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High-Functioning Autism (HFA) and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs)

Thanks to the Diagnostics and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V), we're changing the name of Asperger's Syndrome to High-Functioning Autism, or reverting to the older diagnosis, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS).  The new diagnosis, Social Communication Disorder, doesn't seem to fit most individuals with Asperger's Syndrome. Time will tell how or if these diagnoses will continue.

"Those of you who have been around me a lot have noticed that sometimes I act like I'm from another planet. I may flap my hands, or not look at you when I talk, or not understand your hints or body language. Things you think are nothing may really upset me, and things you can ignore may distract me from the job at hand. I have trouble following a long string of instructions, but I can get so involved in a book that I don't realize I'm in a room full of active, noisy people..." Martin, Fitting In and Speaking Out

See also ...
bulletAD/HD and Executive Function
bulletAuditory Processing (APD / CAPD)
bulletDyslexia, Dysgraphia and Dyscalculia
bulletNonverbal Learning Disabilities
bulletOppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
bulletSensory Integration (SI)
bulletVisual Processing
bulletTwice Exceptional
bulletTwice Exceptional in College
bullet2e Products and 2e Books
bullet2e = Exceptional Squared!

1001 Great Ideas for Teaching and Raising Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders Recommended by Veronica Zysk and Ellen Notbohm
Tons of great ideas - social, sensory, behavioral, and self-care, and many other issues - are for low-functioning autistic kids; nearly all can be used or adapted for not only Aspergers kids, but also for exceptionally gifted kids...
Spotlight on 2e Booklets Recommended from 2e Twice-Exceptional Newsletter
Spotlight on 2e is a series of easy-to-read, information-rich booklets on 2e topics, that answer all the tough questions, and provide a terrific set of resources for additional information.  I'm already ordering a set for the teachers and administrators in our child's new school this fall!  Available:
bulletUnderstanding your Twice-Exceptional Student (for educators)
bulletParenting Your Twice-Exceptional Child (for parents)
bulletThe Twice-Exceptional Child with Asperger Syndrome
bulletGuiding the Twice-exception Child: A Collection of Columns by Meredith Warshaw
bulletThe 2e Reading Guide: Essential Books for Understanding the Twice-exceptional Child
Accommodations, Strategies for Students with ASD’s Recommended by Spectrum U
This is a “laundry list” of services, supports, school features that might be appropriate for a student with ASD’s. You can find a worksheet of these here to work through on your own or with a disability services office...
All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome Recommended by Kathy Hoopman
This touching picture book explains the joys and challenges of raising a "different" child.  Good for kids and adults alike, leaving the reader with a sense of the dignity and potential of the Aspergers child...
Asperger's: What Does It Mean to Me? Recommended by Catherine Faherty
The book most requested by parents and teachers. Written by a leading therapist, this workbook is a must-have for the person with high functioning autism or Asperger's Syndrome. Includes chapters to help explain their world.  Also available from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.ca
The Aspie Girl's Guide to Being Safe With Men: The Unwritten Safety Rules No-one Is Telling You Recommended by Debi Brown or Kindle edition
Aspie girls and women are incredibly vulnerable to having bad sexual experiences with men, whether or not they are interested in pursuing dating and sexual relationships. This may be partly because, as teenagers, Aspie girls are often not part of the social groups where their non-spectrum peers learn the 'rules' that are vital to their physical and emotional safety in society. Debi Brown has written this important book to fill the resulting knowledge gap - how to interact safely with men - to help other Aspie girls and women avoid common pitfalls and potentially dangerous situations. Essential reading for every girl and woman on the autism spectrum, from age 13 upwards...
The Asperkid's (Secret) Book of Social Rules: The Handbook of Not-so-obvious Social Guidelines for Tweens and Teens With Asperger Syndrome Recommended by Jennifer Cook O'Toole
Being a teen or tween isn't easy for anyone -- but it's especially tough for Asperkids. I know. I was one, I taught a whole bunch, and I am going to be raising three! Asperkdis deserve their very own guide to all of the hidden social rules that are awfully confusing to us, even if they seem obvious to everyone else. This isn't your momma's Emily Post, and there is no "don't do this" finger-wagging or patronizing "high and mighty preaching" here. The "Secret" Book gives Asperkids (aged 10-17) respectful, funny insights written "for Aspies by an Aspie." Full of illustrations, logic and even a practice session or six (in comic strip style, thank you very much!), this is the handbook every adult Aspie wishes we'd had growing up, but never did...
