Anne Carpenter’s July Book Review

TITLE: Set Free Autism and ADHD: Parenting Special Needs Children

AUTHOR:  Faith, Lilly J.

SUBJECT AREA: Autism-Parenting

PUBLISHER: Ocean Reeve Publishing


NUMBER OF PAGES (for Print Edition): 165

Lilly J. Faith, an Australian woman, was so ready to marry and raise a family. She met her future husband and fell madly, deeply in love! Soon after, she became pregnant, but when Noah became a toddler, she could see that something wasn’t quite right so she and her husband put their heads together and the result is this comprehensive guide to parenting a child with special needs. After Noah’s diagnosis, they dove into different approaches to helping their little one including ABA therapy, adjusting his diet with supplements and the right kinds of foods, sensory processing, and a supportive school setting. This was not easy, as Noah also had a diagnosis of ADHD so that had to be addressed as well.

Each chapter in the book focuses on a specific approach such as nutrition and ABA, making it easier for the reader to find out about an approach that might help their own child. The author infuses the book with a positive, loving attitude that should be very reassuring to some readers, but might be seen as overly optimistic and sentimental to other readers.

I was fascinated and overjoyed by reading about all the progress that little Noah was making overall and especially with his relationship with his younger sister Abby; they forged a close friendship and I think she really helped him to learn and grow socially.

In addition, the author wanted to be as non-punitive as possible so she focused on helping Noah to redirect any behavior seen as inappropriate or disrespectful of others. This is a very loving parent narrative and testimonial to hard work and perseverance in the face of great odds as her son had a dual diagnosis making treatment harder to implement. Combining ABA with the other techniques she and her husband used really made a huge difference in Noah’s progress. I also liked the advice she gave on keeping one’s marriage on solid ground when raising a special-needs child. This is by far one of the better parent narratives I have seen, but there are some minor caveats, one being that the author is in Australia, so the services there may be different than here in the US and the other one being that the resources listed are Australian. But for the most part, I would definitely recommend this book!

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