High Functioning Autism and Asperger's Syndrome

Recent changes in the definition of Asperger’s and Autism have caused confusion, and in some cases outcry. Change is often difficult and it can take time for society to adjust. Instead of trying to define something that is in constant flux, it may be more prudent to leave the definitional debates for another time and take this opportunity here to address some immediate topics. If you would like further information on current definitions in autism please see: CDC or NINDS

The term “Asperger” comes from the name, Hans Asperger, the Austrian doctor who first identified children back in the early 1900’s. These children were identified as unique because of their tendencies to be remarkably knowledgeable on certain topics while at the same time struggling with making friends and demonstrating social empathy. Asperger’s Syndrome has since been debated and studied ever since, but it is important to note that it all began with a respectful fascination with the skill and uniqueness of each child.

Sometimes, people form their definitions for things based on what they see. When it comes to Asperger’s, what truly defines it cannot be seen because it lies within the mind. The term “Theory of Mind” has been used to describe a person’s ability to know that one’s own mind and the minds of others are different. Additionally, Theory of Mind relates to how thoughts, beliefs and perceptions interact to form behavior. In individuals with Asperger’s, their Theory of Mind is not in place in the same way as someone without Asperger’s. Oftentimes, those with Asperger’s struggle with taking the perspective of others and explaining their own perspective because of this breakdown in Theory of Mind. For more information on this topic please find the following text helpful: The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome by Dr. Tony Attwood.

What is most important is that we do not lose sight of the population of people who struggle in a unique way just as much as they shine brilliantly in others. Please find the below list of resources as a starting point. In such short time, the base of literature on the topic of Asperger’s has grown so quickly that there are always new resources coming out.

Asperger Syndrome and the elementary school experience : practical solutions for academic & social difficulties
Moore, Susan Thompson.

Call Number: 371.94 Moore
ISBN: 1931282137
Pub. Info: Shawnee Mission, KS : Autism Asperger Publishing Co., 2002.

Notes:
"Written by an educator and mother of two children with autism spectrum disorders, this resource is comprised of practical ideas for addressing the academic and social needs of elementary-aged children with Asperger Syndrome. Intended for both teachers and parents, specific topics include organizational accommodations, accommodations in the curriculum, developing social skills and the importance of home-school communication. Forms, checklists, and other visuals make these helpful ideas easy to implement."--publisher's website.

Asperger Syndrome : a practical guide for teachers
Cumine, Val.

Call Number: 371.94 Cumine
ISBN: 1853464996
Pub. Info: London : David Fulton Publishers, c1998.

Asperger syndrome transition to college and work

Call Number: 331.7020875 Asperg
Pub. Info: [Hampton, N.J.] : Coulter Video, c2001.

Notes:
Title from container.

"Because of the similarities between Asperger syndrome, high functioning autism, PDD-NOS and non-verbal learning disabilities, many of the strategies described in this program should also work well for individuals who are diagnosed with HFA, PDD-NOS, & NLD"--Label.

Details how people with Asperger's syndrome prepare for college or find and hold a job. With college preparation checklist at end of tape. Includes interviews with Peter Gerhardt, Ed. D., and Ann Binder and Mary Beth Berry, special needs providers.

Asperger syndrome & your child: a parent's guide
Powers, Michael D.

Call Number: 618.928982 Powers
ISBN: 0060934883
Pub. Info: New York : CollinsWellness, 2005.

Notes:
"A Skylight Press book."

Asperger syndrome : a guide for educators and parents
Myles, Brenda Smith.

Call Number: 371.94 Myles
ISBN: 0-89079-727-7
Pub. Info: [S.l.] : Austin, Tex. (8700 Shoal Creek Boulevard, 78757) : Pro-Ed, c1998.

Asperger syndrome : a guide for educators and parents
Myles, Brenda Smith.

Call Number: 371.94 Myles
ISBN: 0-89079-898-2
Pub. Info: Arlington, Tex. : Austin, Tex. (8700 Shoal Creek Boulevard, 78757) : Pro-Ed, c1998, 2003.

Notes:
Written so both professionals and lay people could understand the information addressed. The authors address basic issues related to the characteristics of children and youth with the disorder and outlines basic methods to facilitate the growth and development in the home, school, and community.

Asperger syndrome for dad becoming an even better father to your child with Asperger syndrome.

Call Number: 649.154 Asperg
Pub. Info: [United States] : Coulter Video, c2004.
Target Audience: While primarily focused on dads, this video is also helpful to moms, grandparents, and other family members.

Notes:
Title from container.

Ten secrets to help get closer to a child with AS, help them succeed in life, and have fun on the way. Learn to deal with tantrums, make outings more manageable, generate support from family and friends, and more.

Asperger syndrome or high-functioning autism?

Call Number: 616.8982 Asperg
ISBN: 9780306457463
Pub. Info: New York : Plenum Press, c1998.

Asperger's and girls : world-renowned experts join those with Asperger's Syndrome to resolve issues that girls and women face every day!
Attwood, Tony.

Call Number: 616.858832 Attwoo
ISBN: 193256540X
Pub. Info: : Arlington, Tex. : Future Horizons, Inc., 2006.

Notes:
"...describes the unique challenges of women and girls with Asperger’s Syndrome. In it you’ll read candid stories written by the indomitable women who have lived them. You’ll also hear from experts who discuss whether “Aspie girls” are slipping under the radar, undiagnosed; why many AS women feel like a minority within a minority (outnumbered by men 4:1); practical solutions school systems can implement for girls; social tips for teenage girls, navigating puberty, the transition to work or university, and the importance of careers."

Asperger's syndrome a guide for parents and professionals /
Attwood, Tony.

Call Number: EBOOK
ISBN: 1846426979 (electronic bk.)
Pub. Info: London ; Philadelphia : Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 1998.

Notes:
'Parents, other family members and professionals have to understand the point of view of people with Asperger's Syndrome in order to work with them effectively. The strength of Tony Attwood's book is that he has made the essential imaginative leap into the Asperger world. He has real empathy with the children and adults he writes about and his sympathy, knowledge and common sense come through on every page. Readers will appreciate the detailed discussions of the problems people with the syndrome will encounter and the practical suggestions for helping to overcome or compensate for them.

Thinksheets for teaching social thinking and related skills : mini-lesson plans for higher-functioning individuals with autism spectrum disorder, social (pragmatic) communication disorder, ADHD, or other related social-emotional learning challenges
Winner, Michelle Garcia,

Call Number: 371.94 Winner
ISBN: 9781936943159
Pub. Info: Shawnee Mission, KS : Autism Asperger Publishing Co., 2002.

Notes:
Previously published as: Worksheets for teaching social thinking and related skills.

Contains worksheets that break down abstract social thinking concepts into concrete steps that students can work on individually or in groups, at home or in school. The worksheets are intended for students with high functioning autism, Asperger's Syndrome, nonverbal learning disability, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and other social cognitive deficits. Worksheets are coded by age-level.