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Autism and Early Years Practice

Autism and Early Years Practice

Second Edition

December 2009 | 176 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Praise for the First Edition

"A remarkable reference resource. It is, without a doubt, the most absorbing and easily absorbed book we have seen, setting out the most comprehensive survey of the history, definitions, needs of carers and sufferers, issues of diagnosis, and much, much more." - Nurturing Potential


This new edition of the leading book in autism and early years practice continues to provide excellent guidance for all early childhood students and practitioners on how to work with young children who have autism, or who appear on the autistic spectrum.

Kate Wall's wise words will resonate with all, as she sets out clear and realistic suggestions for ways to include young children with autism in mainstream settings, supporting her advice with case studies based on her own experience as a practitioner. Each chapter also looks at key issues and offers suggestions for discussion.

Highlights of the new edition include:

  • Coverage of the latest developments in research
  • Reference to current early years legislation
  • Reference to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
  • New case studies, covering the full Birth to 8 age range
  • New suggestions for further reading

Every early childhood student and early childhood practitioner needs this book; it is an invaluable guide to best practice when working with young children with such particular needs.

Tricia David
Definitions of autism, common features and relevant legislation
Families of children with autism
Issues of diagnosis and assessment
Understanding the world of the child with autism
Programmes of intervention
Providing for young children with autism
Mainstream or special? Issues of inclusion
Key issues and suggestions for the future

'Wall includes case studies to enhance the understanding of autism by making it "real" and to help parents and practitioners appreciate how it feels to be a young child with autistic type behaviour and tendencies. A chapter on programmes of intervention provides a very useful summary of some of the specific programmes available to support children and their families. Wall also makes reference to therapies such as music therapy, drama and dance therapy and the role of dietary and vitamin treatments. The book closes with the author's thoughts on some key issues and her suggestions for the future' -
SEN Magazine

'This is a leading book in the field of autism and an essential read for all early years students, practitioners and parents' -
Early Years Educator

'Kate has a profound interest and understanding and puts this over with inspiration' - Cathy Mercer, Publications Officer, The National Autistic Society

This is a really helpful book which encompasses a lot of the key topics covered in the module.

Mrs Claire Carkin
Healthcare, Nursing & Social Work, City College Norwich
March 31, 2022

This edition provides excellent guidance for early years practitioners and students. It has a wealth of information about working with young children who have autism. It offers guidance and advice based on the author’s experience as an early years practitioner and a lecturer in childhood studies.
There is an excellent glossary at the beginning of the book and clarification of the terminology. The book includes case studies and each chapter begins by identifying what will be covered. In addition, every chapter ends with a summary, a list of key issues, suggestions for discussion, links to further reading and useful websites. The author also makes references to a range of therapies such as, music, art, drama and dance therapy.
Chapter 1 Definitions of autism, common features and relevant legislation.
Includes: Developments in special needs and early years provision, Timeline of significant legislation.

Chapter 2 Families of children with autism
Includes: Legislation and guidance, Issues for practitioners, Families of children with autism including siblings and grandparents.

Chapter 3 Issues of diagnosis and assessment
Includes: Delays in the diagnostic process, Diagnostic assessment, After the diagnosis.

Chapter 4 Understanding the world of the child with autism
Includes: Social interaction, Social communication, Key areas of difficulty, sensory difficulties.

Chapter 5 Programmes of intervention
Includes: Specific programmes, Early intervention, Features of effective programmes.

Chapter 6 Providing for young children with autism
Includes: Inclusion, Appropriate support, Adapting the environment, Strategies for dealing with difficult behaviours, repetitive and obsessive behaviours, Developing social and communication strategies.

Chapter 7 Mainstream or special? Issues of inclusion
Includes: Historical developments in inclusive education, Definitions and issues of inclusion.

Chapter 8 Key issues and suggestions for the future
Includes: Key issues, Suggestions for the future.

There are several case studies providing details about real life situations and include:
• Support with social services.
• Family isolation.
• Social interaction.
• Social communication.
• Individual needs.

The book also links to theory and includes Leo Kanner’s clinical paper which discuses early infantile autism. Hans Asperger identification of children and adults demonstrating some of the features of autism. Other theorists in the field are also mentioned. The author discusses the reality of working with children with autism and throughout her book, she weaves in links to theoretical perspectives and interventions. This is an extremely informative book that is easy to read and provides the reader with comprehensive, invaluable information. It is essential reading for practitioners, early years students and anyone wanting to develop their knowledge and understanding of young children and autism. The comprehensive bibliography enables the reader to further develop their knowledge in this area.

Mrs Catherine Mather
Childcare & Education, Doncaster College And University Centre
April 1, 2019

Excellent introduction to autism and the early years environment

Miss Maria Nolan Fortune
Career Education , Portobello Institute
July 16, 2016

This is a great text that will support both adult and paediatric nurses introduction to this very specific client group. No family intends to find themselves in an Emergency Dept. this text gives clear background and supporting information that will be beneficial to nurses providing care in this environment. I would also recommend it to other healthcare professionals or nurses working in alternate frontline services.

Mrs Shiela Pantrini
Faculty of Health and Sciences, Staffordshire University
November 12, 2015

Clear descriptions of the issues in relation to ASD

Mrs Alison Loughnane
Early Years Dept, Hopwood Hall College
May 15, 2015

Provides useful information that all teachers should be more aware of.

Mrs Sally Howard
Education and professional studies, Kings College
November 30, 2015

An informative and easy to read book which covers a range of aspects of autism. It is written specifically for early years practitioners but much of the content can be applied to older children also.

Mrs Claire Jackson
School of Education, Kingston University
December 16, 2014

Informative book, to suppoprt learners working with children with Autism or wanting a greater understanding of it.

Miss Kerry Groves
Early Years, Norfolk Adult Education
November 5, 2014

A great resource for those wishing to gain more of an insight into the study of Autism and it's impact on children in the early years. This is an extremely interesting subject for many learners and in today's society we are seeing more and more children in our early years settings displaying traits of ASD. This book covers all areas of interest within Autism from definitions to provision of experiences, thus proving invaluable for those who have a vested interest.

Mrs Gayle McKeag
Health and Well-being, Anniesland College
March 24, 2014

New to the 2nd edition:

  • Coverage of the latest developments in research
  • Reference to current early years legislation, including the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
  • New case studies, covering the full 0 to 8 age range
  • Further suggestions for discussion
  • Updated key texts for further reading

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter One

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