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The first three years are critical to a child's development.
About the Book, Author, & Reviews         
Could It Be Autism?                                       
A Parent’s Guide to the First Signs and Next Steps


This invaluable, one-of-a-kind resource is the first book to help parents detect early signs of autism and related disorders and take the steps that can make a dramatic difference in a child’s life. Could It Be Autism? A Parent's Guide to the First Signs and Next Steps provides parents with vital information so they can recognize the “red flags” of developmental delays and begin intensive intervention as early as possible.

Emphasizing the need to look for early warning signs, Nancy Wiseman describes the most important milestones at each stage of a child’s growth, including aspects of development parents often overlook. Her easy-to-use milestones checklist is an indispensable tool for determining whether a child has difficulties that demand immediate attention. She explains early screening tests, helps parents to navigate the referral and diagnostic process, offers suggestions for creating an appropriate treatment plan together with physicians and other experts, and gives inspiring examples of children who have benefited from early and intensive intervention.

Accessible, authoritative, and eminently practical, Could It Be Autism? A Parent's Guide to the First Signs and Next Steps will help to improve the lives of thousands of children.

About Nancy D. Wiseman

Nancy Wiseman is founder and president of First Signs, parent of a child with autism, and author of two books: Could It Be Autism? A Parent's Guide to the First Signs and Next Steps (Broadway Books, 2006) and The First Year: Autism Spectrum Disorders: An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed Child (Da Capo Press, 2009). She has made a significant contribution to changing policy, improving awareness, and changing pediatric practice in how we screen, refer, and detect young children today. Nancy is the 2006 recipient of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Dale Richmond/Justin Coleman Award for her outstanding achievement in child development.


The following is a compilation of book reviews for Nancy D. Wiseman’s book: Could It Be Autism? A Parent’s Guide to the First Signs and Next Steps.
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Kirkus Report
Title: Could It Be Autism? A Parent's Guide to the First Signs and Next Steps
Author: Wiseman, Nancy D.
Review Date: NOVEMBER 01, 2005
Publisher: Broadway Books
Price (hardback): $22.95
Publication Date: January 2006
ISBN (hardback): 0767919726
Classification: PARENTING

A wise guide for all parents of autistic children.

Autism becomes an increasingly salient concern as the number of children affected grows every year. The sooner the disorder is recognized and diagnosed, the sooner intervention and proper treatment can begin. That's why, in contrast to the often prevalent “wait and see” attitude, Wiseman advocates that parents act on instinct and respond seriously to questions about their children's social, emotional or behavioral development, since autism can be diagnosed in infants as young as four months. The founder and president of a non-profit organization dedicated to educating parents and pediatric professionals about the early warning signs of autism, she is also the mother of a nine-year-old autistic child. Her intimate style will be a comfort to concerned parents, and she answers all the questions, from how to recognize the early warning signs of autism (including those often overlooked by pediatric professionals) to what kind of treatments are available to the best way to tailor and implement the intervention plan most suited for your child's needs.

Informative, empowering and inspirational, a critical guide for any parent with concerns about their child's developmental path.

Library Journal
December 2005
Wiseman, Nancy D. Could It Be Autism? A Parent's Guide to the First Signs and Next Steps. Broadway. Jan. 2006. c.272p. bibliog. index. ISBN 0-7679-1972-6. $22.95. CHILD REARING

For children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), early intervention programs are critical in lessening the impact of autism. Wiseman, the mother of an autistic child and founder of First Signs (, a group working to identify early signs of ASD, here provides effective and balanced ways for parents to interpret these signs in their own children. Well written and with quotes from parents, her book includes sections on spotting the early signs of ASD, getting the diagnosis, and finding help for both the child and the adult. The section on the diagnostic process is excellent in addressing this difficult time for parents by providing ways for them to help professionals with the assessment. Also useful is the description of other tests that should be sought out, such as a hearing test, to rule out health issues that can have an impact on the child's development. Because it serves as a tremendous resource for parents confronting the possibility of ASD with their child, this book, complete with examples of children who have benefited from early intervention, is strongly recommended for all public and academic libraries with autism or education collections.-Corey Seeman, Univ. of Michigan Lib., Ann Arbor

Publishers Weekly 
Web-Exclusive Reviews: Lifestyle -- 1/2/2006
Could It Be Autism? A Parent's Guide to the First Signs and Next Steps
Nancy D. Wiseman. Broadway, $22.95 (272p) ISBN 0767919726

For parents worried about their children's development, Wiseman, president of a developmental disorder awareness organization and the mother of an autistic child, promotes a rigorous approach to identifying autism warning signs, stressing early diagnosis as a crucial component of securing proper post-diagnosis treatment. Writing conversationally, Wiseman covers all the autism bases—symptom detection, diagnosis, treatment options, redefining parental obligation—in 10 topical chapters, splicing comments from parents of autistic children with advocacy information, the latter of which is plentiful and hard-nosed. Public schools' special education programs and government-funded development therapy initiatives are taken to task, with Wiseman warning parents "you must always be prepared to fight" and suggesting parents brush up on relevant laws, reach out to advocacy organizations and community groups, and, above all, be the child's unflinching advocate. Wiseman's approach does not get bogged down in the minutia of endless record keeping, instead favoring a big picture approach and a checklist of "social, emotional, and communication milestones" designed to allow parents to keep track of a child's development beginning at four months of age. Packed with clear-cut suggestions, this book will be a valuable resource for parents facing weighty questions about their child's behavior. (Jan.)

Washington Post
Title: Could It Be Autism? A Parent's Guide to the First Signs and Next Steps
Author: Wiseman, Nancy D.
Review Date: FEBRUARY 28, 2006; Page HE03
Publisher: Broadway Books
Price (hardback): $22.95
Publication Date: January 2006
ISBN (hardback): 0767919726
Classification: PARENTING

A Prompt to Act Fast

“Let's just wait and see” is a phrase many worried parents hear from  the pediatrician when they express concerns about their infant's or  toddler's development. But sometimes “wait and see” just doesn't cut  it -- especially when it comes to possible signs of autism. This book,  by parent/activist Nancy Wiseman (founder of First Signs Inc., a  national nonprofit group dedicated to early identification of autism)  tells parents what to watch for and when to get pushy.

Early Red Flags Your child isn't smiling by 6 months? Babbling and  pointing by 12 months? Using meaningful two-word phrases by 24 months?  None necessarily means he has autism. But they are signs to get an  immediate, formal evaluation by a developmental disorders expert.  Wiseman includes several screening tools that help parents spot early  warning signs -- vital info, since most experts say intensive  intervention before age 3 has the most profound impact.

Subtle Clues The author discusses subtler signs of problems. For  example, an 18-month-old may meet the developmental milestone of using  10 different words, but just saying them isn't enough. “It's one thing  to say cheese' when you want a cube of mozzarella,” Wiseman explains.  “It's quite another to say 'cheese' over and over all day” when there  are no dairy products in sight.

What Next? Say your child is diagnosed with developmental  difficulties. Wiseman explains the many therapy options available,  while emphasizing that there's no “right” one. Instead of looking for  such a solution, she urges parents to prioritize their child's needs  and pick therapies accordingly. Parents will especially appreciate the  tips from a mom who's been there and done that -- e.g., how to get in  to see the specialist who has a two-year waiting list.- Lisa Barrett Mann

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