Lisa A. Lieberman


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A Stranger Among Us
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Read two new reviews:
Easter Seals and Autism
Book review: Lisa Ackerson Lieberman’s “A ‘Stranger’ Among Us”
by Patricia Wright on December 16th, 2009

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Academy of Special Needs Planners
Book review: Lisa Ackerson Lieberman’s “A ‘Stranger’ Among Us”

Read this review

A "Stranger" Among Us
Book Review by Marna Ares (Colorado Developmental Disability Council)

With openness. That is how Lisa Lieberman provides the much-needed details of finding, welcoming and including support people for in-home care. So often we parents search, first, for the recipe, and then discover that our life requires improvisation. And what we need for improvisation is a combination of philosophy and practicality. Two things linger for me, after reading the book. Most importantly, Lisa models the personal openness required when including someone new in the day-to-day life of your family. The reader is welcomed into varied and intimate details of the Lieberman-Ackerson household. Though it may seem at first a surprising revelation of family life, it is exactly what allows for an honest beginning to a relationship with support providers and helps to ensure the relationship has staying power.

And as personal as the foundation for the book is, in that you feel you know each member of Lisa's family and could comfortably spend an afternoon with them, the practical details of the search, hiring and employment of support people are the best I've come across anywhere. Lisa provides lists of questions to consider before you begin the search for support people, and more lists of questions to ask prospective employees. Not only is it important to be at the same time honest and respectful in the way you describe the person who needs the support, it is important to require honesty from those you are considering as the support providers in your home. I especially appreciate that Lisa calls on others' experiences with the children and family members who have autism and other neurological differences in order to provide a range of perspectives. You will find answers to questions you have, whether the person who needs support is a young child, teenager or adult. You'll also be offered ideas you may not have considered, as yet.

The book begins with ideas and questions to consider concerning your family, its culture and needs. The following chapters help you describe the job you are creating, and offer suggestions for ways and places to get the word out. Finally, you are treated to a host of ideas, cautions and practical lists for interviewing, hiring, training and sustaining the work of the people who are working with you and for you. As important as is the beginning, so is the ending. For many reasons, people will leave your employ, and Lisa helps explore how to be as thoughtful about that process as with the hiring process.

This book is warm and instructive - a wonderful combination.


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Copyright © 2011 Lisa A. Lieberman, MSW, LCSW, all rights reserved.