A Parent's Guide to Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism: How to Meet the Challenges and Help Your Child Thrive

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Asperger Syndrome and high-functioning autism are detected earlier and more accurately today than ever before. Children and teens with these disorders often stand out for their precocious intelligence and language abilities--yet profound social difficulties can limit every aspect of their lives. This hopeful, compassionate guide shows parents how to work with their child's unique impairments and capabilities to help him or her learn to engage more fully with the world and live as self-sufficiently as possible. ...
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A Parent's Guide to Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism: How to Meet the Challenges and Help Your Child Thrive

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Asperger Syndrome and high-functioning autism are detected earlier and more accurately today than ever before. Children and teens with these disorders often stand out for their precocious intelligence and language abilities--yet profound social difficulties can limit every aspect of their lives. This hopeful, compassionate guide shows parents how to work with their child's unique impairments and capabilities to help him or her learn to engage more fully with the world and live as self-sufficiently as possible. From leading experts in the field, the book is packed with practical ideas for helping children relate more comfortably to peers,learn the rules of appropriate behavior, and participate more fully in school and family life. It also explains what scientists currently know about autistic spectrum disorders and how they are diagnosed and treated. Real-life success stories, problem-solving ideas, and matter-of-fact advice on everything from educational placements to career planning make this an indispensable reference that families will turn to again and again.
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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Nicholas Greco IV, MS, BCETS, CATSM (Columbia College of Missouri)
Description: This book provides a much needed, highly empathic, and easy-to-read guide for parents whose child may have Asperger's syndrome or high-functioning autism.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide parents with a comprehensive, straightforward, and informative guide to Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism. Considering the amount of confusion in diagnosis as well as the number of impractical, jargon-laden books available, the objective of this book is a worthy one met by the authors.
Audience: Intended mainly as a guide for parents, clinicians, and researchers across mental disciplines will find this book extremely valuable as they will be easily able to implement the thoughtful knowledge and ideas contained here and recommend this book to their patients' families. The authors are credible authorities in the field.
Features: The book contains a tremendous amount of information, beginning with an overall history and description of Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism. The subsequent chapters walk parents through what occurs during the diagnostic process, thus allaying any fears or concerns. The causes and various treatments are discussed, but more important are the chapters on living with Asperger's and high-functioning autism. These chapters are an integral part of the book and certainly the information answers many parents' questions and concerns. A highlight is the resources section in the appendix that lists numerous books, newsletters, videotapes, medical centers, etc., for further reference.
Assessment: This is an excellently written and definitely needed addition to the field of child and adolescent mental health. Parents and clinicians alike will be hard-pressed to find a finer guide and resource on Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism.
From the Publisher

"I really like how this book emphasizes building on the talents and strengths of a person with high-functioning autism or Asperger syndrome. It contains many useful case histories and combines both scientific and practical information for parents, teachers, and other professionals."--Temple Grandin, PhD, author of Thinking in Pictures

"This is the most comprehensive and practical resource available on raising a child with Asperger syndrome or high-functioning autism. Parents, who are typically baffled by the confusing information given to them on the topic, now have the guidance they need to maximize their child's potential while celebrating their child's uniqueness. Written in a clear and lucid style, the book is rich in real-life examples and concrete plans of action. It will empower any parent to become an effective and savvy advocate, and to help their child live a more successful and fulfilling life."--Ami Klin, PhD, Yale Child Study Center

"This is a wonderfully thoughtful, comprehensive, and clearly written book that every parent and professional interested in the subject will want to read. The authors deal with the subject in its full complexity, yet are able to present this detailed information in a straightforward, easily comprehensible way. Professional jargon is translated into readily understandable concepts and ideas, and controversial issues are handled sensitively and well. I applaud the authors for their splendid effort in translating the rapidly growing body of knowledge on autism spectrum disorders into language that everyone can understand."--Gary B. Mesibov, PhD, Division TEACCH and Department of Psychiatry, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

"My wife and I are thrilled to have found this book. Refreshingly positive and very informative, it is helping us understand so much more about our son's diagnosis. The last book my wife tried to read on the topic made her cry but this one is empowering us both to action!"--Peter Mantell, father of a child with Asperger syndrome, Long Island, NY

The Canadian Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Review

"This book does exactly what the title suggests; it explains to parents, and other adults living with high functioning autists, how they can adapt their own, and other's, approach to meet their child's needs both during childhood and later in life. It is clearly written by professionals who have considerable experience in this field, and take a practical and pragmatic approach....The authors' approach of building resiliency and skills is very practical....a reference that should be available to parents of children with these diagnoses. It would also be a useful text for medical students and residents with an interest in this area. The appendix of resources is a valuable reference in itself. All of the web sites that we have found serendipitously over many months are listed, along with others that I cannot wait to explore."--The Canadian Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Review
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry

"This is a really great book for parents with more able children with autism or Asperger syndrome. It is upbeat, positive, practical, and succeeds in being both jargon free and highly informative. The various chapters offer clear and up-to-date information on the causes of Asperger syndrome/high-functioning autism; a review of diagnostic assessments, and what parents should be looking for when they go through the diagnostic process; and a summary of the many and varied treatments that are currently available....Unlike many books for parents, this is very well referenced, has a good index, and is also full of useful information about relevant websites, newsletters, videotapes and special centers. In short, although marketed as a parents' guide, the book is likely to be equally helpful to clinicians and educators working in this area, providing them with strategies that they themselves case use, as well as a host of practical approaches that they can pass on to parents."--Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Family Ministry

