The other day I was at a book store looking in the used book section when I found "Look Me in the Eye: My Life With Asperger's" by: John Elder Robison (reviewed in my previous post). When I grabbed that book, an employee asked if I was looking for similar books and handed me "Asperger's Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals" by: Tony Attwood. Then, I went to the cash register and my choices of purchases invoked another conversation. The cashier had a boyfriend with Asperger's syndrome and asked me if I had read either book yet. I had not. We ended up conversing for what felt like twenty minutes about her boyfriend, his education, his social skills, and more. It was enlightening and helpful that she had opened up to me.
"Asperger's Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals" is not the most recent book on Asperger's syndrome by Tony Attwood, but it is definitely a new gem in my collection. Continue reading to learn more about why this book is in my clinical library and for my review of it!
"Asperger's Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals", written by psychologist Tony Attwood and published in 1998, provides a look into all aspects of Asperger's syndrome from diagnosis to treatment to resources. It is an overview of Asperger's syndrome in layman's terms. The book is an easy read and is great for parents, teachers, and therapists alike. Attwood doesn't hit you over the head with every bit of information but give enough detail for readers to understand Asperger's syndrome better.
My two favorite parts of Attwood's book include his quotations from people who have Asperger's as well as techniques himself and others have found useful in treating aspects of Asperger's syndrome. The person he quotes the most in his book is, of course, Temple Grandin from various novels she wrote. If you have not read anything by Grandin or watched her speak (live or on film), you really should. She provides a lot of honest insight into living with Autism Spectrum Disorders and she is definitely an inspiration to people with and without autism. In regards to therapy, Attwood discusses Carol Gray's social stories, using videos from Mr. Bean and Third Rock From the Sun to discuss social skills, sites poetry by people who have Asperger's, talks about social skills groups, Andrew Matthews' "Making Friends" book, and more. Attwood gives credit where credit is due and discusses his own ideas for activities for therapy and home. In addition, Attwood is very specific about diagnosis of Asperger's syndrome from the DSM IV as well as what teachers, parents, aides, and others can do to help children with Asperger's syndrome.
The book is well organized and discusses the following topics: diagnosis, social behavior, language, interests and routine, motor clumsiness, cognition, sensory sensitivity, and frequently asked questions related to Asperger's syndrome. Each chapter contains Attwood's own experiences, experiences/quotations of people who have Asperger's, bullet points for various topics, tables, rating scales, examples, figures, quotations, and a summary. The last chapter of the book contains frequently asked questions about Asperger's syndrome from if Asperger's can be inherited to how to share the diagnosis with your child/teachers/other children. The very end of the book includes other resources for Asperger's syndrome, references, and tables.
"Asperger's Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals" packs a ton of information in one book. Not only does Attwood discuss many aspects of Asperger's syndrome, but he gives additional resources and references for further information. This book is a must-have for any therapist. However, Tony Attwood does have a newer book about Asperger's published in 2008 titled "The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome" so there is updated information in that book as well as double the pages. You can purchase this book or his newer book on Amazon.com. I highly recommend reading one of these due to the invaluable amount of knowledge and resources you will have after you finish reading!