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Photo by mikdam/iStock / Getty Images

Reading and Publications

This list along with its descriptions was compiled and written, with just a few exceptions, by Karl Wittig

Offerings by members of our community


Dr. Irma Jacqueline Ozer (Ph.D.J.D.) © 2009

Irmi, who has Asperger's Syndrome, has spent her legal and literary career vindicating the rights of the disabled. A member of the Aspie community since 2006, she has been active in AFSS since its inception. She is dedicated to the success of our organization.

Please click on the link bellow to read her book for FREE:



Educating a neurodiverse world Brian R. C. Kinghorn, M. Phil TEDxTeachersCollege, Publ;ished on July 23 2014

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. What kind of world would we have if we all realized what kind of mind we had and began appreciating it? What if we did the same for others? In this talk, Brian Kinghorn champions the cause of Neurodiversity, arguing that there is not just one “standard-issue” brain. 


Memoirs and Autobiographical perspectives

These books are strongly recommended for recently-diagnosed Aspies and for anyone on a journey of self-diagnosis. It is very reassuring to read about the experiences of others on the spectrum and find that they are often very similar and sometimes even identical to one’s own. This is especially true in regard to social challenges and to difficulties with employment, relationships, daily living, and independence. Some readers will prefer certain books over others, depending on their life experiences and personal tastes. The following are among the most notable, and represent a variety of perspectives and styles:

Beyond the Wall (2nd edition) by Stephen Shore (AAPC Publishing, 2003)

Subtitled “Personal Experiences with Autism and Asperger Syndrome”. Perhaps the classic account of growing up and living with autism. Although the author faced very serious challenges early in life (he was nonverbal), this book will appeal to anyone on the spectrum regardless of severity or impairment. It describes his unusual abilities, talents, and interests as well as the various challenges he faced over the course of his life.

Pretending to be Normal by Liane Holliday Willey (Jessica Kingsley, 1999)

Subtitled “Living with Asperger’s Syndrome”. Another classic memoir about what it was like for the author to grow up with Asperger Syndrome, in her case undiagnosed until adulthood, and how she dealt with its various challenges. While especially of interest to female Aspies (the author actually invented the word), this book is useful for everyone on the autism spectrum. It offers both personal insight and practical suggestions.

Atypical – Life with Asperger’s in 20 1/3 Chapters by Jesse A. Saperstein (Perigee, 2010)

Hands-down the most uproariously hilarious account of living with autism ever written. Contains some obscenity, but it is not gratuitous. Those on the spectrum may want to allocate additional time to read this book beyond what they would normally need, as they will be laughing hysterically every other sentence. Nevertheless, the humor accomplishes nothing less than conveying the very feeling of what it is like to grow up and live on the autism spectrum. Contains numerous stories of mistakes and misadventures throughout the course of his life.

Look Me in the Eye by John Elder Robison (Crown Publishers, 2007)

Subtitled “My Life with Asperger’s”. No doubt the most colorful account of growing up on the autism spectrum. The author tells of the many difficulties he faced in his life, due to both autism and life circumstances, and of how he was able to use his special abilities to become an engineer and to design equipment and unusual guitars for rock bands. Also includes some highly entertaining stories about his adventures with these bands 

Born on a Blue Day by Daniel Tammet (Free Press, 2006)

Subtitled “Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant”. Provides insights into the mind of a gifted mathematical savant with Asperger Syndrome as well as synesthesia and epilepsy. Extensively describes his unusual abilities with numbers, mathematics, remembering facts, and learning languages in the context of his life through infancy, school, adulthood, and eventual notoriety for his talents.

Songs of the Gorilla Nation by Dawn Prince-Hughes, Ph.D. (Three Rivers Press, 2004)

Subtitled “My Journey Through Autism”. A very deep personal account of growing up with undiagnosed autism, and subsequent emergence as the result of observing and interacting with gorillas in a zoo. In this manner, the author was able to overcome difficult personal situations (which included failure and victimization in school and a period of homelessness) and the challenges presented by her autism, pursue graduate studies, and successfully become a primate anthropologist.

Thinking in Pictures by Temple Grandin (Vintage Books, 1995)

Subtitled “And Other Reports from My Life with Autism”. Last, but certainly not least, the world’s most famous autistic person describes in great detail the thinking processes of her autistic mind and the effects that they had on various aspects of her life. She gives comprehensive accounts of both the formidable challenges they created for her and the advantages they gave her as an animal scientist and equipment designer.

