Winner of the Autism Society of America’s Dr. Temple Grandin Award for the Outstanding Literary Work in Autism
A groundbreaking book on autism, by one of the world’s leading experts, who portrays autism as a unique way of being human—this is “required reading...Breathtakingly simple and profoundly positive” (Chicago Tribune).
Autism therapy typically focuses on ridding individuals of “autistic” symptoms such as difficulties interacting socially, communication problems, sensory challenges, and repetitive behavior patterns. Now, this updated and expanded edition of Dr. Barry M. Prizant’s Uniquely Human tackles new language such as shifting from “person-first language” to “identity-first language,” diversity of identity in the autism sphere, and the future of autistic advocacy by amplifying the voices of autistic and neurodivergent individuals.
“A must-read for anyone touched by autism…Dr. Prizant’s Uniquely Human is a crucial step in promoting better understanding and a more humane approach” (Associated Press). Instead of classifying “autistic” behaviors as signs of pathology, Dr. Prizant sees them as part of a range of strategies to cope with a world that feels chaotic and overwhelming. Rather than curb these behaviors, it’s better to enhance abilities, build on strengths, and offer supports that will lead to more desirable behavior and a better quality of life.
Uniquely Human is a “brilliant” (Steve Silberman, author of NeuroTribes) approach to autism in the modern age that provides “common sense [and] practical advice” (Temple Grandin, author of The Autistic Brain) drawn from Dr. Prizant’s four-decade career. It conveys a deep respect for people with autism and their own unique qualities. Filled with humanity and wisdom, Uniquely Human “should reassure parents and caregivers of kids with autism and any other disability that their kids are not broken, but, indeed, special (Booklist, starred review).
About the Author
Barry M. Prizant, PhD, CCC-SLP, is recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities and as an innovator of respectful, person- and family-centered approaches for individuals on the autism spectrum and with neurodevelopmental conditions. Dr. Prizant specializes in communication disorders and child and human development, and is a visiting scholar at Brown University. He has fifty years of experience as an international consultant, clinical scholar, and researcher. He is coauthor of The SCERTS Model: A Comprehensive Educational Approach, now being implemented in more than a dozen countries, and widely used clinical assessment instruments. Dr. Prizant has been an invited keynote speaker/presenter in more than twenty-five countries and has published four books, 140+ articles and chapters, and has received many awards for his career improving quality of life for autistic persons and related conditions and their families. He is cohost of Uniquely Human: The Podcast, with autistic engineer, Dave Finch (UniquelyHuman.com).
Tom Fields-Meyer is author of the critically acclaimed memoir Following Ezra: What One Father Learned About Gumby, Otters, Autism, and Love from His ExtraordinarySon, a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award. His work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post. The coauthor (with Barry M. Prizant) of Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism, and former senior writer for People, he lives in Los Angeles, where he teaches in the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program.
"Uniquely Human is brilliant. A revolution.”--Steve Silberman, author of NeuroTribes
"Uniquely Human is not just the perfect title for Barry Prizant's book, it's also an appropriate summation of Dr. Prizant's career. Though a clinical scholar, he is a humanist first, and always has been—a professional who is fascinated by unexamined lives that could be lived happily, yet aren't. With every brilliant, illuminating example in his book, he steers us away from the traditional fix-it mentality and towards the beatific, personally rewarding detective work that the entire spectrum world would be well served to adopt. Thanks be to Barry for the first-ever ‘must read’ written for parents, educators, and clinicians." --Michael John Carley, Founder, GRASP; Author of Asperger's From the Inside-Out
"Refreshing--and constructive.... It should be required reading for all educators and practitioners working with autism....Breathtakingly simple and profoundly positive."--Chicago Tribune
"A remarkable approach to autism....A truly impactful, necessary book."--Kirkus *starred review*