voices in the family

Autism in the family

In the new book Autism in the Family: Caring and Coping Together, author Robert Naseef delivers a personal narrative, as a father of a grown son with severe autism, and supplies a comprehensive view of autism throughout the lifespan.

Dan Gottlieb discusses how families of children with autism navigate an often challenging and emotional journey. His guests include Robert Naseef and Eustacia Cutler, mother of noted child with autism, author and speaker, Temple Grandin.

Robert Naseef is a psychologist specializing in families of children with disabilities and has published several articles on the subject, including the book Special Children, Challenged Parents: The Struggles and Rewards of Raising a Child With a Disability (1997). He presents locally and nationally on issues related to family life with special needs and has a special interest in the psychology of men.

Eustacia Cutler lectures nationally and internationally on autism and its relation to the rapidly emerging bio-neurological study of brain plasticity. Her 2006 book, A Thorn in My Pocket, describes raising her daughter, Temple, in the conservative world of the ’50s when children with autism were routinely diagnosed as infant schizophrenics and banished to institutions. She is working on her second book.

Share this story:

Share a comment:

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow WHYY's terms of service; WHYY reserves the right to remove any inappropriate comments. See also WHYY's privacy policy.

  • George Walsh

    I listened to the program today and realized just how lucky our family is. Our son Matthew’s autism has made our family stronger . I feel that because we had the luck of meeting Dr. Naseef at a time when our son was going through Jr. High made the difference in our lives and in Matthew’s success( The Jr. High period was the most stressful period for Matthew and our family). Dr. Naseef’s experience professionaly and as a parent kept us grouned and hopeful that as a family we could make it. Also along the way Matthew had the support of many good Teachers, therapist’s and school aides who were also key in his success. Our son is now finishing Jr. College and moving on to the next phase in his education and adult life. It still is a work in progress but I know that with the continued help of Dr. Naseef and the support of our family Matthew will have a very successful and rewarding life.
    I know that this sounds like an advertisement for Dr. Naseef but what I am trying to say is that with the proper diagnossis and supports a child and family can make it.
    Thanks for this program. I hope that it will benefit other families.
    George Walsh

  • Eileen Bernstein Ercolani

    To have our feelings validated; to have our experiences articulated with compassion, understanding, respect and truth — today’s Voices In the Family hit home with me! Would WHYY TV or Radio consider featuring an evening with Dr. Gottlieb, Dr. Naseef, Dr. Shore, Dr. Ariel, Dr. Grandin, and Eustacia Cutler, to extend this conversation? One hour was not enough. Thank you to Dr. Naseef for revealing his vulnerability by sharing his personal story. I especially welcomed the thoughts about fathers, siblings and grandparents. ACCEPTANCE: to acknowledge ALL our human emotions, without harsh judgment – enveloped in kindness, permeates Dr. Naseef’s book. For those who ask, “What can I do to help?” consider reading his book, AUTISM in the FAMILY, for aren’t we all family yearning for acceptance, understanding, and kindness.

  • Heather Fizur

    I found some of the points that Temple Grandin’s mother spoke about interesting, this being my first time hearing her speak. It was fascinating to learn that Temple was in a high school for individuals with autism. When my son’s therapist have recommended out of district placement for him it seemed like that is giving up- like he will never go to college if that was the case Obviously this was not the case for Temple as she is very successful.
    The discussion on vaccines was also interesting to me. I have always assumed that any link to autism and vaccines was dismissed by most professionals. This will most likely not influence my decision to vaccinate my infant as we did not have any negative reactions with my son and his autism was not the regressive form.
    I agree with the previous poster. An hour seemed to go by very quickly.

  • Fran Saravia

    This subject is front and center for my family. My 14 year old was the center of attention for many years while I researched all the therapies and issues facing a child on the spectrum. His older brother who was dx Dyslexia and ADD (inattentive) was given modifications at school, but because he really didn’t act out at home It was not given as much attention…..Until he started puberty. Then he exploded into rage and frustration. So my son with Autism is actually pretty much balanced. It is his older brother who needs attention.
    I am sad to say that there really is no mental health services available to families like ours in southeast NJ, Most of the metal health service providers do not accept insurance,
    It does help to hear shows like this… I would love to hear a show about the lack of mental health services available to middle class families…. I wish I could bring my family to Dr Naseef

You may also be interested in: