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

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

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

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

Synopsis

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 children's unique impairments and capabilities to help them 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.

Excerpt

Joseph had always seemed like a brilliant child. He began talking before his first birthday, much earlier than his older sister and brother. He expressed himself in an adult way and was always very polite. When his mother offered to buy him a treat at the movies, for example, Joseph said, [No, thank you, M&M's are not my preferred mode of snacking.] He showed a very early interest in letters and by 18 months could recite the whole alphabet. He taught himself to read before his third birthday. Joseph wasn't much interested in typical toys, like balls and bicycles, preferring instead what his proud parents considered [grown-up] pursuits, like geography and science. Starting at age 2, he spent many hours lying on the living-room floor, looking at maps in the family's world atlas. By age 5, he could name anywhere in the world from a description of its geographical location ([What is the northern-most coastal city in Brazil?]). Just as his parents suspected, Joseph is brilliant. He also has Asperger syndrome.

Nine-year-old Seth was playing video games in the family room while his mother bustled about the house cleaning up for the guests who would soon arrive. As she climbed a stepladder in the living room to change a lightbulb, she lost her balance and fell backward. While she lay on the floor gasping for breath, Seth walked by on his way to the . . .

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