Right Address-Wrong Planet: Children with Asperger Syndrome Become Adult Paperback – 28 Feb 2002
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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.
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.
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