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Ido in Autismland: Climbing Out of Autism's Silent Prison [Copertina flessibile]

Ido Kedar

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Descrizione del libro

novembre 2011

Ido in Autismland opens a window into non-verbal autism through dozens of short, autobiographical essays each offering new insights into autism symptoms, effective and ineffective treatments and the inner emotional life of a severely autistic boy. In his pithy essays, author Ido Kedar, a brilliant sixteen year old with autism, challenges what he believes are misconceptions in many theories that dominate autism treatment today while he simultaneously chronicles his personal growth in his struggles to overcome his limitations.

Ido spent the first half of his life locked internally, in silence, trapped in a remedial educational system that presumed he lacked the most basic comprehension, and unable to show the world that he understood everything. But at the age of seven, Ido was finally able to show that he had an intact mind and could understand. This led to the quest to find a system of communication that he could use despite his impaired motor control. Through the use of a letter board, and now an iPad, Ido has triumphed communicatively, enabling him to flourish in a regular high school in all general education classes.

But Ido has a larger goal. He does not want to be seen as an isolated autistic exception with miraculously advanced cognitive and communication abilities. He wants people to see that thousands of other severely autistic individuals have the same capacity, but remain trapped and locked-in, as he was, unable to show their true capacities. These individuals desperately need new theories and new methods to help them break free too. Of importance to neuro-researchers, educators, psychologists, doctors, parents, friends, family and people with autism, Ido in Autismland will change our collective understanding of severe autism.



PRAISE FOR Ido in Autismland

"There are doubtless many Idos in this world, unable to speak, yet possessing good intellectual ability and, most certainly, a rich emotional life. And yet, precisely because they cannot communicate, nonverbal individuals with autism are nearly always consigned to the junk heap of mental deficiency, branded as incapable of understanding language or even having feelings… We need to help change things for this terribly neglected group… Reading Ido's book is a good beginning." - Portia Iversen, Co-founder, Cure Autism Now and the Autism Genetic Resource Exchange Gene Bank. Author of Strange Son

"Ido is a brilliant communicator. His words bring us inside the world of autism. His gift of writing enlightens, inspires, educates. Every person who loves or works with someone with autism - educator, therapist, karent, grandparent, neighbor - should read Ido in Autismland." - Elaine Hall, Author of Now I See the Moon, co-author of Seven Keys to Unlock Autism. Featured in Autism: The Musical

"Ido's book touches any heart, not only because it is well written, but because it reveals a mind that has learned how to speak to the world through spelling every word on a letter board and keyboard. His book is indeed a great gift to the world. Thank you, Ido." - Soma Mukhopadhyay, Executive Director of Education, HALO, Author of Understanding Autism through Rapid Prompting Method


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Amazon.com: 4.9 su 5 stelle  119 recensioni
49 di 51 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle A stunning insight into the rich intellectual life of non-verbal autism 29 ottobre 2012
Di Bookworm - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato:Copertina flessibile
Reading "Ido in Autismland," it's tempting to believe that the book must have been ghostwritten. After all, we've all seen children suffering from profound autism: they're non-verbal, their faces are expressionless, they seem beyond teaching, and, sometimes, even beyond love. How can someone suffering from non-verbal autism have written such a profound book about the autism experience, about autism education, and about the usual emotional and intellectual challenges of being a teenager? Well, it turns out that it can be done and Ido Kedar has done it.

Before I go on with this review, I should say here that I've known Ido for many years, and I can attest to the fact that he wrote every word in his book. Moreover, his writing, which is a compilation of his diaries, very accurately describes his treatment and development, both during the early years when "experts" treated him like a trained monkey, and during the later years, when Soma Mulokhopadyay taught Ido and his family how to use a letter board.

