Book Review: “This Is Asperger Syndrome”

This Is Asperger Syndrome I’m all about educating the general public for AS and the entire spectrum of Pervasive Developmental Disorders, however, I think there are better ways to do it than this book. I was honestly a bit angered by this book…even though most of the stuff within the book is indeed factual.

This book is a picture book written with the very young audience in mind. The illustrations are somewhat cheesy, but that’s beside the point. The book is also somewhat monotonous, with each page ending in the sentence “This is Asperger Syndrome.” This in a way is a good point of the book, helping young children to understand that everything in the book is characteristic of AS patients.

Though I don’t think the author meant to be degrading in any way, it still kind of rubbed me the wrong way because there are so many positive things about having AS, and I know this because I speak from experience. Nowhere does it mention the strengths of many AS patients: intelligence, uncanny abilities, and the like.

Overall, on a 5-point scale I’d rate this book a 2.5 out of 5. It may be good to help young children accept a classmate with AS a bit better, but I still wish it would give more attention to the positive attributes of these individuals.

You can preview the book here.

For those that have read it, what do YOU think of this book?

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9 thoughts on “Book Review: “This Is Asperger Syndrome”

  • June 23, 2009 at 2:26 pm
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    @bluejacky@xanga – OMG! I HATE hotel showers, I fiddle with the shower head trying to find that right spray but sometimes it’s only those darts of water trying to penetrate your skin! It’s better to just take a bath lol.

    I agree with you. But lets face it, kids are mean. And even having a book about autism or aspergers isn’t going to make them less mean, in fact it might just give them more ammunition to play around with. At least that’s how I feel about it. It’s second nature to belittle the weakest link, it’s our animalistic nature I guess, or at least it’s someone’s animalistic nature, I try not to belittle anyone if I can help it.

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  • June 23, 2009 at 2:18 pm
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    @LibranPoetess@xanga – I hate hotel showers.  They feel like weapons firing at me.  I would like to agree with the singling out, but some kids automatically do that themselves, and then adults intervene.  (And adults do this in other situations, and courts intervene…)  Same thing happens with dogs and chickens, so it’s probably a built-in thing that goes way back, a way to keep disease and danger levels down, because you never know if someone acting real different is going to have an adverse effect on an entire group.  I don’t mean to belittle humans at all, but it really does seem to be a basic instinct to pick on or hot seat anyone who comes fresh into an established group order who doesn’t smoothly blend in.  Just ‘explaining’ it doesn’t calm the instinct.  I irritate people, I’ve come to realize that, and I’ve learned how to lessen the effects, but certainly not because I’m able to imitate being a social butterfly.  =P  I think it’s probably easier on, say, a classroom to make a point of noticing what is different about everyone in the room, and what you like about that.  When you begin with a positive spin, I think that will impress the kids with positive feedback.  If we could start that with young kids (in our standardized homogenized classrooms), we might not need books…

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  • June 22, 2009 at 6:37 pm
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    @bluejacky@xanga – I think that if you are going to explain why one kid is different, you might as well explain why all kids are different. There should be no singling out. At least that’s what I think… If it’s about the certain needs of one kid, yer right, a book probably isn’t the best way to address this.

    Spider feeling? See, I consider it pinpricks on my skin. I have a hard time adjusting to new shower heads if they don’t have the setting I’m accustomed to. And I’ve been wearing the same pair of jeans for a week without washing them because, everything else feels weird right now plus, I’m not sure they’d be clean in time for me to wear them tomorrow. My family thinks I’m gross for that lolz.

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  • June 22, 2009 at 4:10 pm
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    @LibranPoetess@xanga – Are you asking if a regular child would understand Asperger’s?  I’ve noticed there are children who seem to have an instinct for working with kids who are ‘different’, kind of the same way some humans have an instinct for working with certain types of animals or birds or something.  On a cognitive level, maybe they just need an explanation for why one kid in the class is being difficult or needy, but I’m not sure a book is the answer.  Some people instantly find me irritating and no explanation in the world makes it ok to be ‘me’, and those are adults.  I’m not sure a kids book is going to help much, myself.  And you’re right, if a child sees something in the book that also applies to other people, that’s not diagnostic, but the kid doesn’t know that (which will lend to many errors in thinking down the road).  I think it would make more sense to talk about not liking the ‘spider feeling’ on one’s skin (that’s how a shower feels to me sometimes), or the comfort of certain fabrics making it no fun to put on new or different clothes.

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  • June 22, 2009 at 2:01 pm
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    Would a child even be able to understand aspergers? I mean older kids maybe. I am also rubbed the wrong way with this, wearing the same clothes day after day means you have aspergers syndrome? What if some kids are just lazy?

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  • June 21, 2009 at 12:37 pm
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    @abilene_piper_lg@xanga – I’m sitting here spaced out and cracking up.  This writing concept could be used in a whole series of ‘Little Golden’ type books, just dredge up every disorder known to man and bring it to the classroom in the form of educational material.  Grade school was enough of a nightmare without passing a book around the classroom so everyone could ‘understand’ me.  I was mortified to be singled out and looked at, talked about, interacted with.  I never wanted so badly to be invisible.  Or to be a dog.  Oh, well, maybe the book will help someone.

    Btw, I’m subbed to you but I don’t do the friend thing on my bluejacky blog, so I can’t comment or message you any more since you did a lock-down.  Didn’t want you thinking I don’t care, I still get the subscription.  =)

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  • June 21, 2009 at 12:14 pm
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    @bluejacky@xanga – It was written by Elisa Ganon and Brenda Smith Myles, both of whom I believe are diagnosticians with specialty in PDD’s. As I mentioned, I believe the intent is to be used as a children’s book to educate them about why their AS classmates are the way they are. I could be wrong, but I think that’s probably what it would be best used for. 

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  • June 21, 2009 at 11:37 am
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    I’d be curious to know who wrote it and what the motivation was.

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