Is My Child Autistic or Delayed?

Susan Louise Peterson
Vilnius Press (2013)
ISBN 9780615802237

Reviewed by Carol Hoyer, PhD, for Reader Views (10/13)

With “Is My Child Autistic or Delayed?,” Susan Louise Peterson, a school psychologist, has written a most excellent book for teachers, psychologists and parents to help them understand the difference between Autism and Developmental Delays. Having done more than 1,000 assessments for both of these concerns, the author’s hope is that parents will read this parent-friendly book before deciding if their child has autism or is delayed. She states that one of the reasons she wrote this book was that many parents are shocked when their child is diagnosed with either and some want the diagnosis so their children will finally have something to label their behavior and/or learning problems.

The book covers topics from communication concerns, stereotype behaviors, social interaction and unusual behaviors. She even addresses the “wrong reasons” a parent might want a diagnosis of autism. One of the most interesting areas was the topic of cultural issues related to autism.

The author also addresses the educational assessment and professional assessment processes in great detail. The author relates that assessment is not often black and white; it takes time to make a full and complete assessment.

I would highly recommend each parent that has concerns, as well as school personnel and professionals, get a copy of “Is My Child Autistic or Delayed?,” by Susan Louise Peterson. It certainly clears up many myths about these diagnoses and it also helps one to be more knowledgeable about children who have special abilities. This reviewer plans to give this book to her daughter, who teaches children with autism, to place in their faculty library. 


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