Benny and Me: A Father Sees Himself Through his Aspergers Son Recommended by Mike Postma
A father's story, Asperger's through the unique view of a gifted and talented educator and his son... And now, Hey, Benny! What's New? Recommended follow Benny as he enters the teen years!
Bright Not Broken: Gifted Kids, ADHD, and Autism Recommended by Diane M. Kennedy, Rebecca S. Banks, Temple Grandin
Twice exceptional kids are both gifted and diagnosed with a disability--often ADHD or an Autism Spectrum Disorder--leading teachers and parents to overlook the child's talents and focus solely on his weaknesses. Too often, these children get lost in an endless cycle of chasing diagnostic labels and are never given the tools to fully realize their own potential. Bright Not Broken sheds new light on this vibrant population by identifying who twice exceptional children are and taking an unflinching look at why they're stuck. The first work to boldly examine the widespread misdiagnosis and controversies that arise from our current diagnostic system, it serves as a wake-up call for parents and professionals to question why our mental health and education systems are failing our brightest children...
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Recommended by Mark Haddon
A murder mystery of sorts -- told by an autistic boy. Fifteen-year-old Christopher John Francis Boone is mathematically gifted and socially hopeless, raised in a working-class home by parents who can barely cope with their child's quirks. He takes everything that he sees (or is told) at face value, and is unable to sort out the strange behavior of his elders and peers...
Different Minds: Gifted Children With AD/HD, Asperger Syndrome, and other Learning Deficits Recommended by Deirdre V. Lovecky
Recognizing the different levels and kinds of giftedness, Lovecky provides insight into the challenges and benefits specific to gifted children with various learning difficulties.  Guides parents and professionals through diagnosis and advises on how best to nurture individual needs, positive behavior and relationships at home and at school...  Also available from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.ca
Developing Talents: Careers for Individuals with Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism Recommended by Temple Grandin and Kate Duffy
Society loses out if individuals with autism spectrum disorders are not involved in the world of work, or make other kinds of contributions to society.  This book takes readers -- those on the autism spectrum and their family members, teachers, counselors -- through the career planning process...  Also available from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.ca
Executive Function Primer Recommended by Musings of an Aspie
A short (4 part) explanation of just what Executive Function (EF) is... 
Fitting In and Speaking Out: Me and Asperger's Syndrome Recommended by Martin
A boy's speech to his 5th grade class, about his Asperger's Syndrome...
How to Talk to an Autistic Kid Recommended by Daniel Stefanski
Who better to explain the challenges of typical kids communicating with autistic kids than 14-year-old Daniel Stefanski, who has autism? “Even though my brain is different, I’m still a kid.” And like any kid who’s been ignored, Daniel can often feel lonely. Through his casual and frank narration, he recognizes that autistic kids may look and sound different when trying to communicate, but they still want to be included...
Life Among the 'Yakkity Yaks' Recommended an interview with Temple Grandin, in The Wall Street Journal
'Who do you think made the first stone spear?" asks Temple Grandin. "That wasn't the yakkity yaks sitting around the campfire. It was some Asperger sitting in the back of a cave figuring out how to chip rocks into spearheads. Without some autistic traits you wouldn't even have a recording device to record this conversation on..."
Misdiagnosis And Dual Diagnoses Of Gifted Children And Adults: ADHD, Bipolar, OCD, Asperger's, Depression, And Other Disorders Recommended by James T. Webb, Edward R. Amend, Nadia E. Webb, Jean Goerss, Paul Beljan, F. Richard Olenchak, and Sharon Lind
Physicians, psychologist, and counselors are unaware of characteristics of gifted children and adults that mimic pathological diagnoses. Six nationally prominent health care professionals describe ways parents and  professionals can distinguish between gifted behaviors and pathological behaviors...  Also available from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.ca
Parallel Play Recommended by Tim Page, in The New Yorker
We are informally referred to as “Aspies,” and if we are not very, very good at something we tend to do it very poorly. Little in life comes naturally—except for our random, inexplicable, and often uncontrollable gifts—and, even more than most children, we assemble our personalities unevenly, piece by piece, almost robotically, from models we admire. (I remember the deliberate decision to appropriate one teacher’s mischievous grin and darting eyes, which I found so charming that I thought they might work for me, too.)
