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Asperger Syndrome and Adolescence: Practical Solutions for School Success Paperback – 15 May 2001


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'Asperger Syndrome and Adolescence is an excellent book that fills a long-standing and sorely felt need. The subtitle, "practical solutions for school success", tells the story and guarantees that this book will be eagerly sought and frequently consulted. An outstanding achievement.' Bernard Rimland, Director, Autism Research Institute, USA; 'In Asperger Syndrome and Adolescence, Myles and Adreon have presented us with an excellent overview of the challenges that many learners with AS face as they enter their teens. But perhaps most important, they offer an array of practical, proven interventions to help address these challenges. This is a welcome addition to the literature.' -Peter Gerhardt, Research Assistant Professor and Division Director, Rutgers University; 'A stunningly accurate portrayal of the challenges adolescents with Asperger Syndrome face in school. Of at least equal importance, this "must have" resource is jam-packed with sensible and easy-to-implement solutions for teachers, aides, parents and others who will ultimately give these emerging adults the tools they need to navigate through the turbulent middle and high school years... and beyond.' -Stephen M. Shore, author of Beyond the Wall: Personal Experience with Autism and Asperger Syndrome; 'Finally, a book about older students with Asperger Syndrome and one that moves beyond describing this complex syndrome... It is a book that educators and parents will refer to again and again as they help students with AS navigate the complex demands of the adolescent experience' -Michael Alessandri, Director, University of Miami Center for Autism and Related Disabilities; 'This book addresses one of the most burning issues in working with adolescents with Asperger Syndrome: All the supports and strategies that must be in place to help them survive the middle and high school years. As such it is a "must read" for parents and educators alike. Among the supports and strategies discussed, the section on stabilization was particularly helpful. The use of authentic voices in the last chapter validates the message of this important book.' -Elisa Gagnon, author of This Is Asperger Syndrome

About the Author

Brenda Smith Myles, PhD, is an associate professor at the University of Kansas. She writes and speaks internationally on Asperger Syndrome and autism. Her recent books include Asperger Syndrome and Sensory Issues: Practical Solutions for Making Sense of the World, and Asperger Syndrome and Difficult Moments: Practical Solutions for Tantrums, Rage and Meltdowns (co-authored by Jack Southwick). Diane Adreon,MA, is associate director of the University of Miami-Center for Autism and Related Disabilities. Ms Adreon has published and presented internationally on Asperger Syndrome and is the mother of an adolescent with AS.

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Amazon.com: 17 reviews
87 of 88 people found the following review helpful
Good scheduling advice but little on pragmatics 5 Feb 2003
By John Harpur - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
There is a wealth of advice in this book which all parents and teachers should find helpful. Plenty of checklists are offered and numerous cameo case histories are presented. The references are good but perhaps a bit limited (may be of importance only to researchers - no mention of central coherence deficit for instance). The main point of the book is the get schools to recognise and deal with stress build up in AS pupils before it boils over. Some of this will be familiar from Myles' other book on tantrum management.

The advice for high school transition is very practical. Make sure he knows the schedule, pin the timetable everywhere, fix routine reminders inside textbook covers, make sure he knows which teacher tolerates which behaviour, etc. It is all good sensible advice, though I wonder how deliverable it is in the ordinary school setting?

The authors touch on 'circle of friends', travelcards and a host of other supports, but ultimately pin their support hopes on resource teachers and an enlightened school policy. Unfortunately, this is where I begin to part company with the book. Few schools could make the quantum shifts expected, and the authors could have made much more of their advice if they had identified compromise strategies. Teachers are human, not superhuman. Also in my limited experience, parents of AS teenagers often have unrealistic expectations of their offspring's academic performance and that tends to obscure their grasp of daily school realities. The classic example here is the emphasis on the 'gifted' child who must attend a 'gifted' school irrespective of the impact that has on the school and child. The authors tend to cite gifted children examples a lot in their case studies. I don't think this is helpful.

Perhaps unconsciously the book also portrays the AS teenager as very much a ship in the night steering a lonely course from class to class, from teacher to teacher, etc. How to help out here? Again, while friendship strategies are touched upon, no elabaorated plan is developed. A weakness to my mind.

The book presents the AS teenager as very much a patient to be treated by the environment. I don't want to appear overly critical of the book. It is good that adolescent AS are being addressed, however, for the life of me I could not grasp why there is no section on teenage communication pragmatics - these are extensively treated in another book Succeeding with Interventions for Asperger Syndrome Adolescents. The authors simply skate by the whole problematic of communication skills. It seems that as long as your 'gifted' child is doing well academically and no one is hitting him, then we should be pleased. This struck me as a very lobsided developmental philosophy. Interestingly the book points out in footnote in the beginning that it will ignore sexuality and relationship issues. Ignore these? In a book dealing AS adolescents?

