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Instructions Not Supplied

A story of adoption, autism and coming together as a family

Julie Otto and foreword by Ken Aitken

Steve and Julie Otto quickly discovered that their children were different from others, and not just because they were adopted. This is the inspiring story of how they and their sons rose to the challenges they faced and came together as a family like no other.

Size: 198 × 129 × 14 mm / 7.81 × 5.06 × 14 in176 PagesISBN: 9781788600255
Publication: June 21, 2018

B format paperback

  • £12.99

Instructions Not Supplied is the account of one family’s experience in adopting three children, each of whom turned out to have special needs, and the challenges they have faced along the way. Some of the difficult situations they have faced are simply part of a family life; others are as a direct result of the children's disabilities and difficulties, including autism, attention deficit hyper-activity disorder, foetal alcohol syndrome, attachment disorder and sensory issues.

A story of adoption, autism and coming together as a family, this book describes with honesty and humour how the behaviour of the children has often challenged the adults around them. It also explores the process of diagnosis and the difficulty of getting the right support both for the children and their parents, with insights for all parents and teachers of children with complex needs.

The book is a unique insight into the twin challenges of adoption and disability, an invaluable read for prospective adopters and adoptive parents as well as natural parents of children with additional support needs. It is equally valuable for practitioners, as it gives an insight into the family life of those parenting such children and how best to support them.

Julie Otto lives in Fife, Scotland with her husband Steve, their three children, four dogs, three cats and two tortoises. An accomplished golfer, who has represented her country in international events, she's found life very different since adopting her boys. In Instructions Not Supplied, Julie gives a frank and honest account of what it means to be the parent of adopted children and how she and Steve realised that their children were different. Struggling to come to terms with a diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorder for all three boys, Julie developed her knowledge and understanding of this and other related conditions, learning what it means to parent three very different children, each with their unique needs, and building a family unlike any other. She is now a speaker and campaigner for greater awareness of adoption and parenting children with special educational needs / additional support needs.

Dr Ken Aitken is Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Health and Wellness, University of Glasgow, Researcher at the Rivers Centre, Edinburgh, External Lecturer at the University of Birmingham, External Associate at the University of Sao Paolo and Ad Hoc Advisor on Autism to the Scottish Minister for Health.

Foreword – By Dr Ken Aitken
Who We Are
Chapter One – How It All Began
• Preparing for a child the adoptive way
• Being assessed
• Considering and having a child
• Our second son
• Completing our family
• The legal process
Chapter Two – Is My Child Different?
• It’s because he’s adopted
• Early play and toddler groups
• Attending nursery
• Starting school
• Why is he behaving that way?
• Understanding the differences
Chapter Three – What Is Wrong With My Child?
• Is my child autistic?
• Well that explains everything
• Developmental Delay and Leaning Disability
• Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
• Foetal Alcohol Syndrome
• Sensory Processing  
• Attachment Disorder

Chapter Four – School Life and Home Life
• Attending a mainstream school
• From one school to another
• The impact of school life on home life
• Activities after school
• When it all goes wrong how wrong can it go?
• Educating the teachers about my child
Chapter Five – Medication and Other Interventions
• Can I make my child better?
• Psychology advice and intervention
• Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service
• Befriending
• Parent Awareness Programme Autism Spectrum
Chapter Six – The Big Questions
• Nature versus nurture?
• What lessons can be learnt?
• What changes could be made?
• Where will the future take us?

"This book, written by a friend, clearly and honestly highlights the trials and tribulations of the adoption process, dealing with the unknown, dealing with The System, juggling multiple problems with multiple children, simply trying her very best as she does with everything she does, not least of all, giving unconditional love to 3 lovely boys with their own special needs. It should be read by Social Workers, Educationalists and Teachers, by anyone considering adoption or fostering and by anyone else with even the remotest interest in families and relationships. This is indeed their story as I have heard it over the years. Do read. Do enjoy. Do empathise. Moreover, DO LEARN!"

"Knowing these wonderful people, it was heartbreaking to read the trauma they have been through. Extremely well written and very informative. I’m sure this will help others who are blindly looking for answers. A very honest, well written book. Haven’t read a book in a long time but couldn’t put this down."

"This is a very honest and heartfelt account of one family's journey into the world of adoption and hidden disabilities. At times it is heart breaking at the author's account of how unaware some teaching staff are of how to deal with ASD children; the woeful lack of appropriate educational provision in Fife for these neuro diverse children and the lack of empathy and transparency shown by social services. This is an important book not just for parents, but also for the professionals involved and I just hope some learning comes out of this for those involved with placing children for adoption"

"...It is a unique insight to another side of Adoption , children displaying Autism , other behavioural and mental difficulties not linked to " being adopted", whilst also displaying behaviours directly linked to " being adopted from foster care , i.e. attachments issues ...."

"Good read. I feel I know Julie's sons (I don't as have never met them) ie shows how well written the book is. The family have had some tough times with lack of understanding from social services and some teachers but their love and determination are winning through."

"If you are thinking of adopting, or have adopted a child, or have a child with disabilities of any kind, then this book is for you. It explains one family's struggles with the adoption process in Scotland. It further explains the family's struggles with the raising of three boys--each with his own issues on the autism spectrum. It is written with bluntness and humor, and you will want to laugh and cry at the same time. And you will most certainly conclude that there is a special place in heaven for the author and her husband who have raised three very special boys who otherwise would not have a proper home."

Format: B format paperback

Size: 198 × 129 × 14 mm / 7.81 × 5.06 × 14 in

176 Pages

Copyright: © 2018

ISBN: 9781788600255

Publication: June 21, 2018

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