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The Loving Push

The Loving Push



10 days

The Loving Push

How parents and professionals can help spectrum kids become successful adults

Author(s): Temple Grandin, Ph.D. and Debra Moore, Ph.D.

Parents, teachers, therapists, and anyone who cares about a child or teen on the autism spectrum need this essential roadmap to prepare our youth for being successful adults in today’s world. Best-selling author, autism advocate, and animal science professor Dr. Temple Grandin joins psychologist and autism specialist Dr. Debra Moore in spelling out what steps you can take to restore your child’s hope and motivation, and what you must avoid. Eight life stories told by people on the autism spectrum, including chapters on subjects like how to get kids off their computers, how to build on their strengths and get back to caring about their lives, and how to find a path to a successful, meaningful life make this a “MUST-READ BOOK.”

Binding: Paperback

Pages: 280

ABOUT The Authors:

Dr. Temple Grandin was born in Boston, Massachusetts. Temple’s achievements are remarkable because she was a child with autism. At age two, she had speech delays as well as other signs of severe autism.  Fortunately, her mother defied the advice of her doctor and husband, who recommended she be institutionalized. Many hours of speech therapy and intensive training enabled Temple ultimately to speak. As a teenager, life was hard with constant teasing. Mentoring by her high school science teacher and her aunt on her ranch in Arizona motivated Temple to study and pursue a career as a scientist and livestock equipment designer. She is a popular international lecturer on autism, a professor of animal science at Colorado State University, and the author of Emergence: Labeled Autistic; Thinking in Pictures; Animals in Translation; Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships; The Way I See It; DIFFERENT...Not Less; and many more.

Debra Moore, Ph.D., is a psychologist who has worked extensively with children, teens, and adults with high functioning autism (HFA) and Asperger’s. She created and is the facilitator of three LinkedIn groups: Linked to Aspergers, Helping Hands Mentors, and Linked to Aspie Teens. In addition to providing direct clinical services, she wrote newspaper and magazine columns for over 20 years. Most recently, she contributed to The Nine Degrees of Autism, which outlines a positive developmental model of the process and stages adults experience when they realize they are on the spectrum. Past president of the Sacramento Valley Psychological Association, she recently retired from 35 years of a private practice that also served as a supervising agency for psychologists in training. She continues to live in Sacramento, California. She is greatly honored to co-author her first book with Dr. Temple Grandin.
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The Loving Push is a very different type of autism book. It's aimed at the parents of teens and young adults with autism (or Asperger's syndrome) and it concentrates mainly on what comes after school. I've found very few books aimed at this audience and this one is undoubtedly the best.

At 200 fairly densely packed pages, this is a moderate read which unlike other books of its kind does not frequently retread the same ground.

The opening chapter talks about real people with autism and/or Asperger's syndrome who have transitioned to adulthood with varying measures of success. This is not a book of stories about geniuses and many of the young adults in the first chapter simply have "independence" as their main goal. It's a very sobering and realistic look at what comes next.

The second chapter outlines three of the biggest factors on the road to success;

Avoiding Learned Helplessness
Learning Optimism and Resisting Habitual Negative Thinking
The Critical Impact of Mentors
It's in this chapter that the book really clarifies its title; "The Loving Push". It can't be emphasized enough that sometimes as a parent you need to back off and push your kids to do things for themselves.
There's a great example cited by a professor in chapter 7 where he talks about kids who attend college but have never had to use an alarm clock. Normally their mothers wake them, find their clothes, remind them to get dressed and to have their breakfast. This is great while they're at home but parents who do too much for their kids at home actually put them at a disadvantage. The loving push is what is really needed.

The loving push is hands down, the best autism book aimed at late teens (through to mid-twenties and sometimes beyond). If you have one of these kids already, this is the book to get.... particularly if they spend "too much time" on the computer and/or in their bedroom. If you don't have a teen yet but have a younger child, this book is still a great one to get. It will become increasingly valuable as your kids get older and the earlier the techniques in the book are applied, the better.

I really can't praise this book enough.

Most parents grapple with how to guide their children into a valuable and viable adulthood. Through all of my years of parenting and my time of consoling and counseling many parents in churches where I have pastored, this is a steady stream of stress. But add to this the particular struggles of autism, and the frustrations and feelings of futility can be greatly exacerbated. To restore hope and rebuild courage in parents with children on the spectrum comes a new 288 page paperback. “The Loving Push: How parents and professionals can help spectrum kids become successful adults” has co-written by Dr. Temple Grandin, author, professor and lecturer who is on the spectrum; and Dr. Debra Moore, author and psychologist who has worked with many clients dealing with HFA and Asperger’s. As the authors state, they “want to increase the odds that your child grows into an adult with a rewarding, meaningful life” (xiii).

“The Loving Push” weaves together the stories of several young people who are on the autism spectrum and their parents. The accounts describe real live people overcoming and working through their specific peculiarities to become increasingly capable of independent living. Setbacks, disappointments and dark moments are described, as well as successes and advancements. Their parents and mentors also chime in voicing their strategies, relating the consequences and end results. The one shared trait in every story is that each person “was encouraged and “stretched” just outside of their comfort zone by at least one adult in their life,” which helped keep them from falling into “chronic learned helplessness” (26).

Beyond the stories, the authors tackle several “how-to” approaches. For example, Chapter 2 walks the reader/mentor through ways to enable their unique child to avoid learned helplessness, to learn optimism and resist habitual negative thinking, while encouraging the mentor in the importance of their role. The significance of supportive adults is drummed through the book from cover-to-cover, especially adults who blend “being a positive role model, a source of advice or information, and someone who” expects “effort and accountability” (33). Grandin and Moore also address ways to help end a child’s bad habits, stretch them out of their comfort zones, and assist them to break out of chronic anxiety and a “don’t care” attitude.

One of the critical chapters in “The Loving Push” addresses the danger of compulsive electronic gaming and how it can turn kids on the spectrum into “media recluses”. The authors make a careful distinction between recreational and compulsive gaming. They work the reader through the ways gaming affects children’s’ brains, how game developers deliberately fashion games to get compulsive or addictive responses, why ASD kids are more vulnerable to these ploys, and what to do to help the children from being consumed. One of the key components to remediating compulsive gaming is developing authentic associations. As the authors note, relationships “with real people in real time can be the best replacement for compulsive gaming” (145).

“The Loving Push” is a simple read for parents and adults who are engaged with children, teens and young adults that are somewhere on the spectrum. But even parents with neurotypical children will find this volume fruitful. As a result of reading the chapter on compulsive gaming, my wife and I have initiated some important changes with our remaining children in our home. This is a book I highly recommend!

My thanks to Future Horizons and Dr. Debra Moore for the free copy of “The Loving Push” used for this review sent at my request. The assessments are mine given without restrictions or requirements (as per Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255).

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