Kathy Labosh tells us in her preface of The Child with Autism at Home & in the Community: Over 600 Must-Have Tips that she wrote this go-to guide for families because a particular child may have the symptoms of autism, but the entire family is affected. Kathy Labosh, mom of two sons with autism, and LaNita Miller, a special needs teacher, have successfully written this ‘book of instructions’ for parents, grandparents, friends and professionals on how to make life easier for the caregiver and easier for the child with autism. Their book is a helpful tool filled with 600 bullet points providing practical tips and tried-out strategies for families and educators to use to meet the needs of autistic children.
The Child with Autism at Home & in the Community is divided into two parts filled with advice for issues happening in the home and trail markers for when families venture into the community. The authors go right through a house giving effiicient tips for the problems confronting families in each area from picky eating, to shampoos, to opening doors to run away. Readers learn what to do to enjoy the community playground, restaurant, mall, grocery store, movie theatre, church, library, sporting events and all the health caregivers’ offices.
We read in the first pages that a parent cannot deal with a special needs child alone and that to survive you must recognize your need for others and your need to take care of yourself. The whole family unit sways, regresses or moves forward depending on the mental attitude of the main caregiver, many times the mom.
Flitting about hurried and harried, expecting too much of yourself, will not bring positive results. Kathy’s unconventional tips may bring a smile to your face; but if it is a solution, so be it! For example, she advices: “If you need a break but can’t leave the house; step outside for a few minutes…Take your keys when you step outside; children playing with the inside knob could accidently lock the door.”
Autism puts the wedding vows to the test. The authors sums it up this way: “Love is about doing what it takes to keep the family on solid ground and caring about what happens to the other person… Assume both of you are really doing your best.”
Many of the clever strategies explained are to develop the necessary skills that a child with autism needs to master if he is going to function in society (home, school, community…). I especially agree with her way to discipline in a clear, consistent manner that gives the child clear signals about “NO” and “YES” and how he is accountable for his actions; therefore he must apologize, make restitutions, clear up his messes…
Some of their tips for parents of a child with autism:
- To alleviate the stress of temper tantrums in public, have business cards printed saying your child has autism and pass them out to curious onlookers.
- To boost social confidence and acceptance give the child a script with words or photos to foster good manners and what is appropriate to say in different situations.
- To feel competent and appreciated give him lots of positive feedback.
- To improve motor coordination, social skills and self-esteem involve him in sports.
- Choose health care practitioners, pediatric dentists, hairdressers, and restaurants etc. that offer child-friendly service and environments.
Once you have enjoyed a first reading of this easy-to-read, instructional guide book, keep it handy to refer to it often. The detailed index will let you find exactly the tip you are looking for to take on the issues and obstacles of home life and outings to make your day or your child’s day a better one. Yes, it doesn’t get much better than this,The Child with Autism at Home & in the Community with over 600 must-have tips for making home life and outings easier for everyone with a child with autism.
In the preface of The Child with Autism at Home & in the Community Kathy wrote,”I compare my life’s journey with autism to a hike up the Appalachian Trail. My ability to complete the journey with joy and satisfaction depends upon my ability to take care of myself physically, to prepare mentally for the hard stretches, to use the right tools to make the trek easier, and to have a good support system in place. But more than anything else, what I have needed is a trail to follow and a map to help me when I got lost.” Well Kathy Labosh and LaNita Miller thanks for ALL the immediately useful trailmarkers!
About the authors:
Kathy Labosh graduated from Penn State and worked as an economist. She is now a stay-at-home mom to Sam and Nicky, both of whom are children with autism. Kathy formed a Special Education Religious Class and is the author of a specialized curriculum for children with autism. She also received an Honorable Mention for Children’s Fiction from Writer’s Digest.
Read our Interview with Kathy Labosh.
Kathy continues to work on additional books in The Child with Autism series, including
- The Child with Autism Learns about Faith: 15 Ready-to-Use Scripture Lessons, from the Garden of Eden to the Parting of the Red Sea (2011)
- The Child with Autism Goes to Florida: Hundreds of practical tips, with reviews of theme parks, rides, resorts, and more! (2011)
- The Child with Autism Learns MORE about Faith (in progress).
LaNita Miller is the author of beginning textbooks, and received her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Early Childhood Education from Austin Peay State University, and her master’s degree in Special Education from George Peabody College, which is part of Vanderbilt University. She is currently completing her certification in behavioral analysis. She has over twenty years’ experience in the special education classroom.
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