Ido's book begins by comprehensively documenting the painful boredom of spending every single day for years doing repetitive drills aimed at teaching him to identify simple objects or put names to emotions. Because he was non-verbal, Ido was unable to explain that he had already taught himself to read, that he could do basic math, and that he perfectly understood, although he couldn't express, a full range of emotions. Nor could Ido explain that, in addition to understanding what those around him were experiencing, he was living in a physical and emotional environment much richer than what most people without autism experience. Institutional myopia seemed to have condemned him to a lifetime of monotonous drills, unfulfilled intellectual dreams, and intense loneliness. This makes for painful reading, but it is necessary to understand (a) the wonder of what happened when Ido was able to break out of his silent prison and (b) the incredible gift this book is to those who work with autistic people, whether they are family members or professional clients.

As Ido explains, it was his good fortune that his parents, especially his mother, never gave up. They couldn't shake their conviction that, behind Ido's silence, there was a fully realized human-being. It was this belief that led them to Soma Mulokhopadyay, who believed that Ido and children like him can communicate through a letter board.

Once he mastered the letter board (and he did so very quickly), Ido took off. Although very shy (something he talks about movingly in his book), Ido suddenly started connecting with the outer world. It's a joy to read his trenchant observations about autism experts (some open-minded, and some remarkably stubborn), ordinary educators, the other autistic children in his world, his parents, and his friends and family. One of the best things that shines through the book is Ido's capacity for love. For so many years, autism experts have thought that autistic people have no emotional life. Ido kills that belief forever. Not only is Ido's a very rich emotional world, it is both an astute and a loving one.

For me, reading the book was especially eye-opening, because it explained so many previously mystifying behaviors. For example, Ido explains that many people with autism, Ido included, have sensory awareness problems. If he cannot see a part of his body, he loses his awareness of it. That's why, for example, he likes to be tucked up in bed very tightly, under heavy blankets. The pressure this provides orients him in space. Otherwise, he feels as if he's floating away.

Ido also explains the drug-like pleasure of stims, those repetitive flapping movements that so many autistic children use. For a brain that, rather than being insensible, is hyper-sensitive, stims are a calming way for the autistic person to control his environment.