Emergence: Labelled Autistic by Temple Grandin (Warner Books, 1986)

In this earlier book, she tells in detail the story of how she overcame the challenges of autism to become one of the world’s most prominent animal scientists. She describes her early life, school years through college and graduate school, and early employment experiences.


Other Personal Perspectives

Many Aspies, including some of the above-listed authors, write about what they have learned from their experiences of living on the spectrum and provide advice and recommendation for other Aspies on the basis of these experiences. Once again, preferences will depend upon experiences and tastes. The following are some of the more notable:

Asperger’s from the Inside Out by Michael John Carley (Perigee, 2008)

A comprehensive guide to all aspects of Asperger Syndrome, from receiving and dealing with the initial diagnosis, through looking back on one’s life from the perspective of this new knowledge, to the more practical considerations of disclosure and coping strategies. Written by the long-time support group facilitator, public autism advocate, and founder of GRASP.

Life and Love by Zosia Zaks (AAPC Publishing, 2006)

Subtitled “Positive Strategies for Autistic Adults”. Provides numerous practical suggestions for many aspects of daily living and relationships. Covers many important aspects of household maintenance, independence, shopping, transportation, healthcare, and working, as well as dating, relationship, safety, gender, friendship, and disclosure issues. Also addresses women’s, LGBT, and gender issues. 

Be Different by John Elder Robison (Crown Archetype, 2011)

Subtitled “Adventures of a Free-Range Aspergian, With Practical Advice for Aspergians, Misfits, Families, and Teachers”. Addresses a variety of issues related to the ubiquitous Aspie problem of not “fitting in” many typical environments. Once again, he relates his experiences through colorful personal stories from his childhood, youth, and early adulthood. He uses these to illustrate many of his autistic differences and the coping strategies that he developed to deal with them.

Getting a Life with Asperger’s by Jesse A. Saperstein (Perigee, 2010)

Subtitled “Lessons Learned on the Bumpy Road to Adulthood”. Practical advice for young adults on the autism spectrum about dealing with common challenges, difficulties, and potential hazards that they are likely to face. Largely based on the author’s own mistakes and misjudgments in his earlier life, and written in the same humorous style as his first book.

Nerdy, Shy, and Socially Inappropriate by Cynthia Kim (Jessica Kingsley, 2015)

Subtitled “A User Guide to an Asperger Life”. Addresses most of the common Asperger issues as they relate to living a viable life. Covers bullying, communications, relationships, parenting, routines, sensory issues, emotions and feelings, coordination, planning and decision making, negative emotions, self-assessment, and other areas.

Very Late Diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome by Philip Wylie (Jessica Kingsley, 2014)

Subtitled “How Seeking a Diagnosis in Adulthood Can Change Your Life”. As significant as an autism spectrum diagnosis can be for a child or a young adult, diagnosis in later adulthood is especially powerful as it literally provides nothing less than an explanation of one’s entire life after much of it has already been lived. This book addresses the many practical and emotional issues raised by such a late diagnosis.

Ask and Tell edited by Stephen Shore (AAPC Publishing, 2004)

Subtitled “Self-Advocacy and Disclosure for People on the Autism Spectrum”. A collection of essays by several adults on the spectrum about how to advocate for oneself and when, where, to whom, and how one should disclose. These are major issues faced by all Aspies at one time or another.

Asperger Syndrome in the Family by Liane Holliday Willey (Jessica Kingsley, 2001)

Subtitled “Redefining Normal”. The author’s account of her marriage to a neurotypical and of raising a family with three daughters, one of whom is on the spectrum. Addresses a variety of issues concerning marriage and family life in a neurologically-mixed environment. A worthy successor to her earlier book.

Raising Cubby by John Elder Robison (Crown Publishers, 2011)

Subtitled “A Father and Son’s Adventures with Asperger’s, Trains, and Tractors”. Another very colorful collection of stories by a father on the spectrum raising a son on the spectrum. Emphasizes special interests and abilities that they were able to share. Especially entertaining (and at the same time disturbing) are the accounts of his son’s interest in and innocent, harmless involvement with explosives and the adverse consequences that resulted from these.

