Autism

8th July 2005 at 01:00
ASPERGER SYNDROME AND PSYCHOTHERAPY: UNDERSTANDING ASPERGER PERSPECTIVES. By Paula Jacobsen. Jessica Kingsley. pound;13.95 (pb)

Asperger's syndrome (AS) is usually viewed in terms of individuals having problems understanding the perspectives of others. Instead, this book argues, the real challenge is for professionals to set aside their preconceptions and to understand the experiences and perspectives of those with Asperger's syndrome. This is to acknowledge the culture of AS, based as it is on unique processing of the world, and stands in stark contrast to the view that autism is faulty learning which must be eradicated or replaced.

Although the focus is very much on inherent purpose and meaning in AS "moments", this is by no means traditional psychotherapy, since the author interprets her material through constructs that have emerged from experimental psychology, such as theory of mind and central coherence.

Needing to live in the world with "neurotypicals", connecting with the AS perspective is explored in work with parents and teachers, and a wide range of practical strategies is generated. A compelling read.

Alec Webster

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