Pretending to Be Normal: Living With Asperger's Syndrome Recommended by Liane Holliday Willey or Kindle edition
Through both Willey and her young daughter have AS, provides a startling look at how those with the syndrome experience the world. Willey grew up knowing only that she was somehow different, extremely intelligent, and extremely quirky--but accepted and valued--seems to have been the assessment of her parents, physicians, and others early in her life. Her peculiarities--inability to find her way in unfamiliar places, and extreme aversion to people coming too close to her, to noise, to confusion--became a devastating issue when she left home for the unfamiliar environment of college. From then on, Willey struggled mightily until she reached the safe haven of marriage to an outstandingly sympathetic partner, a fulfilling job teaching college, and motherhood. When her own daughter, one of twins, was diagnosed as an infant with Asperger's Syndrome, Willey immediately recognized herself...
School Success for Kids With Asperger's Syndrome Recommended by Stephan Silverman & Rich Weinfeld (or from Amazon)
Provides parents and teachers with goals that will meet the needs of students who are struggling with reading, leading them to work through their difficulties and enjoy reading. Full of ready-to-use exercises and techniques to develop reading, spelling and phonic awareness.  Great for parents and teachers!
The Survival Guide for Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders (And Their Parents) Recommended by Elizabeth Verdick and Elizabeth Reeve
Have a child just diagnosed with Aspergers or other Autism Spectrum Disorder or Nonverbal Learning Disorder? This book should be your first purchase. Real problems are answered with real solutions shared by kids, and illustrated cheerfully with drawings of kids of every gender and race. An appealing and valuable read for kids and the adults who love them...
Take Control of Asperger's Syndrome: The Official Strategy Guide for Teens With Asperger's Syndrome and Nonverbal Learning Disorders Recommended by Janet Price and Jennifer Engel Fisher (or from Amazon)
A unique handbook for kids and teens on living successful lives with these disorders by taking control of their strengths to overcome their weaknesses, including tips on understanding the disorders, living with the symptoms, succeeding in school, completing homework, talking to others about strengths and needs, making friends and socializing, and using technology to connect with other kids and teens with these disorders. Includes ideas, information, and advice for students, by students just like them...
Temple Grandin: The world needs all kinds of minds Recommended a TED Talk
How does the mind of an autistic / Aspergers person work?  Not only who these kids are, but what they need, and what we're doing wrong today.  The world needs these people!  Every parent and teacher should listen to this talk!
The Way I See It: A Personal Look at Autism and Asperger's Recommended by Temple Grandin
In this innovative book, Dr. Grandin gets down to the real issues of autism, the ones parents, teachers, and individuals on the spectrum face every day. Temple offers helpful do’s and don’ts, practical strategies, and try-it-now tips, all based on her “insider” perspective and a great deal of research...
The Unwritten Rules of Friendship: Simple Strategies to Help Your Child Make Friends Recommended by Natalie Madorsky Elman & Eileen Kennedy-Moore
With chapters including The Vulnerable Child, The Intimidating Child, The Different Drummer, The Little Adult, and The Pessimistic Child, among others, this is a great tool for parents to help their gifted kids learn and understand the subtle art if being a friend!
Answer, but No Cure, for a Social Disorder That Isolates Many by Amy Harmon, New York Times (free subscription required)
Pretending to be normal, even for a few hours, is mentally exhausting, many Aspies say. But for some, the diagnosis is an inspiration to master what autism experts call the hidden curriculum: social rules...
ASPEN Asperger Syndrome Education Network
ASPEN® provides families and individuals whose lives are affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders (Asperger Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder-NOS, High Functioning Autism), and Nonverbal Learning Disabilities with education, support and advocacy.  Excellent Articles about Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD...
Asperger Syndrome and Long-Term Relationships by Ashley Stanford
Written by the wife of a man with Asperger Syndrome (AS), provides the answers to many of the questions asked by the increasing number of people in that situation. Explains how behaviors that may have appeared odd - or even downright irritating - are the manifestation of AS, and shows how understanding can lead to change, or to greater tolerance. Provides strategies for living successfully with characteristics that cannot be changed, pointing out that AS brings also enormous strengths to a relationship, and emphasizing the value of understanding...
