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Through the Glass Wall: Journeys Into the…

Through the Glass Wall: Journeys Into the Closed-Off Worlds of the…

by Howard Buten

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I think I will make this required reading for all my son's caretakers, not that I imagine they will be able to be the same caliper of therapist that Buden is. I merely hope it will open their minds to consider possibilities, to see the humanness of someone who has such difficulty communicating.
This is not a recipe book.
Yes, it describes specific interactions Buden has had with autistic clients which helped to draw them out of their selves. However, the varied approaches he uses serve to underscore the uniqueness of each person, the necessity of observing and finding some means of identifying with what that person is going thru to be able to imagine what they are feeling and what is needed to free them from that unresolved tension.
Each chapter mingles an almost conversational style of talking to us as reader about why Buden does what he does, descriptions of episodes of interactions with specific autistic clients, and summary of the theory behind different approaches to therapy and autism. The final chapter is more of a summation, now that we've seen examples, of his therapeutic approach in which he enters the world of the autistic. He uses imitation to develop an empathic identification within himself for that client, demonstrate respect, draw the interest of the client. "This attraction...is the foundation upon which other varied personal relations may be founded, all of which are prerequisites to trust. This trust, which is subject to perpetual maintenance, is ...the therapeutic alliance." (p. 165) ( )
  juniperSun | Jul 3, 2015 |
Buten's "vive la différence" approach should appeal to readers of Oliver Sacks and those interested in the science of autism.
added by juniperSun | editPublisher's Weekly (Feb 10, 2015)
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To Joe Klotz, with gratitude, and to the Shelton family, who trusted me
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I work with the autistic, in France.
Introduction: Much has been written about autism.
Until we can feel what it's like to be them, we will never be able to imagine how it would feel to be them as they change, as they evolve, as they become otherwise. Until we can imagine what they feel as they change, we will never be able to find in ourselves the particular way to facilitate their journey along the way. (p. 169)
It is very comfortable to imitate Baba...it becomes obvious how taken he is by the fact that someone else is rocking like him and talking like him. I take pains to kee my "ba's" in the same key as his, and I use the same tone, that of a clucking chicken. Thus I am able to inspire him to imitate me in return--imitate me imitating him... (p 94)
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