry gives a realistic portrayal of what it takes to achieve supported independence as an adult on the autism spectrum. – The Spectrum
... A clearly written presentation addressing the significant challenges faced by adults on the autism spectrum as they attempt to make the transition to independence... – On the Spectrum
This is a book that every parent of every autistic child, adolescent or adult, needs to read. –
The strength of this book lies in its use of many examples from the author's own experience illustrating common difficulties encountered in social interactions and making sense of behaviours through an executive functions deficit model. This book really does speak to parents. It makes a good case for thinking and planning around independence, and encourages parents not to feel guilty should they decide on a residential facility for their adult child. – Community Living
As a student, with limited knowledge and experience into ASD, I found the book very accessible and provided a welcoming insight into the disability. Part one: understanding ASD and part 2: Understanding executive functions and ASD provided handy anecdotes to illustrate how deficits in cognitive abilities lead to people with ASD being unable to adapt to changing situations or regulate their behaviour. – College of Occupational Therapists
It gives a valuable insight into the world of people with ASD highlighting how their difficulties are often attributed to behaviour and personality. It will help families to understand individuals and direct strategies appropriately... she (Nancy Perry) provides parents a very insightful approach in preparing their children with disabilities for adulthood... This well written book encourages readers with children with ASD to think about their future early on in life. It gives simple jargon free advide to many of the problems faced in the journey to adulthood and helps provide a solid foundation to build upon in the future... gives readers the option of helping people with ASD live successfully out with family homes enjoying satisfying peer relationships. – The British Journal of Developmental Disabilities
Nancy Perry graduated from the University of California, Berkeley and completed her Ph.D. with a specialty in Neuropsychology at the California School of Professional Psychology. Her dissertation was among the earliest efforts to explain and explore the developing concept of the Executive Functions. She has worked for over 30 years as a psychotherapist and for the past 11 years as the Clinical Director of a unique program serving adults on the Autism Spectrum. She became interested in this population after training in the field of acquired brain injury, but her interest in the rights and abilities of individuals with challenges stems from early experiences with her two sisters who had substantial disabilities. Dr. Perry lives in Berkeley with her husband and has a grown daughter who lives nearby.
Contents: A Message for Parents. Acknowledgements. Preface. Introduction: Real Lives. Part I: Understanding the Autism Spectrum Disabilities. 1. What are Neurodevelopmental Disabilities? 2. Families Living with Disability. Part II: Understanding Executive Functions. 3. Initiation, or Getting Started. 4. Concrete Thinking and Response to Novelty. 5. Planning, Sequencing and Organizing. 6. Attention and Concentration. 7. Regulation of Emotions. 8. A Glance at Memory. 9. Judgment, Self-Awareness and Self Monitoring. Part III: Reaching Adulthood. 10. Preparing for Adulthood. 11. Living with Parents. 12. Living in a Group Home. Part IV: A Model Program of Supported Independence. 13. The Value of Living with Peers. 14. The Structure and Goals of the Program. 15. The Clinical Methods of the Program. 16. Counseling. 17. Specific Methods Employed at CAL. 18. Teamwork with Parents. Appendix I: A New Idea - A Variation on the Model of Group Home Living. Appendix II: Resources. References. Index.
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