Aspergirls: Empowering Females With Asperger Syndrome by Rudy Simone or Kindle edition
Girls with Asperger's Syndrome are less frequently diagnosed than boys, and even once symptoms have been recognised, help is often not readily available. The image of coping well presented by AS females of any age can often mask difficulties, deficits, challenges, and loneliness. This is a must-have handbook written by an Aspergirl for Aspergirls, young and old. Rudy Simone guides you through every aspect of both personal and professional life, from early recollections of blame, guilt, and savant skills, to friendships, romance and marriage. Employment, career, rituals and routines are also covered, along with depression, meltdowns and being misunderstood. Including reflections of over thirty-five women diagnosed as on the spectrum, as well as some partners and parents...
Asperger's and Girls by Tony Attwood, Temple Grandin, Teresa Bolick, Catherine Faherty, Lisa Iland, Jennifer McIlwee Myers, Ruth Snyder, Sheila Wagner, and Mary Wroble
At last, a book that provides up-to-date information about girls and women with Asperger's Syndrome. Covering diagnoses, education, puberty, relationships, and careers, experts in the field share practical advice for both caregivers and the women and girls who are affected by Asperger's...
Asperger's and IT: Dark secret or open secret? by Tracy Mayor, in Computerworld
Asperger's Syndrome has been a part of IT for as long as there's been IT. So why aren't we doing better by the Aspies among us?
Asperger's and Self-Esteem: Insight and Hope through Famous Role Models by Norm Ledgin and Temple Grandin
Forensic biography of 12 famous, successful people suspected of having Asperger's Syndrome.  Each of these people experienced difficulties in negotiating everyday life, but each rose above those difficulties in ways which are still being measured...
Aspergers in Love: Couple Relationships and Family Affairs by Maxine Aston
For those who have AS children, and then discover, perhaps there is more AS in their household... People with AS can and do have full and intimate relationships. Frankly examines the fundamental aspects of relationships often complicated by the disorder. Illustrated with real-life examples, the book tackles issues such as attraction, trust, communication, intimacy and parenting and includes a section on frequently asked questions.  Also by Maxine Aston, The Other Half of Asperger Syndrome: A guide to an Intimate Relationship with a Partner who has Asperger Syndrome (below)
Asperger's Syndrome in Gifted Individuals by Lynette M. Henderson
The two conditions tend to mask one another, making identification of either more difficult, particularly when professionals are generally trained in either giftedness or autism spectrum disorders but rarely in both...
Asperger's Syndrome: Separating Myth from Reality A Primer on a Mysterious Social Disorder, By Dan Childs, ABC News Medical Unit
In recent years, Asperger's syndrome has gained notoriety as a rare, yet sometimes socially debilitating, syndrome.  But despite recent attention, many remain unaware of the true nature of this unusual disorder...
Asperger's theory does about-face: Rather than ignoring others, researchers think spectrum sufferers care too much by Maia Szalavitz
A groundbreaking study suggests people with autism-spectrum disorders such as Asperger's do not lack empathy – rather, they feel others' emotions too intensely to cope.  People with Asperger's syndrome, a high functioning form of autism, are often stereotyped as distant loners or robotic geeks. But what if what looks like coldness to the outside world is a response to being overwhelmed by emotion – an excess of empathy, not a lack of it? For the full research study, read The intense world syndrome - an alternative hypothesis for autism by Henry Markram , Tania Rinaldi and Kamila Markram
Asperger Syndrome: Through The Lifespan by Stephen Bauer, on ASPEN
"In the course of development, certain features predominate or recede, so that the problems presented change considerably. Nevertheless, the essential aspects of the problem remain unchanged. In early childhood there are the difficulties in learning simple practical skills and in social adaptation. These difficulties arise out of the same disturbance which at school age cause learning and conduct problems, in adolescence job and performance problems and in adulthood social and marital conflicts..." (requires Adobe Reader)
Autism in the School-Aged Child by Beth Heybyrne & Carol Schmidt
Build on the strong foundation of discrete trial training, expanding the ability of the higher-functioning child with autism to learn in "real world" settings. The established principles of behavioral interventions, which are instrumental in the education of children with autism, are often discarded as the child matures. These principles are more difficult to establish in the natural setting of school or home, which contain previously controlled variables in the one-on-one setting. Rather than abandoned the principles that have produced success, parents and educators should recognize that children with autism have a unique style of learning that must be considered in a variety of settings. Combines practical strategies, ideas, and suggestions aligning the home and school settings... Or purchase directly from publisher www.autisminschool.com for $15 (save $10) - just mention Hoagies' Gifted Education Page!