Overall this is a good book for advising on schedule construction and maintenance of the daily school routine. It has limitations and depending on your needs they may be significant or otherwise.
77 of 78 people found the following review helpful
Asperger Syndrome and Adolescence by Myles and Adreon 23 Sep 2001
By Leia Francisco - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book addresses a crucial need for parents, educators and children affected by Asperger's Syndrome. In clear, simple and solid terms the authors focus on the impact of Asperger's Syndrome(AS) in middle school and high school. Most important for those of us who are parents of AS children, it integrates specific classroom and support strategies. I used this book as the basis for my IEP meeting with my son's school committee. In fact, the school counselors were so impressed by some of the information that they are ordering the book for their department.
You will find very detailed examples of assessments, classroom setting needs, and organization supports ranging from homework checklists and graphic organizers to transitional checklists. A case study on "Michael" puts all the points into chronological action--with a hopeful outcome. I doubt that any parent with an AS child will not identify with the efforts and emotions associated with the case study.
The authors have managed something quite remarkable in making the rollercoaster teen years--thrown in with the unique challenges of Asperger's--understandable and they do, indeed, provide practical solutions.There are many fine books on AS, including Asperger's Syndrome, by Tony Attwood, but this gave me the concrete tools I needed at just the right time in my son's life.
To Brenda Smith Myles and Diane Adreon, thank you for this great resource. I will be using it often.
37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Great help for older children with Aspergers 10 July 2001
By Ketty P. Gonzalez - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is a wonderful tool to help children who have Aspergers Syndrome and are about to enter, or are in, middle or high school. Although many times they can "keep it together" until then, many children with AS falter when the academic and social demands of school increase. One of the authors is not only an expert on the field, she is also the mother of a son with AS, so she has been there. A must buy for parents of children with AS.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Full of easy to implement solutions 29 Jan 2003
By Terri L. Cooper - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This easy-to-read book fully describes the characteristics of Asperger Syndrome(AS) that have the greatest impact during the teen years and how to assist each individual with the appropriate level of support and structure. The importance of assessments in covered, letting parents and teachers know what diagnostic assessments are important, how to assess the characteristics of AS, how to do a curriculum based assessment, how to measure sensory-motor, social language, student learning traits and how to do a functional assessment on behavior.
I found chapter four (Supports for Students with Asperger Syndrome in Middle and High School)to be the most beneficial. The chapter provided goals that every person needs and how they can be reached by the individual with AS. Several academic modifications are shared along with social and environmental supports. In each secion the supports on explained in an easy to understand manner. I felt comfortable enough to implement the supports in the book right after I read the chapter.
A case study is shared in the last chapter. The entire chapter is full of examples of difficulties and how with the appropriate supports a child went successfully from third through eigth grade.
The entire book is full of examples, charts and graphs that you can use. I highly recommend this easy-to-read book. If you have a family member or work with individuals with AS this is an excellent resource.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Finally a book about academics in the adolescent years ! ! 9 May 2005
By Book Addict - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book focuses specifically on academic issues of children with Asperger's in middle and high school. There are many other books about other aspects of Aspergers, but this is the only good book I have found on this specific topic.

Diane has a great understanding of the difficulties faced by child aspies who on the surface may be getting "good grades" but are failing in many other ways. Learning difficulties in these children can be subtle and often show up as incomplete assignments or "behavior problems".

The book has extensive information and checklists on evaluating the strengths, weaknesses, and needs for accomodations. The information is detailed and exhaustive.

A large part of the book is dedicated to supports and accomodations which can help students achieve their potential.

The book also covers the oft overlooked area of transitioning between elementary school and middle school. Many children getting by in elementary school can suddenly fall apart in middle school because of problems with executive functioning.

This book is a great book for both parents and school personnel. All parents of adolescent asperger children should read this book. It will help you identify the problems your child is having and help you brainstorm about possible "solutions." The book gave me a greater appreciation for the difficulties my son faces. I wish all schools would incorporate the many accomodations listed, but understand that the reality falls short of what these children need. You may not be able to get all the accomodations listed, but you can identify key areas and focus insuring those get included in your child's IEP.

Parents should buy one copy for themselves and one for the head of the special ed/exceptional student department.
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