Scholars with Autism edited by Lars Perner, Ph.D. (Auricle Books, 2012)

Subtitled “Achieving Dreams”. A collection of essays by some of the most prominent and highly-accomplished individuals on the autism spectrum. All are written at a fairly high level, but more accessible to the general reader than the title would suggest.


Dating and Relationships

On a practical level, this is one of the two most significant and important issues for adults on the autism spectrum. Because Aspies typically have deficits in social and nonverbal communications, finding suitable and appropriate partners and forming relationships can present formidable challenges. Nevertheless, many adults on the spectrum very much want to be in romantic relationships. Unfortunately, most of the available books are written primarily if not exclusively for males on the spectrum, who still constitute the vast majority of identified autistics – there are far fewer resources for women (although books by female Aspies in the previous section deal with this to some degree). Nevertheless, the following books address this crucial issue from a variety of perspectives:

Aspergers in Love by Maxine Aston (Jessica Kingsley, 2003)

Subtitled “Couple Relationships and Family Affairs”. Written by a couple’s counselor whose practice specializes in relationships where one partner is on the spectrum. Addresses a variety of issues concerning marriage and family life for neurologically-mixed couples. Deals with fundamental relationship issues such as shared interests, trust, self-esteem, understanding, and communications, as well as more practical issues such as socialization, routines, parenting, sexuality, infidelity, abuse, and counseling. Primarily for men, but contains one chapter specifically for women.

What Men with Asperger Syndrome Want to Know About Women, Dating, and Relationships by Maxine Aston (Jessica Kingsley, 2012)

A practical guide, written for Aspie men, that addresses a number of frequently asked questions about dating, relationships, and parenting. Each chapter constitutes an extensive answer to one such question.

The Other Half of Asperger Syndrome by Maxine Aston (AAPC Publishing, 2001)

A guidebook intended for the neurotypical partner of an adult on the autism spectrum. Addresses a wide variety of autistic as well as relationship issues. Makes a considerable effort to serve both men and women, even though the author’s experience is primarily in working with men on the spectrum. Originally published by the National Autistic Society (UK).

Love, Sex & Long-Term Relationships by Sarah Hendrickx (Jessica Kingsley, 2008)

Subtitled “What People with Asperger Syndrome Really Really Want”. Another practical guide to various aspects of relationships for people on the autism spectrum, written by a trainer and consultant who works with ASD adults. Primarily deals with issues of sex and sexuality, and provides numerous comments from AS and NT males and females. Makes every effort to be gender-neutral, but the majority of the examples involve AS males and NT females.

Asperger Syndrome – A Love Story by Sarah Hendrickx and Keith Newton (Jessica Kingsley, 2008)

A memoir by the above author and her AS partner of many years. Chronicles their relationship over time from his initial diagnosis through their relationship and temporary break-up, and their concurrent journey of learning and understanding about Asperger Syndrome and its effects on them and their relationship. 

22 Things a Woman with Asperger’s Syndrome Wants Her Partner to Know by Rudy Simone (Jessica Kingsley, 2012)

One of the few available books on relationships addressing the issues of women on the spectrum. Intended for NT and Aspie male partners, and written by a female Aspie.

22 Things a Woman Must Know If She Loves a Man with Asperger’s Syndrome by Rudy Simone (Jessica Kingsley, 2009)

Written for both NT and Aspie females in relationships with Aspie males, from the perspective of a female Aspie.

Decoding Dating by John Miller (Jessica Kingsley, 2015)

Subtitled “A Guide to the Unwritten Social Rules of Dating for Men with Asperger Syndrome”. A guide to dating for men on the autism spectrum, written by a man who is himself on the spectrum. Deals with the practical aspects of dating, forming a relationship, choosing a suitable partner, potential problems caused by autistic issues, and other issues that arise in the course of a new relationship.

Asperger Syndrome and Long-Term Relationships by Ashley Stanford (Jessica Kingsley, 2003)

Written by the long-term neurotypical spouse of a man with Asperger Syndrome. Attempts to associate the specific diagnostic criteria for Asperger Syndrome with various relationship issues. Written in a very technical manner, as would be expected because the author is a technical writer and computer software entrepreneur, and probably best suited for readers who prefer this approach. The language is mostly gender-neutral, but the author’s primary experience is with a man (although three of their four children are also on the spectrum). 