Clay Marzo: Just Add Water  (NR)
Have you ever loved something to the point that it becomes what you live for? Meet Clay Marzo whose passion for surfing is so pure it defies description. Take a visually stunning and emotionally powerful journey through his life...
The Discovery of "Aspie" Criteria by Carol Gray and Tony Attwood, on The Gray Center for Social Learning and Understanding
The diagnostic criteria for Asperger’s Syndrome and the defining characteristics of aspie are markedly different, although they describe the same group of people. Ultimately, what distinguishes people with Asperger’s Syndrome from aspie individuals is how others respond. Three helpful re-thought responses are: 1) a focus on potential, 2) meaningful affirmation, and 3) a discarding of social arrogance for accommodation and acceptance...
The Discovery of "Aspie" Criteria by Carol Gray and Tony Attwood, on The Gray Center for Social Learning and Understanding
The diagnostic criteria for Asperger’s Syndrome and the defining characteristics of aspie are markedly different, although they describe the same group of people. Ultimately, what distinguishes people with Asperger’s Syndrome from aspie individuals is how others respond. Three helpful re-thought responses are: 1) a focus on potential, 2) meaningful affirmation, and 3) a discarding of social arrogance for accommodation and acceptance...
Early Intervention for Toddlers With Autism Highly Effective, Study Finds in ScienceDaily
A novel early intervention program for very young children with autism -- some as young as 18 months -- is effective for improving IQ, language ability and social interaction, this first controlled study of an intensive early intervention shows. Nearly one-third of the children in the intervention group had enough improvement in overall skills to warrant a change in diagnosis...
Emergence: Labeled Autistic by Temple Grandin
Though professionals have been theorizing about it for years, the phenomenon called autism remains shrouded in mystery. The author makes a few dents in this mystique, with insights which are rare because autism by its nature generally precludes such expression and analysis of emotion. She combines a personal perspective with relevant research in formation in assessing how autism can be overcome and even, in some ways, turned to personal advantage...
The Foundation for Children with Behavioral Challenges
Don't miss their Caregiver Handout, a condensed version of some of the most important concepts in Russ Green's book The Explosive Child (requires Adobe Reader)
Genius May Be an Abnormality: Educating Students with Asperger's Syndrome, or High Functioning Autism by Temple Grandin
Intellectually gifted children are being denied opportunities because they are being labeled either Asperger's or high functioning autism... It is essential that talented children labeled either high functioning autism or Asperger's be trained in fields such as computer programming, where they can do intellectually satisfying work
Gifted children with Asperger's Syndrome by Maureen Neihart
Suggests approaches for the teacher who works with young people with Asperger's Syndrome... Gifted children may be very difficult to diagnose with AS because the disorder may resemble other problems such as a learning disability or simply just similar traits of a gifted child. Common traits of gifted AS children are listed and compared to children who are gifted without AS in order to help identify these individuals
Gifted Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders by Maureen Neihart and Kenneth Poon (or from Amazon)
Describes instructional and behavior management strategies for the most common challenges teachers face with gifted children with ASD so that the abilities of these children can be developed to their fullest potential...
Gifted Gear Reviews a blog by Stephen
Self-described "Reviews of educational and entertaining gear suitable for gifted and talented kids. Investigated, researched, and written by Stephen (a gifted and talented 10 year-old who likes anime, manga, rock and roll, and theoretical physics and who has a mild form of autism called Asperger's Syndrome)."  Stephen talks more about his life with Aspergers, than products, which makes it even more enlightening!
Giftedness and Asperger's Syndrome: A New Agenda for Education (ERIC) by Shelagh Gallagher and James Gallagher
What does it mean to be gifted with Asperger's?  It's a question that gifted educators must learn to answer, to ensure proper programming for children who are gifted, children who are Asperger's, and children who are both... (requires Adobe Reader)
GRASP: The Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership  
A support organization run by individuals on the autism spectrum. Their site features articles written from the Asperger perspective. It promotes a positive view of Asperger Syndrome and related conditions. They have local support groups for adults in New York City and several other big cities...
