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Autism Spectrum Disorders: The Complete Guide to Understanding Autism, Asperger's Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, and Other ASDs is a guidebook for parents of children with autism spectrum disorders. The foreword is by Temple Grandin. The book was the recipient of the Autism Society of America’s Outstanding Literary Work of the Year Award in 2005. The book's UK edition was the recipient of the 2003 San Diego Book Award for "Best in Health."

The author, Chantal Sicile-Kira, has remained associated with Autism Spectrum Disorders for around two decades – first, as a professional, and then as a parent. She has worked in different capacities with organizations dedicated to disabilities. She is currently on the advisory boards or committees of a number of organizations including the Autism Society of America and Cure Autism Now. The book has been widely acclaimed. For instance, Bernard Rimland, director of the Autism Research Institute and founder of the Autism Society of America has commended the books in these words: "A clearly written, well organized, carefully documented compilation of important information and useful advice. It will provide invaluable help and guidance to parents and professionals alike, especially those who are new to the world of autism. This book is not merely highly recommended – it is indispensable."[1] Sarah Benson of the National Autistic Society has this to say about this book: "Parents will find this book a huge help. It answers many of the questions we get asked on the Autism Helpline and, because Chantal is a parent herself, parents will find her approach very helpful. She packs a huge amount of information into this book without overwhelming the reader with facts."[2]

One another book authored by Chantal Sicile-Kira is Adolescents on the Autism Spectrum: A Parent's Guide to the Cognitive, Social, Physical, and Transition Needs of Teenagers with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Self-commenting on the purpose and the utility of the book, Chantal Sicile-Kira, the author has this to say: "General education and special education teachers and administrators, job coaches, and other professionals who work in the field will find nuggets of information. This book is written simply with practical tips in the hopes of pointing the reader in the right direction for more information if needed ... Adults who have been recently diagnosed will find information that is useful in different chapters. Hopefully this book will provide some insight and support ... Parents, this book was written in the hopes of saving you countless hours of precious time and heartache. You have enough to do! Having spent tens of thousands of hours learning about ASDs, how to navigate through the different systems in different places, and create what my son needs, it seems a waste to hoard all I have learned for the benefit of just a few people. Hopefully this book will also inspire you, and remind you that you are not alone. Knowledge is power, so use this guide to empower yourself."[3]


Over 350-page book begins with four small sections dedicated to Acknowledgements, Foreword, Preface, and Notes about the Book, and has nine chapters:

  • Chapter 1: The Myths and History of Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Chapter 2: What Autism Spectrum Disorders Are and How to Know if a person Has One
  • Chapter 3: What Causes Autism Spectrum Disorders and Why Do People with ASDs Act the Way They Do?
  • Chapter 4: Newly Diagnosed Adults and Parents of Children with an ASD: After the Diagnosis
  • Chapter 5: Treatments, Therapies, and Interventions
  • Chapter 6: Family Life
  • Chapter 7: Education
  • Chapter 8: Community Life
  • Chapter 9: Adults Living and Working with Autism Spectrum Disorders

A section named Closing Comments follow the Chapter 9. Sections on Appendix, Resources, Bibliography and Index complete the book.

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