Troubleshooting Relationships on the Autism Spectrum by Ashley Stanford (Jessica Kingsley, 2013)

Subtitled “A User’s Guide to Resolving Relationship Problems”. This book goes even further than the author’s previous work in that it is intentionally written in the style and language of a technical manual. Once again, the language is gender-neutral but the book is based on experiences with an ASD man.

The Journal of Best Practices by David Finch (Scribner, 2012)

Subtitled “A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man’s Quest to be a Better Husband”. A popular book about the author’s efforts, following his diagnosis on the autism spectrum, to improve himself in regard to his marriage. He is an engineer and, as the title reflects, used an “engineering” approach to addressing AS issues where his relationship with his wife and children were concerned. Nevertheless, it is written in the style of a memoir and chronicles his relationship and self-improvement efforts.



For Aspies and autistics who do not want to live in isolation and would like to have any kind of social life, this is the key issue that lies at the heart their difficulties. Living on the autism spectrum generally means having great difficulty in understanding one’s social environment and in discerning social rules and protocols that are not explicitly taught or stated. This in turn can have a detrimental effect on efforts and attempts to have a social life, not to mention employment and relationships. The following books deal with various aspects of this issue:

Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships by Temple Grandin and Sean Barron (Future Horizons, 2005)

Subtitled “Decoding Social Mysteries Through the Unique Perspectives of Autism”. The world’s most famous autistic person teams up with another prominent adult autistic to describe their respective experiences in trying to understand a variety of social situations. Both examine how their different thinking processes both affected and eventually enabled them to determine some of the unstated rules in their social environments.

The Hidden Curriculum by Brenda Smith Myles et. al. (AAPC Publishing, 2013)

Subtitled “Understanding Unstated Rules in Social Situations for Adolescents and Young Adults”. Unlike the official school curriculum, which is explicitly stated and publicized, the “hidden curriculum” refers to the many unwritten social rules that everyone is nevertheless expected to understand and follow; violation of these “rules” can have very adverse consequences. This book, written by the special education expert who introduced the term, is intended primarily for teachers of younger people on the spectrum. Still, the ideas it presents can be of some use to adults.

Learning the Hidden Curriculum by Judy Endow (AAPC Publishing, 2012)

Subtitled “The Odyssey of One Autistic Adult”. The personal story of one adult autistic in discovering the many rules of the “hidden curriculum” as it applied in numerous instances and in different aspects of her life. Includes descriptions of mistakes she made that led to her finally learning these rules. Of more direct value to adults than the previous book.

Socially Curious and Curiously Social by Michelle Garcia Winner (North River Press, 2011)

Written by the speech language pathologist who developed the concept of “social thinking” as an instructional tool. Intended for young readers, but suitable for younger adults as well. Addresses issues of importance to anyone on the autism spectrum 



This is the second of the most significant issues for adults on the autism spectrum. Difficulties with socialization often lead to serious employment problems for many on the autism spectrum in spite of sometimes having excellent skills and even exceptional ability to perform a given job. Aspies have difficulty in finding jobs, mainly by not making good impressions on interviewers and human resource managers, in spite of having adequate and sometimes outstanding qualifications. Likewise, they are more likely to be let go from their jobs because of problems with co-workers, supervisors, or bosses than for incompetence or malfeasance. At the same time, those on the autism spectrum are often likely to have unusual talents and abilities that make them exceptionally qualified for jobs that require those skills. The following books all address employment-related issues:


(NEW RELEASE) Unemployed on the Autism Spectrum, by Michael John Carley, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2016

How to Cope Productively with the Effects of Unemployment and Jobhunt with Confidence

Unemployment can be an isolating experience. In this much-needed book, Michael John Carley reassures readers who are unemployed and have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) that they are not alone.

Offering guidance on how you can cope with unemployment in a constructive and emotionally healthy manner, Michael John Carley writes with a crucial understanding of the isolation and negative emotions that unemployment can bring about if you have ASD. He explains why so many people find themselves out of work and how it's often not their fault. Providing guidance on how to maintain your confidence and motivation, this book offers advice on how you can pursue other opportunities, such as part-time work or volunteering. The book also features advice on how to manage your finances during periods of unemployment.