The Gray Center for Social Learning and Understanding
The center works to improve social understanding on both sides of the social equation, helping individuals with ASD to communicate and interact more successfully with the people with whom they live and work.  Don't miss The Discovery of "Aspie" Criteria article, linked above
The Hidden Gift: Author-mother discovers pathway into autistic mind by Kevin Lamb, Dayton Daily News
Sam Bryan was labeled with severe learning disabilities and an IQ around 70 before his second-grade test scores last year put him at the level of a first-year law student.  The boys' brains were fluent in a language foreign to most schools they think in pictures.  Sometimes what looks like a challenge is really a gift...
In a Pickle And Other Funny Idioms by Marvin Terban
Useful in a classroom setting or as a browser's delight.  Especially useful for teaching our kids the intended meanings of these common but peculiar phrases.  Other useful titles include Mad as a Wet Hen!: And Other Funny Idioms Punching the Clock: Funny Action Idioms, and It Figures!: Fun Figures of Speech.  Or get the big collection: Scholastic Dictionary Of Idioms
In the Mind's Eye: Visual Thinkers, Gifted People With Dyslexia and Other Learning Difficulties, Computer Images and the Ironies of Creativity by Thomas G. West
This book has strong implications for anyone who has ever considered autism, dyslexia, or learning difficulties to be horrible things that must be stamped out. It shows that the apparent "weakness" and "lack of ability" in some areas can really be an aspect of a major (but often unrecognized) area of strength...
It's So Much Work to Be Your Friend: Helping the Child with Learning Disabilities Find Social Success by Richard Lavoie
Guidebook to helping children with learning disabilities overcome social skill deficits. Eschewing sink-or-swim and carrot-and-stick approaches, Lavoie stresses communication and patience for parents looking to guide their children through the maze of social interactions encountered daily... 
Jarvis Clutch - Social Spy by Dr. Mel Levine and Jarvis Clutch
Jarvis Clutch—Social Spy is mainly about something very important called social thinking, which most likely is a term you’ve never heard before, even though it’s something you use all day long. Even most grownups don’t know exactly what it means. Let me explain... (See All Kinds of Minds for a complete review)
Joshua's Tough Questions for His Mother a StoryCorps: Recording America interview
When he was 5 years old, Joshua Littman was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, a form of autism. But the condition that has robbed him of many social skills has also played a role in Joshua becoming an honor-roll student at 12.  Confronted with the chance to interview his mother at a StoryCorps booth, Joshua eschewed the prepared questions that many participants rely on, and instead created his own. His questions touch on everything from his mother's past to how she really feels about him...
Meeting the Challenges of Adolescence by R. Kaan Ozbayrak at Aspergers.com
Adolescence is full of challenges for any child.  Youngsters with autism bring their special flavor to the adolescence, essentially determined by the levels of three ingredients: interest, avoidance and insight...
Max Gamer, Super Hero by Frank Gaskill
Intended for all children, designed by “Aspies” for “Aspies.” Asperger’s is not considered a syndrome by the authors, but is considered a gift and an amazing skill. It is defined in some ways by significant deficits in social skills; however, this carton-style book focuses on strengths giving these children the resilience and confidence they need to rise to their potential. From the animation to the storyline, this book was guided by a large group of Aspie kids through surveys and creative group collaboration...
Mindblindness: An Essay on Autism and Theory of Mind by Simon Baron-Cohen (requires free login to Google books)
Baron-Cohen presents a model of the evolution and development of "mindreading." He argues that we mindread all the time, effortlessly, automatically, and mostly unconsciously. It is the natural way in which we interpret, predict, and participate in social behavior and communication. Building on many years of research, Baron-Cohen concludes that children with autism suffer from "mindblindness" as a result of a selective impairment in mindreading...
Mis-Diagnosis and Dual Diagnosis of Gifted Children: Gifted and LD, ADHD, OCD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder by James T. Webb, Edward R. Amend, Nadia E. Webb, Jean Goerss, Paul Beljan, F. Richard Olenchak
Many gifted and talented children (and adults) are being mis-diagnosed by psychologists, psychiatrists, pediatricians, and other health care professionals. The most common mis-diagnoses are: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and Mood Disorders...
