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ERIC Number: EJ859419
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Aug-1
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0362-8930
The Equal Opportunity Disorder: Autism Is on the Rise, and It Can Affect Any Family. Here's What You Need to Know
Whelan, Debra Lau
School Library Journal, v55 n8 p30-34 Aug 2009
The medical community understands surprisingly little about autism, referred to as autism spectrum disorders (ASD), because its symptoms can range from severe to a high-functioning autism, known as Asperger's syndrome. There's general agreement that a genetic predisposition coupled with unknown environmental triggers may explain what's behind it, "but there's no single factor that's been identified as the cause," explains Stanley Greenspan, a child psychiatrist who developed the Floortime treatment for autism, which involves a special kind of play that follows the child's leads and interests. It's a fact that autism rates are rising and not just because of earlier detection and a broadening of its definition over the years. As this fast-growing disability continues to make front-page news--with the United Nations declaring a World Autism Awareness Day and celebrities like Jenny McCarthy, Toni Braxton, and Ed Asner continuing to champion awareness on behalf of their children with autism--why have libraries been slow to catch on? "Largely, we haven't done a good job in teaching people about autism," says Brenda Smith Myles, chief of programs for the grassroots organization Autism Society of America. "When librarians go to school, they don't have courses that talk about children with special needs and how to modify programs for them." With such an obvious need for more information and no national campaign for librarians, a growing number of public libraries across the country are taking steps to alert their staff about how to address the needs of these children and their families. Although there's no one-size-fits-all approach to supporting children with autism, there are some strategies that can go a long way when it comes to giving these kids a positive library experience--and, one hopes, keep them coming back.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A