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on 25 March 2010
I was recently asked to recommend a book on Asperger's Syndrome and, without hesitation, this was the one. It covers everything you need to know about Asperger's in clear, easy-to-read, jargon-free language.

The most likely readership is probably parents who have discovered their child has Asperger's and want to know what the future holds for their child. A large part of the book caters for this scenario and Dr Attwood provides many techniques for parents that can help their child and aid his or her integration into mainstream schools and beyond. However, Dr Attwood never strays far from the incredible gifts that Asperger's can also bring - something that may be hard to see when a diagnosis is first made. The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome also covers adolescents, with some very plain and useful advice for emerging into adulthood and all the pitfalls that can arise.

What made the book particularly relevant to me is that I was diagnosed as an adult and I read this book with my wife so that I could finally explain how and why I see the world differently to her. There is nothing so liberating as having all your eccentricities explained and described. Even here, however, the book stresses the gifts that Asperger's brings and, whilst I am undoubtedly different as a result of the condition, I would certainly not want to be any other way. Dr Attwood understands this and his advice is relevant, compassionate, and very real.

I must cut this short as Asperger's people have a habit of rambling. If you are reading this because of a diagnosis of Asperger's, fear of a diagnosis, or even wanting to get to know your odd friends better, this is the book you should read. It takes away the fear and makes you feel very privileged to be in the presence of such an intriguing condition.
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on 2 February 2007
I have read lots of books on AS and reviewed many of them. What I am always warning is that in most cases any one book never gives a complete picture.

Tony Attwood's book though is about as complete a picture as you could get right now and is not only far superior to his first guide to the subject but to many others on the market.

If you read just one book on AS this should be it. It is easy to read, packed with information, and the author's respect and appreciation for people with Asperger's is evident on every page.

It's professional, it's factual, it's understanding, it's worth owning a copy.
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on 16 September 2008
The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome is a must to strengthen your strategies as well as your knowledge on any kinds of specific symptoms on Asperger Syndrome. Also, Dr. Attwood explains other related and/or complicated syndromes. Although this book has so many pages, it is quite easy to read and includes no complicated structure. It is reader-friendly, if you ask me! If you find it quite tough to read it all through, you might as well pick up your favorite chapters. And it's going to lighten the loads of your mind and deepen your understanding on your AS traits.
After all, this book provides a lot of solutions to tackle their problems not only for Aspies but teachers, parents, friends, siblings, colleagues, and bosses who deal with AS people and those who are likely to have AS. And this will minimize their shortcomings on AS, worse or worst situations, and their stresses. It is Aspies who suffer their symptoms most!
If possible, I could give more than 6 stars to this wonderful book Tony Attwood wrote!
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on 7 February 2008
This remarkable book gives an incredibly clear account of asperger's and its impact on people around them. It is easy to read yet gives the most profound insights and cause for joy and optimism. A diagnosis of Aspergers is not the end of the world but a way of accessing the genius and talents that can go with it. If you know people who may be on the autistic spectrum it gives you a way of understanding and enjoying them and seeing the truth beneath a way of being that can make people hard to know. Reading the book has been an eyeopener for me, I have always enjoyed being with unusual people and now understand why.
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on 24 July 2009
If you only buy one book on Asperger's Sydrome, it would be this one. When it arrived I felt rather overwhelmed by the size of the book (anyone already dealing with AS will know that there is no time left over!), however once I started on this I couldn't put it down! I began with the chapters that were most relevant to our current needs - social skills and bullying and find it easy to 'dip' in and out of. Tony Attwood describes everything brilliantly and has the wondeful skill of being able to put things very clearly and go into quite a lot of detail at the same time! - it's a good meaty read with everything beautifully explained and how and why to help - perfect! The social skills chapter breaks down help & explanations by age (so if you didn't find out about the AS until later in life you can skip the earlier bits) which is extremely helpful. Despite being detailed it is not a dry academic read. I think it is relevant to all ages, so if you have a family where the condition affects several family members this is ideal. If you really want to get get to grips with understanding the condition this is the book!!
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Dr. Attwood is the leading expert on Asperger's Syndrome (AS) which is the spectrum partner to autism. This book is, at the time of this review his most current work. It is a shining gem and one of the standouts in autism/Asperger's (a/A) literature. If you are on the a/A continuum or know somebody who is, this book is your best friend. You will refer to it many times.