Developing Talents by Temple Grandin and Kate Duffy (AAPC Publishing, 2004)

Subtitled “Careers for Individuals with Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism”. This book addresses the challenges faced by autistics in finding employment as well as those presented by the workplace itself. It also examines the jobs, occupations, and careers that are best suited for individuals on the spectrum. These are considered from the standpoints of which jobs and work environments present the fewest challenges where autistic issues are concerned, and of which are best-suited to the specialized interests and abilities of individual autistics. A useful general reference on employment issues.

Different … Not Less by Temple Grandin (Future Horizons, 2012)

Subtitled “Inspiring Stories of Achievement and Successful Employment from Adults with Autism, Asperger Syndrome, and ADHD”. This anthology features profiles of adults on the autism spectrum who have attained various degrees of employment and career success. In each case, childhood, school, employment, and life experiences are recounted, as are autistic challenges and initial diagnoses.

The Hidden Curriculum of Getting and Keeping a Job by Brenda Smith Myles, Judy Endow, and Malcolm Mayfield (AAPC Publishing, 2013)

Subtitled “Navigating the Social Landscape of Employment – A Guide for Individuals With Autism and Other Social-Cognitive Challenges”. The “hidden curriculum” concept applied to the job search and interview processes and to the workplace environment itself. Written by the special educator who introduced the term in collaboration with two adults on the spectrum: one a social worker and the other a civil engineer.

Social Thinking at Work by Michelle Garcia Winner (North River Press, 2011)

The “social thinking” concept applied to the workplace environment. Intended for adults at all levels of employment, including career professionals.

Asperger’s on the Job by Rudy Simone (Future Horizons, 2010)

Subtitled “Must-Have Advice for People with Asperger’s or High-Functioning Autism and their Employer’s Educators, and Advocates”. A practical guide, written by an Aspie, of various employment and workplace situations that present challenges for Aspies and how they can be dealt with.

Asperger Syndrome and Employment by Sarah Hendrickx (Jessica Kingsley, 2009)

Subtitled “What People with Asperger Syndrome Really Really Want”. By the author of the earlier book on love, sex, and relationships. Examines workplace issues that present difficulties for employees on the spectrum and can lead to loss of a job, as well as factors conducive to successful employment. Also addresses the effects of past experiences (school, bullying, etc.) on present employment, job seeking, workplace supports, and other matters.


Woman's Issues

Once again, because the vast majority of diagnosed autistics are male, there are still relatively fewbooks dedicated to women’s issues, even as there certainly are a number of prominent female Aspies. These are a few of the more notable:

Aspergirls by Rudy Simone (Jessica Kingsley, 2010)

Subtitled “Empowering Females with Asperger Syndrome”. Probably the best-known general book about women’s issues, written by a female Aspie. Occasionally addresses issues that apply to Aspie males as well.

Safety Skills for Asperger Women by Liane Holliday Willey (Jessica Kingsley, 2012)

Subtitled “How to Save a Perfectly Good Female Life”. A wide range of practical advice for female Aspies, from one of the most prominent and based on her life experiences.

The Essential Difference by Simon Baron-Cohen (Basic Books, 2003)

Subtitled “Male and Female Brains and the Truth About Autism”. Highly controversial book by the psychologist best known for his “theory of mind” studies in autistics (also very controversial) in which he tries to make the case that there are inherent biological differences between male and femalebrains, and that autism is an extreme manifestation of the male brain. Interesting reading for Aspies having a serious interest in gender issues, regardless of their personal views.


General Reference

These books provide general information about Asperger Syndrome and high-functioning autism. They are mainly intended for people who work with or provide care for individuals on the autism spectrum. Nevertheless, they provide valuable information for any adult on the spectrum who wishes to have a better understanding of their condition. The following are among the most useful:

The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome by Tony Attwood (Jessica Kingsley, 2007)

A comprehensive guide to all aspects of Asperger’s Syndrome by a psychologist generally considered one of the most eminent authorities on the subject, as well as the largest-selling author in the field. Written at a more advanced level, but still accessible to Aspies with a serious interest.

Asperger’s Syndrome by Tony Attwood (Jessica Kingsley, 1998)

Subtitled “A Guide for Parents and Professionals”. The author’s previous work. For many years considered a standard reference.

