Asperger Syndrome and Psychotherapy: Understanding Asperger Perspectives

By Paula Jacobsen | Go to book overview

Preface

A person's perspective is the way in which that individual interprets the meaning of his or her experiences. From my clinical work, I know that learning the perspective of my patients is the foundation of a strengths-based approach to understanding and mastery. This is true of those with Asperger Syndrome, and it is basic to my understanding of them and my work with them. Those with Asperger Syndrome are often described as having difficulty understanding the perspective of others. Yet I have found that the challenge for us, and the key to this work, is our understanding of their perspective. It is not easy to set aside our meanings and hear what something means to someone whose thought processes and references are very different from our own.

Some readers may be very familiar with the Autism - Pervasive Development Disorders (PDD) - Asperger spectrum. They may easily see cognitive and social deficits in the people I describe. Clearly, those are present. For those readers, it may not be easy to attend to seeing who these people are, rather than who they are not.

I find that I can best explain and illustrate what I have learned by using many case examples. It is my hope that these examples will allow the reader to recognize familiar people and situations, and to understand them from the perspective of the person with Asperger's. The case material has been disguised. Some vignettes are from my work with a specific child or other family member. In those cases, I have permission to use the material. Some behaviors and interactions that I describe have occurred in similar ways with several children. Some vignettes and case descriptions are a compilation of several people with whom I have worked.

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