World According to Matt

Where the Mysteries of Autism are Revealed One Story at a Time

Listening with the Heart
- A guide to understanding non-verbal communication in the autistic child for parents, teachers, and professionals

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Reviews - 5.0 out of 5 STARS!


The best part of life is what we share. How do we share if we can't communicate? If we are very, very, blessed we will have someone in our world who has the love, patience, and steadfast determination to listen very hard. So much so that they can actually decipher the unspoken, and in turn, teach us to really hear and be heard. Endless research and study done through the eyes and instincts of a scientist, teacher, author, and most importantly, a mother, have afforded us this invaluable insight into the skill of communication. Matt, a moderate to severely autistic and non-verbal child, had a lot to say. His mother teaches us how she learned to listen.


"Listening with the Heart" is a combination of observational science, and storytelling, told by someone who has navigated the difficulties of raising a non-verbal autistic child for over 30 years. The author understands that real communication goes both ways - an understanding which allowed her to see the child, get to know the child - and not focus on just the autism. This highly engaging book not only discusses the 12 different ways in which an autistic, non-verbal individual communicates, but also shares many heart-warming stories from Liz Becker's personal experiences. Her success in communicating with her son, and him with her, has lead to her son living on his own - independently - which is a rare and amazing accomplishment for an individual with his degree of autism severity - and a wonderful tribute to the power of understanding non-verbal communication.  - Gayle Johnson-Cartland, RRT.

From the back-cover

"Listening with the Heart - A Guide for Understanding Non-verbal Communication in the Autistic Child, for both Parents and Professionals""93/7 Rule: 93%of communication occurs through nonverbal behavior & tone; only 7% of communication takes place through the use of words. -John Stoker"
 
Liz Becker found this to be true from Matt's early age diagnosis of moderate/severe mostly nonverbal regressive autism. In her book, "Listening with the Heart - A Guide for Understanding Non-verbal Communication in the Autistic Child, for Parents, Teachers, and Professionals",the most amazing line I held close to my heart is, "He spoke with his heart, I listened with mine - and amazingly, we heard each other".
 
This extremely inspiring book, is written for parents and professionals. Her instinctive insights into nonverbal / minimally verbal children with nonverbal behaviors in Autism children and adults prove they do communicate, we just need to read, see and listen to their language. It is not a short cut to communicating- it is a lifelong journey. Matt has proven that with his Mother's perseverance in communicating with him, he can and has achieved more than many neurotypical children and adults. He is an independent and amazing young man, not because of his autism, but because his mother never gave up on learning to communicate his way and he was heard.
 
Readers will find in this book many ways to communicate with nonverbal or minimally verbal autistic children as well as the ones not labeled autistic. Reading this book has made me more aware of the many ways we communicate with nonverbal language. I thank Liz Becker for giving me more insight into peripheral vision as a communicative activity - of which I have already started in my therapy sessions.
 
This book is remarkable! You will find yourself in a whirlwind of proven ideas that work.  She gives all professionals (teachers, therapists etc...) and parents a roadmap to communicating. I hope parents, teachers and therapists use this book as a resource to learn new ways to understand and communicate with nonverbal and minimally verbal Autistic children. She teaches readers that understanding the child's language and them any ways to communicate invites us all to see each and every Autistic child as a unique individual, and learn not to ever compare - or to give in - to social norms, but Always! Always! Keep investigating with our eyes wide open.
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Deborah Simons-Johnson,MS, CCC-SLP, IBCCES Advanced Autistic Specialist

Autism and the World According to Matt


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Reviews: 5.0 out of 5 stars

 

The World According to Matt Shines Light on Autism

“They say you must walk a mile in another person’s shoes to really know them.  Liz Becker is an Autism Mom who walks a marathon in her autistic son’s shoes and details it beautifully in her book Autism and The World According to Matt: A collection of 50 inspirational short stories on raising a moderate/severe mostly non-verbal autistic child from diagnosis to independence.

This delightful collection of stories is a love letter from a mom who refuses to accept the 1990 view of autism that is imposed on her son, and instead embarks on a journey to uncover the beauty of who her son really is.  The stories encompass everything from the trials and tribulations of potty training to helping Matt get his own apartment. Becker’s style of writing evokes an Earl Hamner simplicity, making you feel as though Walton’s mountain has visited the land of Autism.  The result is lush and beautiful, you feel as though you are a part of the family that continually gathers ranks to protect Matt and help him safely make his way to independence.

Readers will find themselves laughing along as both mother and son find the way to communicate in a world filled with complexities, half-truths and unrealistic expectations.  They will cheer as Matt enjoys victories large and small and, like me, they will likely shed a tear when the road blocks seem just too tall to scale.  Do yourself a favor and read this inspirational book from a Mom who helped to forge a path for Autism parents before Autism Speaks, before insurance reform and before there was any reason to hope.”

-          Shannon Penrod, Host, Autism-Live



Book Reviews for Autism and the World According to Matt

Inspiratonal, January 11, 2014

 
 
". . . . I am an Exceptional Student Education Specialist for a public school system. This family’s compelling journey will be a recommended read to my colleagues as an example of what a child with a moderate-severe autism disorder is truly capable of achieving, both in a supported home environment and in the general education setting."
 
 
5.0 out of 5 stars

"I am the sibling of more than one autistic person. I, too, am "on the spectrum". It is rare to find someone who can so eloquently express what it IS to be autistic.
I cannot pretend to know the struggle of Matt and of his mother, for my autism is "high-functioning". This book, however, made me FEEL as if I could understand and know what it means to love, or, be, or teach a "moderate/severe, mostly non-verbal" autistic person."


5.0 out of 5 stars
I LOVE MATT'S WORLD December 31, 2013

"This book shares all the raw emotions of both laughter and tears that go along with the Autism world".

5.0 out of 5 stars
Honest humor January 4, 2014

".... Her honesty with a perfect pitch of humor is a great read as we all struggle to understand and encourage children to find their happiness how ever that may look in their world".
5.0 out of 5 stars
A Must Read January 1, 2014
By bryan

"A must read for teachers, parents, siblings or anyone who is interested in autism. ... She navigates and expands the boundaries of autism with humor and sometimes a few tears."

5.0 out of 5 stars
Well done! January 8, 2014

"Special education teachers and health professionals, especially, need to avail themselves of this resource that Liz and Matt have made available to all of us".
 
 5.0 out of 5 stars
 The World According to Matt, a superb read, - Autism Daily Newscast
February 7, 2014
"What instantly struck me while reading was the incredible bond between Matt and Liz and that most importantly she saw and still sees the world today through Matt's eyes"