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The Asperger's Books You Wish You Had

written by: Debbie Roome • edited by: Paul Arnold • updated: 2/20/2011

Books on Asperger’s can be a source of knowledge and encouragement, both to people with Asperger’s and to their families. Read on to learn about three Asperger’s books that target various aspects of the condition.

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    The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome by Tony Attwood

    When looking for Asperger’s books, this is one of the most comprehensive on the market and covers nearly every aspect of Asperger’s syndrome. Tony Attwood is well qualified to dispense advice on Asperger’s as he is a practising clinical psychologist who over the space of 25 years has worked with more than 2000 people with the condition.

    The book is written in an easy-to-understand manner and the 15 chapters are clearly defined. Attwood takes the reader through a definition of Asperger’s and also lists the diagnostic criteria for the syndrome. The problems and signs of Asperger’s are examined in detail and treatments and solutions are suggested. Attwood looks at some aspects of Asperger’s that are seldom mentioned in other books. These include bullying, marriage, help for spouses of Asperger’s people, college education, employment opportunities and criminal activity.

    The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome lives up to its name and is an excellent resource that covers life with Asperger’s from infancy until old age.

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    Pretending to be Normal by Liane Holliday Willey

    This book is written with great depth of understanding as the author, Liane Holliday Willey, has Asperger’s syndrome. She is a fine example of an Asperger’s success story and this becomes evident through the pages of her book. She is married with three children and is also a doctor of education, a writer and a researcher. Her specialty is in the field of psycholinguistics.

    Pretending to be Normal is a powerful book as it gives people clear insight into how a person with Asperger’s syndrome thinks. Willey writes openly about the struggles she went through at school, including being misunderstood by teachers. Through this, the reader gains a new perspective of how literal interpretation of language can cause a person with Asperger’s much pain and embarrassment. Willey also tells of how she coped after the birth of her children and the problems she experienced with sensory overload.

    The last few chapters offer practical tips for Asperger’s people. These include survival skills at college, employment options, organizing home life and coping strategies for sensory issues.

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    Freaks, Geeks & Asperger Syndrome by Luke Jackson

    When looking for Asperger’s books about teenage issues, this one should be top of the list. The author, Luke Jackson, has Asperger’s syndrome and wrote the book at the age of 13. Mixed in with funny anecdotes about his family, he gives some deep insights into how it feels to be a teenager with Asperger’s syndrome. Topics covered include compulsions and collections, sensory problems, language difficulties, schooling, bullying, friendship and dating, and moral issues.

    The book is written with a healthy dose of humor and is easy reading for teens and adults alike. Cartoon illustrations add to the appeal while reinforcing the written message. Jackson conveys the positive and negative aspects of Asperger’s syndrome with skill and reminds the reader to remember that ‘different is cool’.

    Tony Attwood endorses the book and gives it a positive recommendation in the foreword that he wrote for it. While there are many good books on Asperger’s available, this must be one of the best for teenagers.

    Asperger’s books are a useful resource when trying to understand what the condition involves. Having a selection of books on Asperger’s syndrome will provide a good overview of what to expect and how to handle problems and difficulties as they arise.

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    References

    The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome by Tony Attwood, Jessica Kinglsey Publishers, 2007

    Pretending to be Normal – Living with Asperger’s Syndrome by Liane Holliday Willey, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 1999

    Freaks, Geeks & Asperger Syndrome – A User Guide to Adolescence by Luke Jackson, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2002