Editor: Stephen N. Calculator

Angelman Syndrome: Communication, Educational and Related Considerations

eBook: US $39 Special Offer (PDF + Printed Copy): US $138
Printed Copy: US $119
Library License: US $156
ISBN: 978-1-68108-117-5 (Print)
ISBN: 978-1-68108-116-8 (Online)
Year of Publication: 2015
DOI: 10.2174/97816810811681150101

Introduction

Individuals with Angelman Syndrome (AS) present many unique challenges to professionals, parents and others who are committed to maximizing individuals’ competence while ensuring them the best possible quality of life. Angelman Syndrome: Communication, Educational, and Related Considerations is a unique, exhaustive compilation of existing material related to understanding the nature of AS and how individuals’ communication and related skills can be fostered most effectively. It provides readers with a comprehensive understanding of the background of Angelman Syndrome along with an in-depth exploration of communication (with a focus on augmentative and alternative communication), educational, and related issues that should be addressed when attempting to meet the needs of individuals with AS at home, school, work, and elsewhere in the community.

Key features of the book include:

  • - Extensive background information about medical and related factors behind AS and how they influence individuals’ learning
  • - A series of prologues written by the parents of individuals with AS
  • - Contributions from internationally recognized experts on AS, communication disorders, psychology and education
  • - Numerous practical, evidence-based strategies for conducting assessments and carrying out interventions among AS affected individuals

Speech-language pathologists, allied healthcare providers and educators providing support to affected individuals should benefit from the information provided in the book by being able to identify appropriate communication, behavioral and educational goals. Laypersons, particularly parents, will also find the information highly useful in advocating for best practices for their children (which is partly fostered by the series of parental prologues).

Angelman Syndrome: Communication, Educational, and Related Considerations will not only serve as a valuable reference for improving the learning experience for AS affected individuals but will also embolden both professionals and parents to maintain higher expectations for them.

Foreword

I was both pleased and honored to be asked to write the Foreward for this book – pleased because of the importance of the book’s topic, and honored because of my admiration for Steve Calculator’s many contributions to the field of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Steve and I first met in 1993 when we were invited to present a paper at the same conference he describes in the book’s Preface. The paper was focused on best practices for the delivery of AAC services in inclusive educational settings and was part of the second National Symposium on Effective Communication for Children and Youth with Severe Disabilities in Washington DC. Actually, the truth of the matter was that Steve was invited, and he invited me. I was flattered and more than a little intimidated by his invitation, because he had already established himself as a leader in the AAC area and I was a relative newcomer to the field. However, any trepidation I experienced was eradicated once we began our long distance collaboration, and as I came to know Steve as one of the most open-minded and open-hearted colleagues with whom I have ever worked. Those qualities are reflected in the team of authors he brought together in this book, representing parents, clinicians, researchers, and policy makers who live with, support, and advocate for individuals with Angelman syndrome (AS).

Why do we need this book? Anyone who has read the (very limited) literature on AS will come away believing that they “know” four things: (1) people with AS smile and laugh a lot, (2) very few are able to speak or acquire literacy skills, (3) most engage in frequent problem behaviors, and (4) we don’t know much about what to do about (2) and (3). We need this book because these “facts” – these inaccurate facts -- lead to low expectations, and low expectations lead to poor educational and communication outcomes. In contrast, the authors in this book offer both solutions and hope as they describe practical, innovative solutions that are aimed at improving the lives of people with AS. We need this book because people with AS need us to know that they are not “happy puppets” – they are children, adolescents, and adults who are capable of learning and of making real contributions to their home and school communities. We owe Steve and his collaborators a debt of gratitude for compiling this collection of thoughtful, forward-looking chapters that will surely change the lives of people with AS and their families.

Pat Mirenda, Ph.D., BCBA-D, Professor and Director
Centre for Interdisciplinary Research and Collaboration in Autism (CIRCA)
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4 Canada


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