A new autism book, The Loving Push, encourages parents to gently and lovingly nudge children on the spectrum to perform activities outside their comfort zone.
This book is written by Dr. Temple Grandin, a leading spokesperson on autism, as well as psychologist Debra Moore.
In the book, Dr. Grandin gives an example of how her mother encouraged her to step outside her comfort zone; she urged her to go to the store to get lumber for something she was building. Grandin’s mother had deduced that her child’s motivation to do the project would help her overcome her anxiety.
She was right. Dr. Grandin encourages other parents to do the same for their children, gently pushing them to reach their full potential.
The Loving Push tackles a number of subjects, including therapy for children and teens with autism; the importance of sleep, exercise and chores; and the absence of vocational classes in schools.
It also has useful information on how parents should lovingly press children on the spectrum to learn skills such as driving.
Dr. Grandin advises parents to role-play potential situations, such as interactions with law enforcement officers, to help their child learn what to do to reduce misunderstandings. She also tells parents to share struggles and mistakes from their own life, explaining how they overcame them to provide a model for their children.
The authors do not underestimate the challenges that parents may face when they try the strategies in the book. They recognize that structure, routines, and rituals are preferred by most children on the spectrum and that change can trigger a meltdown.
In spite of this, the authors insist that gently pushing and encouraging the child is both beneficial and necessary.
The Loving Push also includes information from caregivers and other people on the spectrum, as well as the founder of a college transition program for students on the spectrum.
These shared insights, along with the rest of the book’s insiders’ intuition on the subject, make it a valuable and thought-provoking read for any parent of a child with autism.