Naseef, Robert A.

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Naseef, Robert A.

PERSONAL:

Children: four. Education: Temple University, graduated.

ADDRESSES:

Office—Alternative Choices, 514 S. 4th St., Philadelphia, PA 19147.

CAREER:

Alternative Choices, Philadelphia, PA, psychologist. Family consultant at Specare; member, board of directors of the Center for Autistic Children; consultant to schools and human service organizations.

WRITINGS:

Special Children, Challenged Parents: The Struggles and Rewards of Raising a Child with a Disability, Carol Publishing Group (Secaucus, NJ), 1997.

(Editor, with Cindy N. Ariel) Voices from the Spectrum: Parents, Grandparents, Siblings, People with Autism, and Professionals Share Their Wisdom, Jessica Kingsley Publishers (Philadelphia, PA), 2006.

SIDELIGHTS:

Robert A. Naseef is a clinical psychologist who, when his young son was diagnosed with autism, devoted himself professionally to issues concerning autism and special-needs children. In his Voices from the Spectrum: Parents, Grandparents, Siblings, People with Autism, and Professionals Share Their Wisdom, which he edited with Cindy N. Ariel, and Special Children, Challenged Parents: The Struggles and Rewards of Raising a Child with a Disability, Naseef offers a realistic view of the difficulties of raising a disabled child, both in terms of the emotional matters, such as learning to grieve and learning to love one's child unconditionally, and practical matters, such as advocating for public education resources and medical treatment. In helping parents and others to come to terms with their situation and learn to appreciate their child for who he or she is, Naseef draws on his personal and professional experience. "I thought I could change [my son] and make him the boy I wanted him to be," Naseef said in an online interview with his publisher, "frantically and persistently following various treatment approaches: behavioral, education, dietary, and developmental. Despite intensive treatment, he did not make dramatic progress. Instead he has been a catalyst to transform me."

Through his work, he told the interviewer, "I take great joy in seeing parents fall in love with their child all over again." In a review of the book for the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Dorothy O'Keefe wrote that "a pervasive theme … throughout the book … is that relief is earned by exploring and accepting one's own feelings and that personal growth can be the result of rising to this challenge."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, January, 1999, Dorothy O'Keefe, review of Special Children, Challenged Parents: The Struggles and Rewards of Raising a Child with a Disability, p. 104.

ONLINE

Alternative Choices Web site,http://www.alternativechoices.com (November 9, 2006).

Brookes Publishing Web site,http://www.brookespublishing.com/ (November 9, 2006), "Q & A with Dr. Robert Naseef."

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Naseef, Robert A.

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