The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome— by Tony Attwood

This book is a wealth of information for anyone wanting to know anything about Asperger’s Syndrome. Tony uses simple to understand language so anyone can read it and provides resources for at-home help with understanding the disorder. This book is exactly as it says– a complete guide for parents, teachers, Aspies, and anyone wanting to learn about AS.

Free handouts and therapy session ideas for those working with Autistic children— provided by Regis College

Thank you Peyton and Katie for giving me the link to an excellent source of therapeutic activities, handouts, and interactive techniques which therapists can use when working with children on the spectrum! There are several Autism specific handouts as well as others which may be useful in working with the co-morbid conditions that appear with Autism. There is one in particular that really stood out to me —Floor Time Play.  Certain kinds of therapy can be overwhelming and uncomfortable making it very difficult to see any improvement or opening up of the child to the therapists or parents. This type of play therapy, however, brings the therapist and/or parents into the world of the person with Autism who they are trying to open communication with. The session is designed to be run almost entirely by the person with Autism so there is less of a chance of them becoming overwhelmed. Some therapy sessions which are designed by neurotypical minds may also be ineffective because of the lack of understanding of how people on the spectrum view the world. If the session takes the control from the therapist and puts it in the hands of the person on the spectrum there is less of a chance there will be a lack of translation between the neurotypical way of thinking and how it is processed by someone on the spectrum. These handouts could be used by parents, teachers who have Autistic students, or those who work with those on the spectrum who want to do icebreaker activities or get to know their students better.

Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity– by Steve Silberman

This was a great read that featured a simple yet creative format to cover the history of Autism from before it became an official diagnosis to the present. There are a lot of interesting facts, people, and coincidences which have all impacted the story of Autism in some way. I also found that like in the history before and during WWII there was a lot of closed mindedness toward those who are different of race, religion, or mental processing. This book helps show the story from both perspectives simultaneously in order to create an awareness that is neurodiverse. I definitely recommend it!

The Autism Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum— by Temple Grandin and Richard Panek

The Way I See It: A Personal Look at Autism and Aspergers— by Temple Grandin

(I haven’t read all of Temple’s books yet, however, these two I have.) They are very informative as well as provide advice, information, and personal experience stories for those on the spectrum and parents alike. The first one I listed is full of interesting science research she did on the autistic brain and the history of the Autism diagnosis which I found particularly interesting. She also has several chapters devoted to the different types of processing like visual vs verbal processing brains and the subcategories of visual processing: spacial and picture/object. I recommend them both as a resource for invaluable Autism related information and guidance.

Roadmap to TransitionAutism Self-Advocacy Network and the Family Network on Disabilities (edited by Ianthe MBD, Pip Malone)

This booklet is beyond helpful for anyone transitioning toward independent living with Autism or other disabilities, It gives a good outline of how to prepare for the transition into adulthood, but it is clearly written and gives the reader an idea how the process is going to go in order to prepare in advance. The booklet is FULL of helpful information on how to get financial aid for post secondary education, the rights people with disabilities have whether in the classroom, moving to a new residence, or finding support for daily living activities. It also gives information on finding a job, preparing for an interview, and getting documents in order without being wordy and complex. It also provides the basics for setting up an organizational chart in order to assess strengths and weaknesses based on daily living activities and instrumental daily living activities. I definitely recommend this to anyone who struggles with any aspects of independent living or the transition into living independently even with support.

List of Female Asperger Traits— A Chart by Rudy Simone

Rudy is the guru of the International Aspergirls Society and Help4aspergers.com. This chart I have linked above was the chart that changed my life. It was the first time I saw a list of traits complied together for females specifically who had Asperger’s Syndrome. I will mention this chart frequently as it was instrumental in me finally understanding myself, my correct diagnosis, and validating my “symptoms.” It not only lists the traits more common with females that counter the stereotypical male Autism traits, but it also paints a clear picture of both mental and physical things to look for when making an accurate diagnosis. I wouldn’t be able to do almost any of the things I am doing today without having found this chart first and recognizing my own Autism. Thank you, Rudy!

Autism does not reside in a medical report— A blog by Sonia Boue

This is an important blog which addresses the controversy of self diagnosis vs. a medical professional diagnosis. I have written a blog detailing my own thoughts on this, and I reference this work withing that blog. (See that blog here!)

The Sexual Politics of Autism— An informative article for National Geographic by Virginia Hughes.

This article features a rather new concern that some have regarding sex bias in Autism research. The stereotype has been that females have a much lower risk of being Autistic, and that Autism is a male disorder. Autism, however, affects both genders and neither has less of a risk associated with it definitively. Funding for scientific research in Autism related studies has grown tremendously in the past few years, but with this bias some people are concerned that the research will be done for males who excel strongly in the STEM-field, and will miss both males who struggle with mathematics and females. The article also briefly points out that some believe the Autistic child’s upbringing and communication between the parents and child may effect the child’s ability to socialize as they get older. I agree that there seems to be a bias between males and females with Autism which has been perpetuated in stereotypes and Hollywood (as with most things). I think the real key is going to be separating out male traits, female traits, and the traits that overlap in both sexes and taking age into consideration as well to detect ASD earlier. I agree that parenting also plays a role in the outcome of the child in that there has to be a balance of tough love and driving the child toward independence, but the softness and nurturing the child needs to feel adequately supported.