The Partner's Guide to Asperger Syndrome

by Tony Attwood, Susan J. Moreno, Keelah Parkinson, Marci Wheeler

Adults with Asperger Syndrome (AS) often have difficulties acquiring relationship skills due to the defining characteristics of the syndrome, experiences with peers during childhood and adolescence, and the expectations of their partners. However, an increasing number do go on to achieve happy and successful long-term relationships with non-spectrum (NS) partners.

This supportive book will give NS partners a better understanding of NS/AS relationships, and of what other NS partners have found to be helpful in terms of better understanding themselves and their partners, and enriching their relationships. Drawing on interviews with over 100 people in NS/AS relationships, as well as on their own experiences of having family members on the autism spectrum, the authors explore the key differences which may impact upon AS/NS relationships, such as communication, social skills, and sensory issues, and offer tried-and-tested advice on how to surmount difficulties and make things work. The book includes chapters on coping with stress and meltdowns, parenting, positive AS qualities and how to use them to their full advantage in a relationship, as well as advice on how the NS partner can ensure that their own needs are met.

This book will provide support and encouragement to those in a relationship with someone who has been diagnosed with AS, or who is suspected of having AS, and will also be a useful resource for counsellors and other professionals who wish to deepen their understanding of AS/NS relationships.

  • Jessica Kingsley Publishers; December 2011
  • ISBN: 9780857005663
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure ePub format
  • Title: The Partner's Guide to Asperger Syndrome
  • Author: Tony Attwood (other); Susan J. Moreno; Keelah Parkinson; Marci Wheeler
  • Imprint: Jessica Kingsley Publishers

In The Press

Moreno, founder of an autism non-profit, along with social worker Marci Wheeler and communication coach Kealah Parkinson, interviewed over 100 couples in which one partner has ASD and the other is nonspectrum (NS). Their aim: to provide insight and guidance to NS partners who want to create a successful relationship for both parties. While most of the advice is directed at the NS partner, there are also tips for parents, friends, and professionals on how to support the couple in maintaining a positive relationship. Each chapter ends with a list of "lessons learned" from the couples interviewed. The authors cover communication, social skills, and sensory processing and provide many real-life examples drawn from the experiences of the interviewed couples. Tony Attwood’s foreword highlights potential relationship problems that individuals with ASD typically encounter. VERDICT: Excellent insight and tips for anyone in, or considering, a relationship with a person with ASD, as well as the friends and families of couples with an ASD partner.

About The Author

Susan Moreno is the founder and president of MAAP Services, Inc., a non-profit organization that provides information and advice to parents, teachers and healthcare professionals about all aspects of autism. She is the editor of The MAAP, a newsletter for families of more advanced individuals within the autism spectrum of disorders. She holds a Master's degree in Applied Behavioral Science from Valparaiso University in Indiana and she is internationally known as a lecturer and motivational speaker. Marci Wheeler is a Social Work Specialist with a Master's degree in Social Work. She has worked at the Indiana Resource Center for Autism at the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, Indiana University since 1983. She writes and consults on topics relating to autism spectrum disorders and her other areas of expertise include parenting, family issues, and community supports and resources. She has served as a field instructor and adjunct faculty member for the School of Social Work at Indiana University and Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis and as staff advisor for the Students on the Spectrum (S.O.S.) Club at Indiana University in Bloomington. Kealah Parkinson is a professional communications coach and public speaker who, along with motivating business and sales people, specializes in fostering communication skills in clients with mental illness and developmental disorders. Through her company, KiKi Productions, Inc., she offers a variety of services both online and in-person, including speech-coaching and consulting. She is the author of the e-workbook "Speak Your Truth: How to Say What You Mean to Get What You Want."