Making Sense of Autistic Spectrum Disorders by James Coplan, M.D. (Bantam Books, 2010)

Subtitled “Create the Brightest Future for Your Child with the Best Treatment Options”. In spite of the subtitle, the first part of this book is an excellent introduction to the fundamentals of autism and autism science. Examines the nature and process of diagnosis, possible causes of autism, and the recent rise in number of diagnoses. Especially interesting are the consideration of autistic atypicality and general intelligence as separate quantities, and the hypothesis that high intelligence can compensate for atypicality so that such individuals are less severely impaired. The author is a child psychiatrist, and the latter portion of the book deals with a wide variety of therapies and treatments.

Unstrange Minds by Roy Richard Grinker (Basic Books, 2007)

Subtitled “Remapping the World of Autism”. Written by an anthropologist, this book considers autism in the present day and in various different cultures throughout the world. Offers interesting perspectives about the recent rise in autism diagnoses, along with very clear, excellent explanations. Also examines the way autism is regarded and autistics are treated in various cultures and societies at different levels of development.

The Way I See It by Temple Grandin (Future Horizons, 2012)

Subtitled “A Personal Look at Autism and Asperger’s”. A general book about AS and autism, covering many aspects, as explained from the perspective of the world’s most prominent autistic person.

The Autistic Brain by Temple Grandin and Richard Panek (Mariner Books, 2013)

Subtitled “Helping Different Kinds of Minds Succeed”. A very readable introduction to autism neuroscience written by someone who is both an accomplished scientist and autistic. Also considers practical implications of the science to the lives of people with autism.

All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome by Kathy Hoopmann (Jessica Kingsley, 2006)

Undeniably the cutest autism book ever written. Originally written for children, but has found wide appeal among cat (and animal) lovers of all ages and even become a bestseller. This is basically a picture book of cats, but the captions illustrate actual Asperger traits, behaviors, and challenges. As such, it is a legitimate general book about Asperger Syndrome even if very simplified.

Inside Asperger’s Looking Out by Kathy Hoopmann (Jessica Kingsley, 2013)

In the same style as her previous book, and every bit as cute, but features a variety of different animals. All comments about her other book apply to this one as well.



Recently, interest in the neurodiversity movement has resulted in books that examine autistic issues from this perspective. The following are a few of the most significant and influential:


Neurotribes by Steve Silberman (Avery publishing, 2015)

Subtitled “The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity”. Written by a journalist from Wired magazine (for which he wrote the classic December 2001 article “The Geek Syndrome” about AS), this book chronicles the history of autism from the earliest research through the modern neurodiversity movement.

Uniquely Human by Barry M. Prizant, Ph.D. (Simon & Schuster, 2015)

Subtitled “A Different Way of Seeing Autism”. A speech language pathologist and professor of communications disorders with many years of experience in autism makes the case for a new perspective of how autism is understood and how autistics should be regarded and treated in our society.

The Power of Neurodiversity by Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D. (Da Capo Press, 2010)

Subtitled “Unleashing the Advantages of Your Differently Wired Brain”. The first major book on neurodiversity. Includes chapters on autism as well as other neurological differences, and looks at the neurodiversity movement itself.


More Academic Books

These books are written for professionals and scholars and are generally at a more advanced level. Aspies who have a serious interest in understanding their condition will find that, because of their life experiences, they are better able to understand this material than might otherwise be the case for books at a comparable level. The following may especially be of interest:

Autism and Asperger Syndrome edited by Uta Frith (Cambridge University Press, 1991)

A classic reference, edited by the psychologist who rediscovered Hans Asperger’s work after being forgotten for nearly a half-century. Includes her translation (from the German) of Asperger’s original 1944 paper in which he reports his observations that led to identification of the syndrome. Also contains chapters by other prominent figures in the field.

Mindblindness by Simon Baron-Cohen (MIT Press, 1995)

Subtitled “An Essay on Autism and Theory of Mind”. A treatise by the psychologist who pioneered the notion that autistics suffer from a deficit in “theory of mind”, namely the ability to view things from the perspective of another person. This is often misinterpreted to mean that autistics lack empathy, which is now known not to be the case. Still, autistics may be lacking in some aspects of this ability. There is considerable controversy regarding this issue.

Autism as Context Blindness by Peter Vermeulen, Ph.D. (AAPC Publishing, 2012)

The interesting new hypothesis that autistics may be impaired in their ability to respond appropriately within different contexts when other factors are nevertheless the same. The author is a psychologist who has worked in autism for many years, and his theories are generally seen as very promising and likely to influence how autism is regarded and treated. In particular, they may supplant those concerning “theory of mind”.

