Monday, November 30, 2015

‘Autism and Everyday Executive Function’

Book cover, 'Autism and Everyday Executive Function, A Strengths-Based Approach for Improving Attention, Memory, Organization and Flexibility'  by Paula Moraine. Book's title is inside a white circle with multi-colored circles or dots radiating outward from the center of the circle exterior toward edges of the book's cover.
For a thorough explanation of executive function as developed by people with autism, I recommend Autism and Everyday Executive Function by Paula Moraine (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, November 2015).

Moraine recommends identifying an individual’s particular strengths (described as “Autistic Access Points”) and applying them to “unlock” or support the development of executive function in a child on the autism spectrum.

With comprehensive detail, Moraine describes the “languages” with which people communicate, the “ingredients or tools” that can especially assist children with autism, and the eight skills of executive control.

Although an adult, I found much to assist me in understanding my own processes, as well as better understand the ways that people around me communicate.

I appreciate the knowledge Moraine’s book gives me to better serve an autistic clientele. (As an aspiring librarian, I can well foresee that people on the autism spectrum will number among my patrons.)

Especially intriguing was the role played by an adult with autism in the creation of this book. Moraine explains that her earlier book was translated into several languages and an initial inquiry by the Finnish translator about accurately translating a term led to a lengthy email exchange and electronic friendship.

Pia Hämäläinen,who is on the autism spectrum, shared with Moraine her understanding of executive functions, including her belief that people with autism needed to learn executive function first before being taught social skills.

Moraine adopted the “guiding principle” that the more “functional” a person’s executive function is, the more “functional” their social skills will become. In an appendix, Hämäläinen describes her experience as an autistic adult.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a review copy of this book from the publisher. The opinion expressed is my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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