BOOK REVIEW: A 'Stranger' Among Us: Hiring In-Home Support for a Child with Autism Spectrum Disorders or Other Neurological Differences

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Lisa Ackerson Lieberman. A "Stranger" Among Us: Hiring In-Home Support for a Child with Autism Spectrum Disorders or Other Neurological Differences (Autism Asperger Publishing Company, Shawnee Mission, KS: 2005).

$21.95 from the publisher -- click on book to order.

At some point in life, almost any parent of a child with special needs will at least consider the possibility of hiring someone to provide in-home care. But as Lisa Lieberman explains in this book, parents may feel that a stranger cannot adequately care for their child with special needs, or that they cannot afford in-home care. Although these and other concerns are certainly valid, Lieberman points out that the benefits of in-home care can far outweigh the drawbacks. A "Stranger" Among Us offers a range of advice for any family thinking about hiring an in-home care provider, from pre-hiring decisions through the care provider's eventual departure. While the book specifically deals with hiring a care provider for someone with Autism Spectrum Disorders or Neurological Differences, Lieberman's straightforward advice can help the family of any person with special needs find the care provider that is right for them.

In addition to being a psychotherapist and social worker, Lieberman is no stranger to working with care providers on a much more personal level. As the mother of a child with special needs and the wife of a husband with multiple sclerosis, Lieberman has had real-world, front-line experience with the ins and outs of hiring and working with in-home care providers, and her down-to-earth suggestions will resonate with anyone who cares for someone with special needs.

A "Stranger" Among Us begins by outlining the pros and cons of hiring an in-home care provider, and then proceeds step by step through the entire hiring process. Lieberman helpfully provides comments from other parents of children with special needs, and also includes checklists and forms to help families determine what they are looking for in a care provider. Lieberman helps her readers make lemonade from her own lemons, highlighting mistakes that she made when working with caregivers and offering suggestions for others to improve upon her experiences.

After guiding readers through the hiring process, Lieberman offers advice on working with care providers in the home. Again, her actual experiences, coupled with the experiences of others in her situation, provide the backdrop for suggestions regarding time management, establishing personal boundaries, and knowing when to let a care provider go.

Hiring an in-home care provider may not be for everyone, for a variety of reasons. But if you are thinking about bringing someone into your home to help you care for your family member with special needs, you will benefit from Lisa Lieberman's experiences.

To order A "Stranger" Among Us: Hiring In-Home Support for a Child with Autism Spectrum Disorders or Other Neurological Differences directly from the publisher, click here.

Article Last Modified: 12/01/2009

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