The RV Book Fair – Author Shoshana Levin Fox
Dr. Shoshana Levin Fox is a Jerusalem-based child psychologist, play therapist, autism specialist and the author of An Autism Casebook for Parents and Practitioners: The Child Behind the Symptoms, published by Routledge.
Her professional specialties came together in an exciting and productive way while working for 25 years with autism-diagnosed children at the renowned Feuerstein Institute in Jerusalem.
Allowing creative, out-of-the-box thinking about autism to guide intervention, she and her colleagues helped many autism-diagnosed children improve beyond commonly held expectations.
In her book, An Autism Casebook, Dr. Fox shares her insights and the strength-based methods she used to help young diagnosed children progress. The Casebook also offers practical pointers to help parents identify their child’s unique strengths.
Dr. Fox has published widely and presented at conferences worldwide. She currently consults in the field of autism and maintains a private practice in play therapy for young children.
Hello author Shoshana, welcome to the RV Book Fair! What inspired you to start writing?
An Autism Casebook . . .The Child Behind the Symptoms actually cried out and begged to be written. In my 25 years of work at the Feuerstein Institute, specializing in autism, I had seen too many children who had been misdiagnosed as autistic before they arrived at the Institute. The children’s strengths had been overlooked when they received the diagnosis elsewhere. Even more worrying, the underlying difficulties that had caused the autistic-like symptoms had not been identified. But at the Institute, working from a nonconventional model, based on strengths, my colleagues and I saw so many children change dramatically. I wrote the book because I knew I had to share my experience, that there is another way of seeing and working with autism.
Do you hear from your readers much? What do they say?
Yes, I love hearing from readers. Their feedback about the book has been very positive and appreciative. Parents and practitioners, as I’d hoped, are finding the case stories and the “how to” chapters very helpful. And it’s wonderful hearing from and meeting people from around the world.
How did you come up with the title of your book?
An Autism Casebook- because I knew that I wanted to let true stories of children’s progress communicate the degree of progress that is possible when one thinks and works “outside the box” about autism. For me, the most important part of the title is, “The Child Behind the Symptoms,” because that is the phrase that guided my work all my life. It is relatively easy to see symptoms. But it is harder and much more important to see the child behind the symptoms–to help the child’s strengths flourish.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I always knew that I wanted to help people, to help make the world a better place. It was a long journey to becoming a child psychologist, but I am thankful for it.
What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
Sharing with parents of autism-diagnosed children and with practitioners in the field a perspective that yields results—a perspective that helps children progress significantly.
How long did it take you to write your book?
An Autism Casebook will likely be my only book, my legacy to the field. I continue to write articles on autism for emagazines. An Autism Casebook was a labor of love that took me three years of part-time writing , because I continued to work part-time in my private play therapy practice.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I’m continuing my part-time private play therapy practice with young children who suffer from emotional and behavioral difficulties. I also continue to assess children originally thought to be autistic. Beyond work, I enjoy reading, listening to classical music, playing flute occasionally, going for walks, swimming, learning Italian, being with my husband, travelling abroad (covid permitting).
Where do you dream of traveling to and why?
Various corners of Europe, in particular: Ireland, Scotland, Spain, Denmark. My husband and I enjoy travelling together and we would also love to see various corners of England not yet visited and also to revisit Italy together for the sixth time.
What’s the book that made you want to become an author?
Actually, it wasn’t a book that made me want to write. It was the experience of being able to help so many children, beyond the conventional expectations that usually surround an autism diagnosis. The “how to” of the work my colleagues and I were doing just had to be shared.
What’s the last book you read?
“What’s Not Allowed: A Family’s Journey with Autism.” Written by Teresa Hedley, the parent of an autistic young adult. I so respect her story of her dogged determination to help her son over the years. I’m also working on a novel in Italian.
State a random fact about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I enjoy classical music. Another hobby, for many years now, is studying Italian. Such a beautiful, musical language.
Find out more at: http://www.shoshanalevinfox.com
Listen to Dr.Shoshana episode: