Anne Carpenter’s May Book Review

TITLE: Autism Communication Keys-the Collection: Always Advocating, Celebrating Neurodiversity, and Fostering Inclusivity (Kindle Edition)

AUTHOR: Gallo, Kim, M.S, CCC-SLP

SUBJECT AREA: Autism-Communication-Inclusion

PUBLISHER: Independently Published

PUBLICATION DATE: 2023

NUMBER OF PAGES: 339 (for Print Edition)

Autism Communication Keys-the Collection: Always Advocating, Celebrating Neurodiversity, and Fostering Inclusivity, by Kim Gallo, M.S., CCC-SLP, is actually a set of books, much like the multi-volume set of encyclopedias we all remember from years ago. However, each of the books in this collection is unique. In the first one: A Chat with the Speech Therapist,  the author focuses on early intervention, joint attention, receptive and expressive language, augmentative and alternative communication and interestingly enough, promotes the idea of teaching babies to use sign language! Not a bad idea, as this could actually be a stepping stone toward later speech if the child has developmental delays.

Give Them the Words delves further into communication, including a discussion of different language learning styles and types of language processing and a fascinating look at the eight senses-in addition to the usual five, there’s proprioception, vestibular and interception, which is an awareness of one’s bodily state, including being aware of being hungry or when one’s knee hurts after an injury, for example.

The final book, The Pivot for Parents and Educators: ADHD/Autism, provides additional discussion of the eight senses, but then covers the workings of the “neurodivergent” mind, masking and why so many people with ASD decide to camouflage their characteristics, but there is so much more! Gallo wants us to stop using the terms “High-Functioning” and “Low-Functioning”; instead, there is now Level I Autism and Level III Autism (which is the more severe form and previously referred to a “Low-Functioning”).

In addition, she expresses disapproval of the puzzle piece logo for autism, as it is outdated and instead, praises the newer rainbow infinity symbol, which is more inclusive and connotes unlimited potential! The author paints a very positive and enlightened, yet practical view of autism and all of its complexities and wonders. I was impressed by the practical information and strategies and the hopeful view of autism and neurodiversity in general, as we head deeper into the Twentieth Century. Let’s keep our eyes on the prize!

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