"This highly informative book is a must have for all parents of children with Asperger's Syndrome and High Functioning Autism (AS-HFA)....A Parent's Guide to Asperger's Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism can be a valuable resource. It not only informs readers but also leaves them with a sense of hope. They will realize that it is possible for children with Asperger's Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism to lead full and happy lives."--Family Ministry
Child Neuropsychology

"The book is sensitively written and easy to read. Throughout this text, there is evidence of the considerable respect that the authors have for both the affected children and their families. Particularly illuminating are the many poignant case examples that lead to a better explanation of positive ways of using these children's 'special interests' by ways of turning them into assets. This emphasis on strengths is a major goal of the book. However, the authors do not minimize the challenges these children and their families face....The positive approach of this book will be encouraging to parents and will also be very practical. I have recommended this book to the parents of affected children with whom I have worked and also to my graduate students who are eager to better understand the world of children with Asperger syndrome and high functioning autism. I would urge other clinicians, researchers and educators to do the same."--Child Neuropsychology
Human Nature Review

"This is a book with its feet firmly on the ground. It brings a breath of fresh air to a subject that, due to its complexity, is often presented as a series of academic debates, difficult for even an intelligent lay person to access....This is an academic book, but not just for academics to read. I gave it to three sets of parents, all with boys between 8 and 16 years old who have had considerable difficulties making sense of the health and education systems in relation to their sons' needs. All found it useful, making comments such as 'it made sense'; 'I felt that what I had been trying to say all along was right'; 'it said what I knew, but put it better'; 'the practical suggestions were a real help', 'I let my son read it - he kept saying' 'I told you that'; 'it gave us lots of new ideas, new things to try'....Ultimately this book gives children and adults with these disorders, and those caring for them, the message that while challenges may never entirely go away, you can identify and maximize strengths, function better and be happy."--Human Nature Review
Library Journal
Among various autistic spectrum disorders (ASD), Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism (AS-HFA) are similar diagnoses. Representing a majority of ASD cases, these two diagnoses are used interchangeably, and Ozonoff (M.I.N.D. Inst.) and her coauthors rightfully make little distinction between them. In Part 1 of this book, the authors cover definitions, diagnosis, causes, and treatments of AS-HFA, while Part 2 considers living with AS-HFA, channeling a child's strengths, and dealing with home, school, and the social world and life as an adult with AS-HFA. Throughout, readers will find excellent examples and solutions to basic problems; also included are numerous instances of older children who went beyond basic communication issues to social situations such as dating, school, living on their own, and employment. Most books on AS-HFA focus on early intervention and basic skills, but this book offers help for older children and adults as well, making it very valuable. Strongly recommended for public libraries and academic libraries with autism or education collections. Corey Seeman, Univ. of Toledo Libs., OH Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

5 Stars! from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781572305311
  • Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/20/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 278
  • Sales rank: 228,484
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Sally Ozonoff, PhD, is an Associate Professor at the M.I.N.D. Institute, a national center for the study and treatment of autism spectrum disorders based at the University of California, Davis. She is widely known for her research, teaching, and clinical expertise in the areas of Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism. Previously, she was Associate Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry and co-Director of the Autism Specialty Clinic at the University of Utah.

Geraldine Dawson, PhD, is Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Duke Center for Autism Diagnosis and Treatment at Duke University. She served as Founding Director of the University of Washington Autism Center. An internationally recognized autism expert with a focus on early detection, intervention, and brain plasticity in autism, Dr. Dawson is a passionate advocate for families. She is coauthor of An Early Start for Your Child with Autism and A Parent's Guide to Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism.

James McPartland is a doctoral candidate in child clinical psychology at the University of Washington.

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Table of Contents

I. Understanding Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism
1. What are Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism?
2. The Diagnostic Process
3. Causes of Autism Spectrum Disorders
4. Treatments for AS and HFA
II. Living with Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism
5. Channeling Your Child's Strengths: A Guiding Principle
6. Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism at Home
7. HFA and AS at School
8. The AS-HFA Child's Social World
9. Looking Ahead: AS-HFA in Late Adolescence and Adulthood
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2008

    Very informative. I highly recommend reading this book if you are the parent/grandparent of a child on the Autism spectrum

    I checked this book out of our local library a couple of years ago, before my son was diagnosed. The DSM-IV guide with signs and symptoms was very useful. I recently decided I wanted to keep the book on hand. My son is constantly changing. Sometimes we go forward, sometimes back. The book includes some very useful ideas on treatments, and ways to keep your sanity :o' I consider it a must read for anyone with a loved one on the Autism spectrum, or suspects someone is on the spectrum. The picture of Autism is not just a child that doesn't speak, rocks, and spins. Granted some do, many do some of the time, but no two children with Autism are the same.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2002

    Readable and Informative

    Dr. Ozonoff and colleagues have achieved the perfect balance between providing information which is understandable to parents yet contains the most current information available to professionals in the field. Increasing awareness about Asperger's Disorder is leading more parents, educators and mental health professionals to consider the possibility of Asperger's Disorder as the explanation for the constellation of social difficulties, odd communication styles and unusual interests which some individuals struggle with. As they consider this diagnosis, it is extremely important to realize that there remains a considerable amount of variation in the way leaders in the field conceptualize Asperger's. After a thorough discussion of the issues relating to diagnosis, the authors go on to discuss ways to intervene to help individuals with Asperger's. This is the best reference on this topic available today.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2007

    Makes it all clear for parents and grandparents

    This book puts everything into perspective in a clear, understandable way. It helped me understand more why my son has some behaviors and really helped me to be able to recognize when my son is in overload in a situation. I was able to relate many situations to what my son does and get some suggestions on how to deal with it. My dad also read it to help him understand his grandson and he is thankful I shared it. Easy to read, easy to understand, keep a pen handy to take notes for yourself in the margins.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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