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need book rec. for NT teen to understand asperger's/HFA


klmama
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My dc has a close friend who recently revealed he was diagnosed with Asperger's as a young child.  Dc would like to read more about it, but all the books in our library seem to be written for parents or professionals.  Can you recommend one written for the friends of teens/young adults with Asperger's/HFA? 

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all cats have aspergers is written in a more simplifed format - but does get info across.

(all dogs have adhd, and she wrote an "all birds have anxiety" for the series.)

 

eta: the author did write another one - inside asperger's looking out.    it may be more what you're looking for.

Edited by gardenmom5
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As an autistic individual who happens to love cats very, very much - I was really disappointed with All Cats Have Asperger's. I don't even remember if the portrayal of autism was okay, because the portrayal of cats was so wrong!

 

(Paradoxically, this is one booklist I am utterly unqualified to write. When I first found out about autism, all my resources were online already. And this was now so long ago that I'm not sure any of those sites I read over and over again even still exist. I can offer up a few "do not reads", but they're all fiction anyway.)

Edited by Tanaqui
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As an autistic individual who happens to love cats very, very much - I was really disappointed with All Cats Have Asperger's. I don't even remember if the portrayal of autism was okay, because the portrayal of cats was so wrong!

 

(Paradoxically, this is one booklist I am utterly unqualified to write. When I first found out about autism, all my resources were online already. And this was now so long ago that I'm not sure any of those sites I read over and over again even still exist. I can offer up a few "do not reads", but they're all fiction anyway.)

 

I'm also on the spectrum (in addition to dudeling, and 1ds who preferred to hang with aspies) - but I've never owned a cat.

 

though I did really like the "teenagers are like cats." - because it fit 1ds so perfectly.

getting his mouth to so much as twitch when telling a joke was a major triumph!

when dh was a teen - he found a dead bobcat.  he and his friends made use of it.  curled it up on the roof of the car of someone who knew him well.  he got a phone call  "___ come get your bobcat".

 

TEENAGERS ARE LIKE CATS

 

1. Neither teenagers nor cats turn their heads when you call them by name.   (dudeling still would rather not respond)

 

2. No matter what you do for them, it is not enough. Indeed, all humane efforts are barely adequate to compensate for the privilege of waiting on them hand and foot.

 

3. You rarely see a cat walking outside of the house with an adult human being, and it can be safely said that no teenager in his or her right mind wants to be seen in public with his or her parents.

 

4. Even if you tell jokes as well as Jay Leno, neither your cat nor your teen will ever crack a smile.

 

5. No cat or teenager shares your taste in music.

 

6. Cats and teenagers can lie on the living room sofa for hours on end without moving, barely breathing.

 

7. Cats have nine lives. Teenagers carry on as if they did.

 

8. Cats and teenagers yawn in exactly the same manner, communicating that ultimate human ecstasy: a sense of complete and utter boredom.

 

9. Cats and teenagers do not improve anyone's furniture.

 

10. Cats that are free to roam outside sometimes have been known to return in the middle of the night to deposit a dead animal in your bedroom. Teenagers are not above that sort of behavior.

 

Thus, if you must raise teenagers, the best sources of advice are not other parents, but veterinarians. It is also a good idea to keep a guidebook on cats at hand at all times. And remember, above all else, put out the food and do not make any sudden moves in their direction.

 

When they make up their minds, they will finally come to you for some affection and comfort, and it will be a triumphant moment for all concerned.

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My brother is on spectrum, my mother I am almost positive is as well though she is older so there was no identifying. Her behaviors lend themselves so significantly that it fits. When I approach things from the idea she is on spectrum, most all interaction goes much smoother as well. I am in many ways in between. Having been raised in a house where my only significant influences were autistic (my father was a workaholic), I present often like I am on spectrum. I have been tested an supposedly am not due to my ability to adapt once informed. I just have no idea what about my behavior is upsetting due to not recieving the social programing from a young age. I can tell I am doing something wrong, but do not know how to adjust it.

 

If you are looking for fiction, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime is not terrible. It is not ideal, but not horrific. I think for someone neurotypical, it gives an initial idea. Many of the other resources of fiction I have seen present the autistic character from too accurate a point of view and it is not something the NT reader is able to relate to.

 

From many conversations with my husband, my point of view is often looked at as ridiculous. My husband does not understand how implication is hard for me (I totally do not understand it), how I can get overwhelmed in certain instances and have to talk myself down, or how touching people just never occurs to me. If I am emotionally upset, the absolute last thing I want is to be touched. I did not grow up being hugged or touched, so it never enters my mind that this is an appropriate response to duress. He cannot wrap his brain around how these seemingly immediate responses to him are totally not existant to me. The gap between his normal and my normal is just too great.

 

The Curious Incident bridges this divide pretty well. Many autistic individuals do not regard the book as accurate enough. And, honestly, the reason it works for a broader audience is that it isn't.

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I would second the recommendation for Tony Attwood's book. Autism is such a complex and highly variable condition that I think this sort of full treatment would be the most useful. Many books aimed at young kids understandably fail to capture the complexity, but I think a teen who is trying to understand a friend better might end up frustrated when the simplified view bears little or no relationship to the person they know.

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