If you work with autistic children, if you have an autistic child or relative, or if you know someone autistic, I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I know that the parents of most autistic children, like Ido's parents, never give up their belief in their child or their hope that, some day, their child can begin to communicate with them. Until today, though, most of them didn't have the sheer good luck to fall within Soma's orbit. Ido's book provides for other autistic children the pathway to freedom that Soma provided for him. With his insights about both the problems and the blessings of autism, those whose lives intersect with autistic people will never view autism in the same way again.
19 di 19 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle First Autism Book I Could Relate To 23 novembre 2012
Di BuffaloGal - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato:Copertina flessibile|Acquisto verificato
I am a parent of a child with non-verbal autism and this is the first book I could relate to. I have amassed a large library of books on autism since my son was diagnosed 7 years ago. A lot of them have offered false hope and made me feel very frustrated as a parent whose child did not progress as significantly as others did to therapies such as ABA, special diets, biomedical treatments, and a myriad of other conventional therapies. It wasn't till we took our son to Soma, the same teacher Ido had to teach him to communicate on a letter board, that we saw a glimpse of hope for our son. Ido clearly explains, with tremendous insight and maturity for such a young person, many of the features I see in my son, but never understood- the inability to speak or control his actions, his impulsivity, self-stims, anxiety, and frustrations. Most importantly though, Ido and his mother show us it is possible for our son to have a meaningful life in which real communication is achievable without having to speak. Working with Soma and seeing the success of one of her students (there are many more out there) renews my hope and gives me a passion to keep striving for my son to communicate and to learn beyond the preschool curriculum most non verbal kids are forced to endure. This book showed me what I have suspected all along, that the current understanding about autism needs to be revised and standards of autism treatment must be more tailor made depending on whether a child has speech or not. I recommend this book for familes who have children with autism, especially those with non-verbal autism or those whose hope is faltering. I also recommend this to all educators, therapists, medical workers, and anyone else who comes in contact with children with autism. Thank you Ido and his mom for writing this brave book!
16 di 17 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle Ido and his mother tell a compelling story of anxiety and success in Autismworld. 5 agosto 2013
Di Kathy Jordan - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato:Formato Kindle|Acquisto verificato
My son was diagnosed as autistic 46 years ago, during the days when the medical world believed cold, unfeeling, refrigerator mothers caused the disorder. He has a seizure disorder, very little comprehensible speech. As I read Ido's story, I am cheering for him, while at the same time mourning for what could have been for my Jeff. I know he wants to communicate, I can see it in him, and how he gives up so easily. God Speed Ido. What you are doing will change the outcomes and future of untold numbers of disabled people.
8 di 9 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle Incredible resource for professionals and parents 8 novembre 2012
Di Amazon Customer - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato:Copertina flessibile|Acquisto verificato
Ido's book is easy and fast to read. This is the mark of an outstanding author, one who chooses words designed to make communication easy. Although it is a fast read, it is one deserving of reading and re-reading, one or two essays at a time. It should be required reading for every teacher and professional who work with bright autistic children. Even more importantly, it should be read by those who are responsible for designing teacher credential programs for moderate to severe special ed. I'm seeing a focus on behavior and NOT on curriculum delivery. I'm also seeing huge time and money requirements for a second career person to earn a credential. You want the most qualified, not the most book qualified teaching children who's adult future depends on choices made by adults during their school years.
I am a California teacher, having retired from the military, I chose to work part time as my children grew. One of those children was a bright child who could not learn to write or spell and who had a very difficult time in a classroom. He was diagnosed early as ADHD, and in 6th grade as dyslexic. That year he was enrolled in a school for dyslexic and or bright children. The growth that year was huge. He was happier, able to focus better, and, he made two full years of academic growth in language skills. I was able to take their teacher training that summer as I retired from the Navy. I taught him for three years in an independent studies program offered by the county where we now live in California. As he graduated from high school, earning a "real" diploma, I was completing a general (multi-subject) credential and began to teach part time, or sub. Last year I was a long term sub in a k/1 county special ed classroom with some very bright autistic students. I discovered Ido's blog [...] last March. One of my valued resources. I struggled to find ways to meet the challenge of figuring out first, how to present grade or near grade level skills/information then, how to have the student demonstrate that knowledge. Several students were verbal, several were not. I relied on my experience with my son. When bored, at best, he tuned out. When engaged, he learned incredibly fast. He was dyslexic, not mute, and so was able to demonstrate his knowledge IF given a choice in how to do so. A written report through his sophomore year in high school would highlight his lack of great handwriting, arbitrary spelling, incomplete sentences and lack of organization rather than his knowledge. Therefore, with my students, I did look for alternates, sometimes more and sometimes less successfully than I desired.
I watch this year as the students have moved on. As they get older, the classes get bigger and there is less time for the intensive work needed. The present choices are high support, low academic expectations and low support but higher academic expectations. I'm wondering if technology can help, not only with communication, but with curriculum delivery for a bright child. If you, Ido, are reading this, I would ask if you have experience or thoughts about computer based instruction. I know there are research based programs, and others are play skills programs. I'm thinking of one program, Edmark, that I used last year with a student. If done face to face without a computer, he got bored and restless. On the computer with me next to him, he could go through 5 lessons quickly, especially when I skipped the vocab lessons on words he knew. He still aced the unit tests. Do you have experience with any computer based instruction, if so, any thoughts? Thank you again. I will be sharing this book with a number of professionals.
2 di 2 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
4.0 su 5 stelle provides a new perspective on all non-verbal children, ot just those with ASD 26 dicembre 2013
Di alison - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato:Formato Kindle|Acquisto verificato
This is a great book for all parents, teachers, and therapists who know and work with non verbal children. It is organized in very short passages, which makes it easy to read "on the run", a few passages at a time. The writings are not only insightful in showing how much potential children who are non-verbal possess, but also helps parents and teachers to understand the seemingly erratic behaviors that children with ASD and similar conditions exhibit. Definitely worth the time and cost. You will not be disappointed.

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