Strange Son by Portia Iverson

The audio tapes of the adapted version of this book provided significant implications for understanding the strengths and weaknesses of individuals with autism as well as evaluating children with Autism. In an effort to connect with her son, Portia Iverson and her husband Dave founded Cure Autism Now (CAN) in 1994. Before starting CAN, little research was conducted. Through CAN, the Iversons initiated fundraising efforts to engage and link researchers to complete scientific studies to find a treatment for Autism. Portia Iverson discovered a unique away to teach her autistic son to respond to others. By connecting with Soma Mukhapadhyay and her son Tito, who were from India, Portia learned about the pointing method to facilitate communication. The methods employed by these two women included consistent non-emotional but firm demands. The material presented through Portia’s story allowed for increased awareness that people on the Autistic spectrum have more skills than previously thought. The implications for evaluators include but are not limited to a sensitivity to a variety of strengths in individuals with autism as well as unique knowledge sets possessed by these individuals. It is important to access a way of communicating to access knowledge. Assessment needs to be creative and flexible to assess individual strengths. Although there is no validity or data to support the pointing method, the anecdotal evidence provided resulted in success for the two children described. Ultimately, Portia Iverson was a catalyst for encouraging more scientific studies in an effort to reach children on the spectrum.

6 hours of running time
2 hours for summary
Total Hours: 8