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Autism: An Inside-Out Approach An Innovative Look at the ‘Mechanics’ of ‘Autism’ and its Developmental ‘Cousins’

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Book - Autism: An Inside-Out Approach An Innovative Look at the ‘Mechanics’ of ‘Autism’ and its Developmental ‘Cousins’

by: Donna Williams

About the author:

Donna Williams was born in Australia in 1963. She was assessed at age two as psychotic, labelled disturbed and tested for deafness throughout childhood before being diagnosed as autistic in 1990. Today she is an internationally best-selling author with nine published books, an artist, singer-songwriter and emerging screenwriter. One of the most well-known people with autism in the world, Donna is a renowned international public speaker, a qualified teacher and has worked as an autism consultant since 1995.

ISBN: 978-1-85302-387-3

Year: 1996

Publication Info: 336pp


Donna Williams’ challenging book, written by an autistic person for people with autism and related disorders, carers, and the professionals who work with them, is a practical handbook to understanding, living with and working with autism. Exploring autism from the inside, it shows clearly how the behaviours associated with autism can have a range of different causes, and in many cases reflect the autistic person’s attempt to gain control over their internal world. The sensory and perceptual problems that challenge a person with autism are described in depth, together with strategies for tackling them so as to enable that person to take more control of their lives. Donna Williams comments on the various approaches to autism, drawing out those strategies that are of real use, and explaining why some approaches may prove counterproductive, leaving the autistic person feeling even more isolated and misunderstood.

Taking the view that understanding autism is the key to managing the condition, Donna Williams’ book will bring illumination to all those who have felt baffled and frustrated by the outside appearance of autism. It contains a wealth of helpful suggestions, insights and new ideas, exploding old myths and promoting a view that all those involved with autism will find empowering and creative.



Acknowledgements. Foreword. Introduction. 1. A Bucket Full of Jigsaws. 2. What is This Thing Called `Autism’? 3. Tackling the Bogie-Man of `Autism’. 4. The Mixed Bag Found in One Classroom. 5. Approaches to `Autism’. 6. The Straws on the Camel’s Back. 7. Problems of Connection. 8. Revisiting Adaptations and Compensations. 9. Artificial Limbs. 10. `Hyper-Connection’. 11. Problems of Tolerance. 12. Problems of Control. 13. Communication. 14. Sleepwalker-Sleeptalkers. 15. `Savant Skills’. 16. Personality. 17. Asperger Syndrome? 18. Seeing `Systems’. 19. Education. Appendix: Hints. Contacts Pages



Autism: An Inside-Out Approach is an insightful look at autism that goes beyond symptoms and behaviors. This book is written by an eloquent author who lives with autism every day. Donna Williams suggests both detailed theory and practical day-to-day strategies for addressing specific challenges of individuals who, like her, have some type of autism or Asperger syndrome. Williams uses her initial chapters to tell her story and to set up her general theory. Autism: An Inside-Out Approach is a must read for all professionals and care-givers in the field of autism. It is thought provoking and dense with practical real-world suggestions and strategies. Readers must be cautious, however, because Williams’ theories are the personal beliefs of an individual with autism, based on her own unique life experiences. She offers little scientific support for her ideas, and yet many will ring true with anyone who knows individuals with these characteristics. Many scientific studies have come and gone over the years, without having a significant impact on the type of support that is given to persons who have autism. Not just despite its subjectivity and personal nature, but because of it, this articulate approach by someone who has lived with autism may affect the ways in which professionals approach autism for years to come.


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