More Students With Asperger Syndrome Going to College: Some Schools Have Programs to Help Autistic Students by Thea Trachtenberg, ABC News
As scores of autistic young adults enter universities for the first time, colleges across the country are trying to find ways to deal with the first generation of Asperger's students to hit campuses in large numbers. Marshall University has graduate students who work daily with the 14 students in its Asperger's program to review assignments and help with classroom etiquette...
My Mind is a Web Browser: How People with Autism Think by Temple Grandin, on ASPEN
The language part of my brain is the computer operator, and the rest of my brain is the computer. In most people, the brain's computer operator and the computer are merged into one seamless consciousness; but in me they are separate. I hypothesize that the frontal cortex of my brain is the operator and the rest of my brain is the computer...
The Nonverbal Dictionary of Gestures, Signs & Body Language Cues David B. Givens
From Adam's-Apple-Jump to Zygomatic Smile, items in this Dictionary have been researched by anthropologists, archaeologists, biologists, linguists, psychiatrists, psychologists, semioticians, and others who have studied human communication from a scientific point of view
The OASIS Guide to Asperger Syndrome: Advice, Support, Insight, and Inspiration by Patricia Romanowski Bashe and Barbara L. Kirby
Delves into the shady, often misunderstood world of pervasive developmental disorders, of which perhaps the most well-known is autism, with clarity, warmth and amazing depth, focusing on Asperger Syndrome (AS). The authors present unfamiliar terms and jargon with full explanations
Online Asperger Syndrome Information and Support (OASIS)
By definition, those with AS have a normal IQ and many individuals (although not all), exhibit exceptional skill or talent in a specific area
The Other Half of Asperger Syndrome: A guide to an Intimate Relationship with a Partner who has Asperger Syndrome by Maxine Aston
Partly about diagnosis, and partly about communication between partners, relationship problems and how to deal with them.  Good stuff!
Practical Solutions to Everyday Challenges for Children with Asperger Syndrome by Haley Morgan Myles and Jeanette McAfee
What do you say if you receive a gift you don't care for? How do you handle somebody who brags and shows off? What do you do at a social event where you don't know anybody? In this charmingly illustrated book, 9-year-old Haley Myles gives simple, no-nonsense suggestions and advice (for young gifted AS children)
Preparing for College: Tips for Students with HFA / Asperger’s Syndrome on Divison TEACCH
Characteristics that may be particularly important for students on the autism spectrum include a clearly structured academic program, a good disabilities services program (or its equivalent), willingness to provide modifications and support for learning needs, and a counseling center with support services...
The Puzzle of Hidden Ability by Sharon Begley, in Newsweek
It's finally dawning on scientists that there's a problem here. Testing autistic kids' intelligence in a way that requires them to engage with a stranger "is like giving a blind person an intelligence test that requires him to process visual information...
School Success for Kids With Autism by Jed Baker (or from Amazon)
Describes how parents and teachers can work together to create nurturing, supportive, and effective classroom environments from preschool to high school, including helping students make transitions between teachers, schools, and grade levels; finding the best instructional strategies and supports for inclusive classrooms; helping kids with homework; selecting curriculum; and providing interventions in the home to help develop needed skills...
Social Skills Picture Book for High School and Beyond by Jed Baker
Photos of actual students engaging in a wide variety of social situations show, rather than tell, the right (and wrong) ways to interact in different circumstances. They visually illustrate the positive and negative consequences of both ways of interacting... (for teen gifted AS and NLD children)  Or read The Social Skills Picture Book: Teaching play, emotion, and communication to children with autism for younger kids
Some thoughts on Aspergers and Autism by jd in jd's Diary
A short list of typical traits exhibited by Asperger people: Recognition of facial expressions and body-language is difficult to impossible; Asperger people think "visually"; Asperger people will tend to resemble bipolar people, with two exceptions; Asperger people are often pattern-oriented; Autistic people in general will have a phenomenal, but very selective, memory; Finally, Autistic people are generally either hoarders or keep places phenomenally clean...
