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Perfect Targets: Asperger Syndrome and Bullying - Practical Solutions for Surviving the Social World Paperback – 30 Oct 2003
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About the Author
Rebekah Heinrichs, MSN, M.S.ED., is an educational consultant specializing in autism and Asperger Syndrome. She has a master's degree in pediatric nursing and a master's degree in special education with a focus on autism/Asperger Syndrome. Her current interests include bullying issues and supportive educational programs for parents of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. Rebekah resides in Chelsea, Michigan.
Brenda Smith Myles is Associate Professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Kansas, where she codirects a graduate program in Asperger syndrome and autism. She has written numerous articles and books, including Asperger Syndrome and Difficult Moments: Practical Solutions for Tantrums, Rage, and Meltdowns and Asperger Syndrome and Adolescence: Practical Solutions for School Success, the winner of the Autism Society of America's outstanding literary work in 2002. Dr. Myles is on the executive boards of several organizations, including the Organization for Autism Research and MAAP Services, Inc.
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Top customer reviews
Firstly as most books on AS it is American and so some of the schooling referneces are not quite applicable, but on the whole I found it fascinating reading and some of the stories moved me to tears.
I found the statistics of how much bullying is either not seen, or not acted on by teachers and other adults shocking.
There are some very practical suggestions for identifying and preventing bullying in this book. Unfortunately the school's SENCO dismissed them as too "AMERICAN" .However, the teaching assistant who works with my son loved the book and has used some of the strategies in it very sucessfully. She also said that the section on identifying bullying behaviour made her notice several other instances of bullying in the playground relating to non-special needs children.
I thought it was an excellent book and wish that it was compulsory for all teachers to read it and act on the contents.
It is a very good read for all parents who suspect that their child may be being bullied and is filled with practical suggestions as to how to begin to deal with this behaviour.
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However, one part that I found sadly missing was on how to prep the AS child himself on handling or facing bullying. I have found that not all teachers are open to suggestions and not all situations can be made 100% safe for my AS child. What my child really needs is to learn how to protect himself from and react to bullies. No school or teacher can ensure total safety and, frankly, there will be bullies later on in college and perhaps even in the workplace. I've even had my child's 'friends' come over to our home and verbally bully him. It is the child I want to bullyproof, not the situation.
I think that the cover of the book is misleading in that it states 'Practical solutions for surviving the social world'. The implication, to me anyway, was that the practical solutions would be for the AS child to use in his survival strategies, not for the school to implement as a way to keep him safe.
So, as a bullying prevention program this is a wonderful guide for teachers, parents and administrators. For parents looking for a life skills book to help their child, this is not going be the resource it may seem.
Get copies for your school too instead of re-ordering and paying extra for shipping.
The author has a website for support on any issues dealing with asperger's and she sometimes posts herself too!
UPDATE: What is written above was right when we were having some issues and I wasn't sure if we were headed down the same path as last year which was horrible. We've been working with the school (with the team of staff members and ourselves often referring to this book) and the bullying is almost completely gone. It took an open social worker (new one this year) to give this a chance and try something new. I think the IEP containing goals that deal with bullying makes this an issue that cannot be ignored. But I also think that having the staff read this book opened their minds. I could tell they began to realize that you don't always know who instigates and to take the 'blame' out of it and simply work with the children. Last year we felt nothing but blame on our son from the bully's parents, the kids, the staff. This year they kept an open mind and could see more clearly how things get started and get so mixed up so easily. For example: at one occasion a child was bullying my son (had been for a couple weeks) and my son just stayed away from him at recess time. My son played with another child he gets along very well with. The bully at the time went over, tried to break up their play and when it didn't work, he ran the long way around the recess area, went up to my son's aide who was out there and told her that my son was chasing and hurting him. Well, she saw the whole thing, told this boy he was not telling the truth and she told my son "I know you didn't do it." We almost had a party when we heard that one! Last year, my son would have gotten into trouble for chasing the boy because they would have believed him and not paid so much attention at recess or in the halls... PLEASE get this book!
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