What makes this book all the more excellent and distinct is that Dr. Attwood discusses adults on the a/A spectrum as well. Autism in its myriad forms including AS does not clear up once a person hits adulthood. If you have it, it is with you for the long haul. Dr. Attwood's book and words of wisdom help lighten the load.

I have bought several copies of this book and have kept one for myself and gave the others to professionals in dire need of it. This book deserves a place of high honor and no parent; professional; person on the spectrum; anybody involved with a person/people on the spectrum should go without this book.

I was delighted to see a section devoted to intersensory marriage, that is of a neurotypical (NT) person to somebody on the a/A continuum. I would like to see more coverage of this much needed topic as AS presents a wide array of social challenges. Still, it is heartwarming; uplifting and encouraging to see more information devoted to intersensory marriages.

I agree with other reviewers who say Dr. Attwood is the best - I think we should propose a toast and raise our glasses to Dr. Attwood!
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on 13 February 2010
The reason I believe Tony Atwood's book is successful, useful because all I've read from him when explaining aspergers Syndrome, he does not generalise or stereotype. This is a common mistake many individuals do when explaining the condition and in response, many usually don't take a liking to it, especially from a great amount who have Aspergers.

He appears to acknowledge every individual who has aspergers syndrome is a unique being. He is open to this, therefore offers a description of a wide variety of traits they could have. They would not have them all, but there's would also be different to others with the condition. After all, no two are the same. For this reason, I would certainly recommend any person who wants a greater understanding of the condition to read this book.

I like the idea he uses of using a metaphor to help explain aspergers syndrome. He mentioned if a person driving a car cannot see the road signs, they are more prone to causing an accident. It is pretty much equivalent to when a person with aspergers syndrome is in a social situation. Many cannot see the social cues, therefore are more likely to cause a social error or accident.

He has a section about bullying, giving very truthful information. He mentions those who have Asperger's are often targets because of usually being in solitude and/ or passive in nature so usually are less likely to respond with anger.

A very good book but one criticism I do have is he mentions more about Aspergers syndrome in boys than in girls. Even though there are more boys who have it than girls, I still believe it is important there should be just as much information for both sexes rather than putting most focus into one. I believe us girls who have the condition are entitled to just as much research and understanding about our gender with aspergers. This also applies to many books which have already been published.
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on 17 February 2009
I have Asperger's Syndrome, an adult and married with a son.

I am extremely disappointed with this book. I had extremely high expectations as other reviewers talk about this book "In short...this is a Bible on Asperger's Syndrome". Others refer to the author as Saint Tony. In my opinion an unwarranted myth is being built up around Tony Attwood as though he is some sort of Guru or God, the final authority who knows every thing there is to know and is not to be questioned when it comes to Asperger's Syndrome.

The title made me a little wary as COMPLETE means, finished to the maximum extend, in other words there is nothing more to be added. The front flap of the book further states THE DEFINITIVE HANDBOOK which again suggests this is the final authority on Asperger's Syndrome. One of the reviewers on the back cover uses the word FLAWLESS to describe this book, again suggesting that the book is perfect.

This book if by no means perfect or complete, it does contain important information, but don't get carried away.

Where this book is NOT COMPLETE and falls apart for me is as an adult with Asperger's there is too much, in fact the vast majority of the book is directed towards the parents and others who deal with children with Asperger's. There is only a very short chapter on Long-term Relationships. Once one has a basic knowledge of Asperger's Syndrome then only 10 lines under the Key Points and Strategies Box (successful strategies to overcome difficulties) of the Long Term-Relationships chapter is of necessity to read. The book would therefore have benefited from having at least a chapter or two on self-help for adults.

People who do genuinely meet the criteria for Asperger's Syndrome, usually are struggling with delays and deficits that are much less difficult than those described in this book.