Sticks and Stones Will Break My Bones, and Names Hurt Too by Stephen Bauer, on ASPEN
Unfortunately, most children have been teased at some point in their development. For children with Asperger Syndrome (AS) and related Pervasive Developmental Disorders, teasing often goes beyond being a temporary annoyance, but rather becomes a devastating and chronic problem wearing down a youngster’s self-esteem, for one of three major reasons: differences in social behavior and physical abilities, the invisible nature of the disability, and social skill deficits specific to teasing (requires Adobe Reader)
Teaching Children With High-Functioning Autism: Strategies for the Inclusive Classroom by Claire E. Hughes-Lynch (or from Amazon)
Practical ideas and support for teachers who have students with high-functioning autism in the classroom. Realistic descriptions of autism in the classroom, ideas for working with a wide range of professionals and integrating the various therapies within a classroom, suggestions for assessing students' learning, and a range of teaching ideas from behavioral interventions to content-area instruction. Ideas for writing a very strong, helpful IEP as well as ways to accommodate and manage the social, language, and anxiety-related issues children with high-functioning autism face in a general education setting...
Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew by Ellen Notbohm (magazine article)
Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew by Ellen Notbohm (full length book by the same title)
10 Things The Student with Autism Wishes You Knew (...and it makes sense for other kids too!) by Ellen Notbohm, Family Times Inc.
Every day, individuals with autism show us they can overcome, compensate for, and otherwise manage many of the condition's most challenging aspects. Equipping those around our children with a simple understanding of autism's most basic elements has a tremendous effect on the children's journey towards productive, independent adulthood (Ten Things)  The voice of our child returns now to tell us what children with autism wish their teachers knew... (10 Things)
Thinking in Pictures: My Life with Autism (Expanded edition) by Temple Grandin
I think in pictures.  I translate both spoken and written words into full-color movies, complete with sound, which run like a VCR tape in my head. When somebody speaks to me, his words are instantly translated into pictures. Language-based thinkers often find this phenomenon difficult to understand...
Thorn in My Pocket: Temple Grandin's Mother Tells the Family Story by Eustacia Cutler
Eustacia eloquently and honestly expresses her thoughts and emotions, openly giving voice to the frustrations, despair, and anger that affects families with special needs children. She tells about how Temple's problems affected her relationship with her husband and other situations usually kept quiet inside a family...
Understanding Austin: Loving a Child With Asperger's Syndrome, ABC News
Adolescence is full of challenges for any child.  Youngsters with autism bring their special flavor to the adolescence, essentially determined by the levels of three ingredients: interest, avoidance and insight...
Understanding Our Gifted and Complex Minds: Intelligence, Asperger's Syndrome, and Learning Disabilities at MIT by Brian G. R. Hughes '77, in MIT Alumni Association newsletter, What Matters: alumni opinion column
Aside from anecdotal evidence that the son of two MIT graduates has Asperger's syndrome, why should this story be of interest to the MIT community? My hypothesis is that the "abnormal" condition known as Asperger's syndrome is remarkably similar to the "normal" functioning of an engineer's mind....
Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships by Temple Grandin and Sean Barron
Grandin and Barron address the social challenges those with autism and Asperger's face, explaining in the process how confusing and illogical normal societal rules can be. They also address the "unwritten rules" that most children understand instinctively but are a mystery to those on the spectrum. They teach how to trust feelings, be assertive in a positive way, and deal with negative people and situations...
What Autistic Girls Are Made Of by Emily Bazelon, in The New York Times
Autism is often thought of as a boys’ affliction. Boys are three or four times as likely as girls to have classic autism. The sex ratio is even more imbalanced for diagnoses that include normal intelligence along with the features of autism — social and communication impairments and restricted interests; this is called Asperger’s syndrome or high-functioning autism or, more generally, being “on the autistic spectrum.” Among kids in this category, referral rates are in the range of 10 boys for every girl...
Writing Study Ties Autism To Motor-Skill Problems by Jon Hamilton, on NPR
Many children with autism not only struggle with social skills and communication, they also have great difficulty with handwriting, according to a new study in the journal Neurology.  The finding offers scientific evidence of something parents have been saying for years...
Your Little Professor Resources and Academic Programs for Children with Asperger's Syndrome
Great articles and more for parents of Asperger's kids and teens.  Don't miss:
bullet Improving Non-verbal Communication with Cross-Cultural Exercises
bulletI Don't Have Asperger's!
bulletAsperger's in Schools and Helping Children and Teens with Asperger's to Achieve Success in School Settings
and many other great articles...

Last updated December 01, 2020

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