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Right Address-Wrong Planet: Children with Asperger Syndrome Become Adult Paperback – 28 Feb 2002

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.8 out of 5 stars 13 reviews
47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A nice, holistic picture of one family's experience 27 Feb. 2002
By Lars E. Perner - Published on
Format: Paperback
Gina Barnhill writes both as a psychologist and mother, having gained the hindsight of raising a son from childhood through adolescence and young adulthood. She vividly demonstrates problems as they come up over the years. Clinicians can describe common symptoms in abstract terms, but Dr. Barnhill chronicles just how certain behaviors and thinking patterns come together to create a syndrome in one young man--often in seemingly unpredictable ways. Through generous disclosure, the writer illustrates lessons learned the hard way and the difficult choices that a family has had to make. Relating first the long path toward a correct diagnosis, Dr. Barnhill goes on to portray how ostensibly contradictory characteristics, such as the unrestrained expression of very hurtful words and genuine concern about others, can coexist. The examples of Brent's enduring struggle to pick up on "obvious" social cues and understandings provide valuable foresight for families charged with preparing a son or daughter for life. I have learned from my own experience that a key to dealing effectively with Asperger's Syndrome is to know when and how to compensate for our individual deficits, and the book provides tremendous insight here!
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A useful glimpse of future possibilities for AS families 2 Jun. 2003
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book provides a "case study" of a 25-year-old man and his family, and their struggles with Asperger Syndrome. Many of their experiences are common ones, and many are unique to their own situation - just like Aspies themselves! Their experience includes quite a lot of Christian emphasis, which is not relevant to my family. My own son is 12, and I hope that having a glimpse of some of the Barnhill family's problem areas will help us avoid or compensate for those challenges in our family.
A very interesting hypothesis presented is that a person with AS has a maturity level about 2/3 of their chronological age. This seems to be true for my son (age 12), who - though very bright - behaves much like an 8-year-old.
After reading Right Address.. Wrong Planet, I feel that I have a more sober but probably more realistic picture of the future with my son. I am also still very hopeful that his future will be bright and satisfying, and this book supports that hope.
42 of 47 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No Help Here - Skip It 8 May 2005
By A. H. Mitchell - Published on
Format: Paperback
I've been trying to find some useful advice on raising a teen with Asperger's. I found this book to be fatally flawed and a total waste of time. This is basically a very personal story about one family with a child who wasn't diagnosed until age 21.

This may sound harsh, but from my perpective, they've done absolutely nothing for their child (now an adult) except shake their heads and feel helpless. They blame what he does on the fact that he has AS and haven't figured out that there are specific therapies out there that could help! I'd hate to think that anyone just starting on the learning curve regarding AS would read this book and think that this is the way to go. This is NOT the way to go. There are lots of therapies out there.

Unfortunately, this family doesn't have the first clue about what AS actually is. This is not a "developmental disability." It's a neurological disorder which many school systems label as a learning disability. People with AS don't outgrow the disorder, as the writer suggests.

So far, I've found "Freaks, Geeks, and Asperger's" to be a much better book about what it's like to be a teen with AS. I'm still looking for a good advice book written by a parent who's been through this journey. "Wrong Planet" is not the one.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Right Topic, Wrong Audience 8 Dec. 2006
By BeatleBangs1964 - Published on
Format: Paperback
This has its good and bad points. First the good, which is this author's candor in life with a son who has Asperger's Syndrome (AS), which is the spectrum partner to autism.

Now, the bad points. The young man featured in this book was not correctly diagnosed until he reached adulthood. As another reader on the US review boards noted, it does not appear that much had been done for the young man during his boyhood except express disappointment, dismay, disillusionment and disgust over his behavior.

Once the diagnosis of AS is in, the young man's behavior is taxed on his sensory neurobiological condition. Instead of taking proactive steps in working with him to conquer his social difficulties cognitively, dismay over past insensitivities to his behavior and wailing and lamentation appear to underscore a good portion of this book. And, as another reviewer on the US boards noted, I, too would hate to think that people just learning about AS would use this book as "the" approach to take for all people on the autism/Asperger's (a/A) spectrum. There are many approaches to take, such as ABA; floor time; social stories/scripts and playacting social scenarios and working cognitively with the person so they are taught the social mores and norms.

The topper for me was when AS was called a developmental disability. That is just not true! AS is NOT a cognitive NOR a developmental disability, which implies delayed milestones. AS is a sensory neurobiological condition that shares a place on the autism continuum. It is a form of autism that affects sensory integration and processing and, to a certain extent language. However, people with AS are seldom delayed in speech development. What upset me the most was the author's erroneous claim that people with AS outgrow it, which simply isn't true. People with AS learn to cope and compensate and try to camouflage social difficulties and remain baffled by certain social codes and norms, but AS is not something one outgrows. I'm tired of erroneous claims like this because they raise people's hopes, but are grossly inaccurate. I also don't think that kind of thing speaks to tolerance or acceptance.

Skip this and read Jerry Newport's "Your Life is Not a Label - a Guide to Living Fully With Autism & AS," "Solutions for Adults with Asperger's Syndrome: Maximizing the Benefits, Minimizing the Drawbacks to Achieve Success" by Juanita Lovett and "Loving Mr. Spock: Understanding an Aloof Lover - Could it Be Asperger's" by Barbara Jacobs far more helpful and informative for adults with AS. There are better narratives by parents of children who are on the a/A spectrum, such as Cammie McGovern's stellar work about her son Ethan. I want more good books for adults with AS, but I don't feel this is one.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Julie's mom 18 Nov. 2004
By Linda Bieker - Published on
Format: Paperback
Thank you so much for this book. For 10 years, I struggled with special education experts who pretty much decided that my daughter's problem was me. Finally, at the age of 17, Julie was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. When I heard the diagnosis, part of me wanted to find those experts and say, "I told you something was wrong." The other part of me selfishly mourned and still mourns the loss of my dreams for my daughter. Julie fits right into the descriptions given in the book. She may be 19, but emotionally and socially she is 12. Thank you for helping me understand a little better what lies ahead for Julie and for the rest of our family.
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