The right direction:
It is great to see the autism field move forward.
These second edition books are the result of research showing that respectful care works.
Naturalistic Developmental-Behavioral Intervention moves the field toward effective support so that parents and other caregivers (family, teachers, others) can help children with developmental challenges to become who they want to be. This not about training to look normal, but about the child's wishes and potential, guided and helped by the adults in her life.
The message of the program is that empathy comes first. If you develop a real relationship with the child then you can fold in the learning. This is where the research is going, where the evidence is. Parents feel more confident in their ability to help their children to learn and grow. Difficult behavior is something we need to understand for us not merely correct. It is a far more humane and forward thinking approach.
The beauty of these books is that they are tailored to their audiences - the provider book is for people who likely trained as behaviorists and must now learn to see the child for who she is, focusing on the process of interaction and connection, rather than on the product, the outcomes and goals. Those come after the relationship is built. The parent guide reads like a great developmental program, in language that is accessible, supportive, and not pejorative. Our research shows parents love the program.
In a nutshell, the program asks us all to:
Focus on your child - let her take the lead and then build on it
Adjust your communication so that the child can take it in and respond
Create opportunities to interact, ones that are meaningful and in context
Teach new skills, folding them in as part of the natural interaction of play
Shape the interaction to keep it going, to keep it engaging, to keep it fun
I am proud to be part of this effort. Here is how you can get these books: