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An Insider's Guide to Loving, Understanding and Teaching Children with Asperger Syndrome
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As a parent, a teacher and an Aspie herself, Jennifer O'Toole provides the definitive insider's view of Asperger syndrome. She shows how to help children on the spectrum by understanding how they think and by exploiting their special interests to promote learning. Her strategies work because she thinks like the children that she teaches.

This exciting book is full of effective and fun ways of engaging with children with Asperger syndrome. Jennifer explains how theory of mind difficulties create the need for concrete forms of communication, and provides original methods to inspire imagination through sensorial experiences. In particular she reveals the untapped power of special interests, showing how to harness these interests to encourage academic, social and emotional growth.

Affirming that different doesn't mean defective, this book offers the insight and guidance that parents, educators, and other professionals need to connect with the Asperkids in their life and get them excited about learning.
  • Published: Jun 15 2012
  • 228 x 152mm
  • ISBN: 9781849059022
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Press Reviews

  • Aunt Aspie's Book of the Month!

    Jennfier is in a unique position to write this book. Not only are her kids on the spectrum, so are she and hubby. In addition, she is a school teacher. That makes for a pretty encompassiong view on what it means to be on the spectrum, raise a child on the spectrum and teach a child on spectrum... This book is full of insight and simple useful tips... If you are the parent or teacher of a child on the spectrum, I highly recomment it.
  • Aukids

    (... )her first book, was so innovative and refreshing... Jen cleverly uses the quick Aspie mind to its own advantage by encouraging analysis and insight... If you have a child with Asperger's or high-functioning autism, it'll have much the same effect as an invigorating run along the beach.
  • HEAS

    The book contains many practical suggestions for educating children with Asperger syndrome at home. O'Toole analyses the difficulties and challenges with perception and insight, showing how to help children for whom everyday activities may be upsetting and incomprehensible.
  • Temple Grandin, author of Thinking in Pictures

    Asperkids has LOTS of practical ideas that will really help kids on the spectrum. I completely agree that using a child's passion is the best way to motivate learning.
  • Library Journal Reviews

    A mother with Asperger syndrome (AS) and three Aspie children, O'Toole is uniquely situated to understand the best ways to approach parenting and teaching youths with AS.... O'Toole approaches the Aspie lifestyle with a great deal of humor and insight. She's particularly good at explaining the hurdles Aspie children face daily as they navigate school and social settings, and she helps readers see the world the way anyone with AS does. The result is an easy-to-read guide to interacting with Aspie children, replete with additional resources and references.
  • Young Minds Magazine

    Full of effective and enjoyable ways to engage (such) children, and offers guidance and insight to other parents, as well as teachers and other practitioners.
  • HEAS (Homes Education Advisory Service)

    Her book presents an insider's perspective into the world of Asperger syndrome which would be very helpful to anyone who seeks to understand the condition. Many effective and original ways of engaging with Asperger children are presented.
  • Loving Martians - Wordpress blog by Rebecca Mitchell

    Within seconds of opening the book I had shed a few tears, and later, as I continued reading in the bath (...) I had several more unexpected cries. These were all moments of pure recognition, and with each one came a mixture of joy, release and relief. Not only does O'Toole describe so many ways of being that sound just like my little L, but I could also connect with much of what she said about being a Mum. Not only does this woman understand what it is to be an Aspie (she is one), she also understands what it is to be the parent of one (she has there) and the wife of one. What could top that in terms of a well-rounded viewpoint?... O'Toole accurately grasps my hopes for L and his future, that he can move forward with an understanding and pride in himself, and that he will see the positive aspects to having those Spectrum qualities as well as some of the challenges he will inevitably face... I now feel that I've got a way in to L's mind which is so much more meaningful that the off-piste advice I am given by well-meaning but autism-ignorant professionals. One of my friends, who also has a son on the Spectrum, once commented that she wished she could see inside her son's head for a while. "Asperkids" and all it offers, may just be one way to do it.

