Making Sense of Asperger’s: A story for children

$32.95  Softcover
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Debra Ende, Betina Guthridge Australian author

Making Sense of Asperger’s
24 pages
ISBN: 9780864318473

Receiving a diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome can be a frightening, confusing and overwhelming experience for both parents and children. In fact, many people still believe it may be better not to name or ‘label’ the syndrome in the hope that their child will settle down and learn to adapt.

However, making sense and meaning of our experiences, similarities and differences is a core and universal human need. When, despite our best efforts, we still can’t understand why parts of our lives are not working, the resulting confusion, frustration and distress can be traumatic for any person.

Making Sense of Asperger’s: A story for children grew out of just such an experience for one seven-year-old boy. This extremely bright child was frequently in serious trouble at school but couldn’t understand why. His mother was struggling to explain that he had been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome in a positive way so asked the author, her son’s psychologist, for guidance.

This book is the end result of this mother’s request for help. Elaborating on a previously developed analogy of Asperger’s syndrome with a computer’s operating system, this workbook, with simple text and entertaining illustrations, sets out to offer an explanation of Asperger’s as one possibility within the range of differences between all people. In a world where most people come equipped with a Standard Operating System, it seeks to explain in a validating and fun way exactly what an Asperger’s Operating System is, how it works, the compatibility issues which can arise and, most importantly, how to live with one, crashes and all.

"An engaging and informative resource that explains the nature of Asperger’s syndrome using the metaphor of computer operating systems. I recommend Making Sense of Aspergers to teachers and parents as a story that will lead to understanding, acceptance and encouragement."
- Professor Tony Attwood

"Having used this book with students, I have found it to be an invaluable resource in assisting children to gain an understanding into the nature of an Autism Spectrum Disorder. With their often inherent interest and ability in the use of computers, from an early age, they are able to readily identify and relate to the similarities and differences between themselves and their “neurotypical” peers."
- Janet Roy, M. Ed (Spec Ed)

"...The author leads the children to a place of greater understanding through an analogy based on computer systems (that is, how people's 'hard drives' work in different ways). The text explains how children with Asperger's can 'crash' much like a computer operating system. It also emphasises a 'put the crash in the trash' model to demonstrate how you can avoid dwelling on negative experiences after experiencing a 'crash'. The book highlights the diversity of people's experiences such as the way they look, speak, feel and react differently to situations. It has a strong message about understanding and accepting people's differences. Making Sense of Asperger's is suitable for independent readers from around eight years of age or older and would be useful to read with, or out loud to, children in a younger age group. The illustrations however, are probably more appealing to the younger audience. The book could be read to students in an educational setting and at home and would invite discussion about respect for others, weaknesses and strengths and accepting difference with younger children."
- Aspects Magazine, published by Autism Spectrum Australia, Issue 9