An Insider's Guide to Loving, Understanding and Teaching Children with Asperger Syndrome
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About the author
Jennifer Cook O'Toole has Asperger syndrome and is the mother to three young Aspie children. She graduated from Brown University, and attended Columbia University's Graduate School of Social Work. She has previously worked as a social worker, and a teacher in both special needs and mainstream education. She has also served on the Family Advisory Board for Levine Children's Hospital, North Carolina, and regularly gives presentations at hospitals and local universities on special needs parenting. In 2002 she was nominated for Disney's Teacher of the Year Award. More recently, she has been honored with the GRASP (Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership) 2012 Distinguished Spectrumite Medal, as well as the 2012 Temple Grandin Award for “outstanding accomplishment and contribution to [her] family and community”. She lives near Charlotte, North Carolina.
As a parent, a teacher and an Aspie herself, Jennifer O'Toole provides the definitive insider's view of Asperger syndrome. She shows how to help children on the spectrum by understanding how they think and by exploiting their special interests to promote learning. Her strategies work because she thinks like the children that she teaches.This exciting book is full of effective and fun ways of engaging with children with Asperger syndrome. Jennifer explains how theory of mind difficulties create the need for concrete forms of communication, and provides original methods to inspire imagination through sensorial experiences. In particular she reveals the untapped power of special interests, showing how to harness these interests to encourage academic, social and emotional growth.Affirming that different doesn't mean defective, this book offers the insight and guidance that parents, educators, and other professionals need to connect with the Asperkids in their life and get them excited about learning.
Jessica Kingsley Publishers
; May 2012
192 pages; ISBN 9780857006479Read online
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Author: Jennifer Cook O'Toole; Liane Holliday Willey
In the press
Within seconds of opening the book I had shed a few tears, and later, as I continued reading in the bath (...) I had several more unexpected cries. These were all moments of pure recognition, and with each one came a mixture of joy, release and relief. Not only does O'Toole describe so many ways of being that sound just like my little L, but I could also connect with much of what she said about being a Mum. Not only does this woman understand what it is to be an Aspie (she is one), she also understands what it is to be the parent of one (she has there) and the wife of one. What could top that in terms of a well-rounded viewpoint?... O'Toole accurately grasps my hopes for L and his future, that he can move forward with an understanding and pride in himself, and that he will see the positive aspects to having those Spectrum qualities as well as some of the challenges he will inevitably face... I now feel that I've got a way in to L's mind which is so much more meaningful that the off-piste advice I am given by well-meaning but autism-ignorant professionals. One of my friends, who also has a son on the Spectrum, once commented that she wished she could see inside her son's head for a while. "Asperkids" and all it offers, may just be one way to do it.