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Jan 24
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by Dennise Goldberg

I recently read the new book from Stanley I. Greenspan, MD and Gil Tippy, Psy D “Respecting Autism.” It provides a unique and informative perspective on behavior therapy treatment using a combination of the Developmental, Individual Difference, Relationship (DIR) model and Floortime. You get an inside look at DIR/Floortime through the utilization of case studies. These case studies come from the Rebecca School for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders located in New York. Dr. Gil Tippy is the founder and Clinical Director for the school and Dr. Greenspan was the creator of the DIR/Floortime Model. Dr. Greenspan passed away shortly after finishing this book.

The introduction of the book describes the differences between the DIR model and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy. In addition, Dr. Tippy explains why he prefers and only uses the DIR model instead of ABA therapy. For those parent’s who have never heard of DIR/Floortime, I think this section is particularly useful in terms of providing another option to parents for behavioral therapy.

The main portion of the book focuses on 16 children of all ages and their difficulties navigating through life. In each case study, Dr. Tippy describes their unique set of circumstances and struggles along with Dr. Greenspan’s recommendations using the DIR/Floortime model. Between the dedicated staff at the Rebecca School along with Dr. Greenspan’s recommendations, each child improved. This proves that with the right environment along with the right interventions, these children can show vast improvements.

As a reviewer, I don’t think it’s my job to tell a parent that this is the only philosophy or intervention you should use in terms of behavioral therapy. I’d rather use this opportunity to remind parents that one size does not fit all when it comes to our children. For the children in these case studies, this particular philosophy worked well for them. But that doesn’t mean it would work for all children, just as ABA therapy might not work for everyone as well.

The case study format of this book can be very useful for both parents and professionals to help customize or tweak existing strategies. I recommend “Respecting Autism” to those who are looking to expand their treatment options for children with Autism.

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Book Review: Respecting Autism, 5.0 out of 5 based on 2 ratings
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