I'm sorry to say I think this book was quite inaccurate in many of its assumptions and portrayal of the way Asperger's think with the tone of the book being rather on the negative side. Here are just two examples, there are many, many more, too many to refer to.

"Conflict and confrontation with adults can be made worse by non-compliance, negativism, and a difficulty in perceiving the differences in social status or hierarchy, resulting in a failure to respect authority of maturity."

Notice the difference with Brenda Boyd's respect, understanding and acceptance of Asperger's Syndrome:

"No one is treated in any way differently purely on the account of his status."

Important to note, as an Asperger I DO perceive the differences in social status and hierarchy however as Brenda Boyd correctly writes, it is just that I DO NOT treat anyone any differently purely on the account of his status or where he comes on the hierarchy.

"the partner and now parent with Asperger's Syndrome probably has little understanding of the needs and behaviour of a typical child" Rubbish - just asked my son.

The two parts of the book I found interesting and useful were the boxed Key Points and Strategies at the end of each chapter and how each chapter began with a quote in bold from Hans Asperger.

"One can spot such children instantly. They are recognizable from the small details, for instant, the way they enter the consulting room at their first visit, their behaviour in the first few moments and the first words they utter." (As happened when I was professionally diagnosed)

- Hans Asperger (1944)

Interesting to note I've heard many a psychologist say there needs to be a lengthy diagnostic Assessment Process before a diagnosis of Asperger's can be made. This book rather labours over the detail of how an assessment is carried out.

Overall I found this book to be highly repetitive and written in an uneasy style. Also disjoined due to the way Tony Attwood is trying several times per page to continually be politically correct by using terms such as, "Mother and Father" of the Asperger instead of the usual Parent's, "His or Her" instead of Their and worse of all the continual usage of "He or She" instead of as Brenda Boyd would use - the Asperger's or People with Asperger's or He - as the vast majority of Asperger's are male. I found this to be exceedingly condescending, talking down to one as though the reader has a fourth rate mind.

What further broke the clear flow of my reading was every time the author used another's material, instead of putting a small asterisk or number by the said material to refer one down to the bottom of the page where is written were the material came from, he put it immediately in brackets next to the said material.

"At present we know that between 3 and 11 per cent of referrals to forensic psychiatric clinics are for young offenders with Asperger's Syndrome (Person and Branden 2005; Siponmaa et al. 2001). There are also advantages in having a designated national forensic assessment unit specifically for people with Asperger's Syndrome (Ekkehart, Staufenberg and Kells 2005)."

There are a few useful tools here and there in this book but nothing I would suggest someone go buy the book to get at. Instead pop along to the local library and save your money. After borrowing it from the library make a decision as to whether or not this is a resource you really need.

If you are an adult looking for a self help book this isn't the book. For this I recommend "The Aspergers Couple's Workbook" by Maxine Aston and as a good back-up "Asperger Syndrome and Long-Term Relationships" by Ashley Stanford.

If one is looking for great place to start for parents of an Asperger child, it is also useful for Adult's with Asperger's or their partner I would plump for "The Asperger's Answer Book - The Top 300 Questions Parents Ask" as it is a far easier read and explains our Asperger traits in a far more simply and cleanly way, especially the 16 pages or so of chapter 5 "Thinking Patterns".
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on 29 December 2007
When we were at the assessment stage this book really helped me to recognise what my child's problem was. It has so much information, and I have reread it several times.
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on 26 March 2010
As a parent with an adult son who has never been diagnosed as having aspergers, and a husband who I suspected also as having this condition, I recommend it to anyone needing enlightenment.
It is written in a way that is easy to read. A summary at the end of each chapter helps to recap and condense the information covered in the chapter or the reader can read first the summary to get an overview of what the chapter contains. Everything is covered...vocabulary explained, other references and resources pinpointed.
For myself this book has been and still is very helpful with our family situation.
I will read other books referred to in this one, but I suspect this is probably the most comprehensive without being daunting.
Thank you Tony Attwood.
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