Essential Tools for Asperger Syndrome

Article excerpt

Essential Tools for Asperger Syndrome HIGH-FUNCTIONING AUTISM/ASPERGER SYNDROME IN SCHOOLS: Assessment and Intervention By F. j. Sansosti, & R. J. Cowan 2010, Guildford Press

REVIEWED BY GENA P. BARNHILL

High-Functioning Autism /Asperger Syndrome in Schools is a valuable resource for all professionals working with students with Asperger syndrome (AS) and high-functioning autism (HFA). The book's strengths include the practical, readerfriendly manner in which it is written; the current research support referenced; and the reproducible forms found in the appendices (e.g., social funetioning interview and observation forms, a rubric for evaluating IEPs, and various user-friendly data recording forms). Student snapshots and case studies highlighted throughout the book help the reader visualize real-life applications of the concepts presented.

Chapter ? is an introduction to the definitions, developmental course, and long-term outcomes of HFA/AS. There is no mention of the controversy regarding the American Psychiatric Association's recommendation to delete AS from the next DSM revision. Chapter 2 discusses the triad of impairments (social, communication, andbehavior) and the associated areas of impairment including sleep disturbances, sensory issues, academic performance concerns, motor abilities, and comorbid anxiety and depression. Clear descriptions of the theoretical underpinnings, including theory of mind, executive functioning, and central coherence theory are given.

Chapter 3 highlights the importance of consultation and collaboration with key stakeholders in order to provide comprehensive educational programs for students with HFA/AS. Thorough descriptions of the key elements of comprehensive school-based evaluations are the focus of chapter 4. The authors clearly point out the need to envision school assessments as a process that leads to meaningful strategies that center on the student's lifelong functioning. The focus of Chapter 5 is on improving academic skills. …