Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism – Updated and Expanded Edition
Autism therapy typically focuses on ridding individuals of “autistic” symptoms such as difficulties interacting socially, communication problems, sensory challenges, and repetitive behavior patterns. Now, this updated and expanded edition of Dr. Barry M. Prizant’s Uniquely Human tackles new language such as shifting from “person-first language” to “identity-first language,” diversity of identity in the autism sphere, and the future of autistic advocacy by amplifying the voices of autistic and neurodivergent individuals.
“A must-read for anyone touched by autism…Dr. Prizant’s Uniquely Human is a crucial step in promoting better understanding and a more humane approach” (Associated Press). Instead of classifying “autistic” behaviors as signs of pathology, Dr. Prizant sees them as part of a range of strategies to cope with a world that feels chaotic and overwhelming. Rather than curb these behaviors, it’s better to enhance abilities, build on strengths, and offer supports that will lead to more desirable behavior and a better quality of life.
Uniquely Human is a “brilliant” (Steve Silberman, author of NeuroTribes) approach to autism in the modern age that provides “common sense [and] practical advice” (Temple Grandin, author of The Autistic Brain) drawn from Dr. Prizant’s four-decade career. It conveys a deep respect for people with autism and their own unique qualities. Filled with humanity and wisdom, Uniquely Human “should reassure parents and caregivers of kids with autism and any other disability that their kids are not broken, but, indeed, special (Booklist, starred review).