Robert A. Naseef, Ph.D.
With the new CDC statistics that indicate that one in 68 children are diagnosed with some degree of autism along the Autism Spectrum Disorder range of mild, moderate to severe. This translates to one in 34 families who are affected.
This is a disorder that has gained increased awareness over the past decade thanks, in large measure, to consumers who have taken the reigns and spoken out, reached out, and through using their voices on behalf of their children, have made the invisible, visible.
As the public begins to have awareness of the expanse of this problem, there is still the reality of what happens to individual people when they are faced with having a child with autism.
Family stories help to grasp the enormity of the problem for the individual child as well as for the entire family system that has to cope with this challenge over the course of a lifetime.
Luckily, most children are maintained in the community and at home, thanks to the heroism of the families and the access to services that exist for early identification and intervention.
Robert Naseef is seasoned by 25 years of professional practice as an independent psychologist with Alternative Choices in Philadelphia. Dr. Naseef’s specialty is working with families of children with autism and other special needs. He has published in scholarly journals and other publications. He has a special interest and expertise in the psychology of men and fatherhood. Robert relates to community and professional audiences and is a sought after speaker around the country who has appeared on radio and television. In 2008, Robert was honored by Variety, the Children’s Charity for his outstanding contributions over the past 20 years to the autism community.
His 2013 book, Autism in the Family: Caring and Coping Together (Brookes Publishing) integrates advances in research and treatment with clinical experience to help families navigate the emotional landscape and the practical roadmap through the lifespan. Special Children, Challenged Parents: The Struggles and Rewards of Parenting a Child with a Disability, his first book, received international recognition. He has lectured internationally and appeared on radio and television. He is the co-editor with Cindy N. Ariel of Voices from the Spectrum: Parents, Grandparents, Siblings, People with Autism, and Professionals Share Their Wisdom (2006). Living Along the Autism Spectrum (2009) is a DVDwhich features him with Stephen Shore and Dan Gottlieb.
You can visit him on the web at www.alternativechoices.com.
Robert Naseef is one of those rare individuals who has had to deal with a son with autism and who has since dedicated his life to working with families who face similar challenge so as to make their individual journey a success as well. His goal is to help families live life with joy and celebration.
His doctoral degree from Temple University is in the area of psychological studies with a dissertation entitled What Helps Families of Exceptional Children to Cope Successfully. He is living his dissertation findings in real life every day.
In this second discussion, he shares his own experience, with unvarnished emotion and a description of the self-compassion that he had to adopt, in order to move to the realization you have a child now just a problem to “fix”. He focuses on what the diagnosis means for your parent-child relationship. He describes various approaches and attempts to simplify the difficult and complex. The personal self-disclosure he shares is inspiring to anyone who has had to see their child as vulnerable and helpless in the face of an irreversible illness or disorder.
3 Key Points:
1. Use specific tactics of play: i.e. Get on the floor or at the table and connect several times a day in the moment with your child
2. Get access to Services: Get as much help as you can from what is available publically from your county’s early intervention system or your local school district and supplement that with private resources if you can.
3. Tap National Resources: Become an informed parent/ consumer of the services by connecting with major organizations, such as Autism Society, Autism Speaks, Arc, Easter Seals, etc.