    I read this book in just two consecutive sittings - loved it!... As Aspie herself, Jenny is quite brilliant and as a teacher and parent she is doubly insightful into her own children's needs and how to help them.
  • Meredith G. Bove, MBA, Educational Strategies Consultant and mother of a son with Asperger Syndrome, USA

    Amazing. Jennifer's ability to share her Asperger perspective and explain what our kids need most in the home and in school is fantastic. She gets right to what matters and makes powerful points that have to be heard. On both a personal and a professional level, I say this is a book that needs to be on shelves everywhere.
  • Courtney Enos, MS-OT, occupational therapist, Touchstone Therapy, North Carolina, USA

    Jennifer provides a unique perspective into the world of Asperger syndrome - helping to put all the pieces together, with a little humor thrown in along the way. I will highly recommend this book to any Asper-parent to better understand their child's world and help them grow, learn, and develop based on their unique strengths.
  • Diane Chartrand-Balcer, Purchasing Director for Insomnia Bookstore at Southeast Psychology, North Carolina, USA

    Asperkids has touched my heart to its deepest core, brought tears to my eyes, knowledge to my mind and an in-depth understanding of Asperger Syndrome. It is beautifully written, easy to understand and incredibly sincere. I will most definitely stock the shelves of our psychological book store with this wonderful, insightful book. Kudos to Jennifer Cook O'Toole for her passion, love and knowledge of Asperger syndrome and her willingness and eagerness to share it with everyone.
  • Josie Santomauro, mother of a son with Asperger syndrome, editor of Autism All-Stars: How We Use Our Autism and Asperger Traits to Shine in Life and co-author of Set for Success: Activities for Teaching Emotional, Social and Organisational Skills

    Fresh, honest, organic and raw insights - Jennifer has written a legacy for all those on the spectrum, inviting everyone into an intricate and delicious mindset of an Asperfamily's challenges and successes. This book is a literary feast of new and exciting creative ideas and strategies which are shared in a very unique conversational manner. This book may be the key to unlocking a new and successful way of teaching and communicating with persons on the spectrum.
  • Clare Lawrence, teacher, autism worker, mother, and author of Autism and Flexischooling: A Shared Classroom and Homeschooling Approach and How to Make School Make Sense: A Parents' Guide to Helping the Child with Asperger Syndrome

    Jennifer Cook O'Toole's personal understanding of the Asperger 'profile' makes Asperkids a fascinating read. In it she gives a wealth of exciting and innovative 'detours' around the challenges of AS and has provided a book full of lively and enthusiastic ideas to get you really enjoying working with your Asperger child. This is one of the most respectful books about teaching children with Asperger syndrome I have read and I thoroughly recommend it.
  • Julie Clark, author of Asperger's in Pink: Pearls of Wisdom from Inside the Bubble of Raising a Child with Asperger's

    Asperkids is brilliant! Not only is Jennifer an inspiring person, she's an Aspermom out to make a difference. Her passion to educate the NT world about Aspies shines through. Many Asperkids, and their families, will benefit from her personal insight. I am convinced this book will make a positive impact.
  • Joslyn Gray, autism advocate and author of the blog stark. raving. mad. mommy.

    As a neurotypical mom with two kids with Asperger syndrome, Asperkids gave me an inside look into the minds of my own children. Jennifer's unique viewpoint really helped me understand how I can communicate better with my kids, support their talents, and help them navigate the world. Asperkids should serve as a touchstone for parents and teachers alike. I'll definitely be sharing this book!
  • from the Foreword by Liane Holliday Willey, EdD, author of Pretending to be Normal and Asperger Safety Skills for Women

    Just a few pages into Asperkids, I knew I was reading something special... O'Toole is the real deal bundle of experience and knowledge our Asperger community can turn to for compassionate understanding and wise advice.
  • Elizabeth Conner, mother of a child with Asperger syndrome

    reading [O'Toole's] book is making me understand more how his brain is wired and I am learning SO much.
  • Toni Schulken, MS, OTR/L, Pathways for Learning

    Asperkids by Jennifer Cook O'Toole is a no-brainer to include as required reading in any education, medical, or therapy college or university program… This book addresses much more than diagnosis and treatment guidelines. If you changed the title, it could be a manual on how to respect and understand the teaching-learning experience and teach in a way that children will not only learn from, but love. The concepts of learning styles, instructional styles, engagement, thematic teaching, humor, developmental approach, differentiated instruction, structuring environments for learning, the fun factor, empathy, positive energy, balancing the environment with multisensory opportunities, and much more are presented in a fun and easy-to-learn style that will stay with students into their careers. I love Asperkids and cannot wait to share it with my Occupational Therapy students this semester.