This is a small book, that serves as an excellent introduction to Autism and Aspergers syndrome.
Baron Cohen chooses a great way to illustrate the nature of these conditions. He introduces the reader to 2 young men, both 19, one has classic autism, the other Aspergers. We then learn the behaviour of these 2 individuals. This is fascinating and would be re-assuring to both parents and those that have the condition.
The book then moves on to a short history of autism and Asperger's.
After that, there are chapters on diagnosing the condition and evaluating where a person might be on the 'autism spectrum'.
The next chapter introduces us to the existent theories of what causes Autism and Aspergers. None of these are conclusive and the reality is that we just don't know. Though Cohen is adamant that genetics plays a large part. There is a chapter on the biology of autism and Aspergers, noting the differences in brain composition and function.
The final chapter focuses on intervention, education and treatment.
The main part of the book is about 120 pages. At the back, there is a questionnaire (known as AQ, which can also be found on the internet) to test for autism traits. There is also a list of organisations, for most countries.
The author is very sympathetic to the condition and his empathy shines through. He has taken great care in presenting the information in a cogent and concise manner.
To someone who knows nothing, or just a little, about Autism and/or Aspergers, I'd thoroughly recommend this book.