Bright Splinters of the Mind by Beate Hermelin (Jessica Kingsley, 2001)

Subtitled “A Personal Story of Research with Autistic Savants”. An anthology of a psychologist’s experiences with a variety of autistic savant skills, including language, calendrical, numerical, memory, artistic, and musical. Although the majority of autistics do not have savant skills per se, many Aspies are known for having exceptional skills and abilities in very narrow and specialized areas. As such, this book may be of interest.

Genius Genes by Michael Fitzgerald and Brendan O’Brien (Jessica Kingsley, 2007)

Subtitled “How Asperger Talents Changed the World”. An academic psychiatrist (the first author) examined the lives of over 20 famous historical figures, from different periods from ancient to modern, and attempted to diagnose them on the autism spectrum based on surviving information available about them. Given the difficulty of performing an autism diagnosis on even a living adult, this work is highly controversial. In particular, some of his cases are more credible than others. If nothing else, this is an entertaining book for Aspies who like to speculate about famous people who might also have been on the spectrum.


Related Topics:

Because Autism is a spectrum, we think it is important to include books about issues or conditions that are either directly co-morbid, or indirectly related to ASD.




Driven to Distraction by Edward M. Hallowell, M.D. and John J. Ratey, M.D.

Through vivid stories of the experiences of their patients (both adults and children), Drs. Hallowell and Ratey show the varied forms of ADDtakes--from the hyperactive search for high stimulation to the floating inattention of daydreaming--and the transforming impact of precise diagnosis and treatment.




The Gift of Dyslexia by Ronald D. Davis with Eldon M. Braun

Does your child exhibit... Oversensitivity--or under sensitivity--to touch, taste, smell, sound or sight? Children with SI Dysfunction my avoid touching, refuse to wear certain clothing, be picky eaters, or cover their ears or eyes. conversely, they may crave sensations--playing in mud, grabbing others, turning up the volume, preferring hot bath water and spicy food--and seem oblivious to sensory ques.

These telltale symptoms are often the first clues to SI Dysfunction--a common, but frequently misdiagnosed, problem in which messages from the senses are not correctly processed by the central nervous system. first identified decades ago by an occupational therapist, SI Dysfunction has only recently been widely recognized among doctors and psychologists. Now, this guide offers comprehensive, easily understood information on SI Dysfunction--and a drug-free treatment approach--for children who need help.

Although this book is for parents to help their children, adults can extrapolate a lot of this information and translate if for their needs. 


Sensory Integration


The Out-of-Sync Child by Carol Stock Krownowitz, M.A.

Does your child exhibit... Oversensitivity--or under sensitivity--to touch, taste, smell, sound or sight? Children with SI Dysfunction my avoid touching, refuse to wear certain clothing, be picky eaters, or cover their ears or eyes. conversely, they may crave sensations--playing in mud, grabbing others, turning up the volume, preferring hot bath water and spicy food--and seem oblivious to sensory ques.

These telltale symptoms are often the first clues to SI Dysfunction--a common, but frequently misdiagnosed, problem in which messages from the senses are not correctly processed by the central nervous system. First identified decades ago by an occupational therapist, SI Dysfunction has only recently been widely recognized among doctors and psychologists. Now, this guide offers comprehensive, easily understood information on SI Dysfunction--and a drug-free treatment approach--for children who need help.

Although this book is for parents to help their children, adults can extrapolate a lot of this information and translate if for their needs. 


BiPolar or Manic Depression

We Heard the Angels of Madness by Lisa & Diane Berger, Paperback – June 29, 1992

When eighteen-year-old Mark returned home from his first semester at college, his family thought he was on drugs. In fact, he was suffering from manic depression, a devastating mental illness that affects millions of Americans and their loved ones.

Diane Berger is Mark's mother and Lisa Berger is Diane's sister. Together they share both the intimate and inspiring story of how their family coped with Mark's illness and the valuable information they gathered about manic depression over the course of his treatment: up-to-date facts on drugs, doctors, therapy, insurance, and other resources. They reveal how to identify the symptoms of manic depression and avoid a false diagnosis, which treatments work and which don't -- as well as the emotional experience of a mother battling for the sanity and well-being of her child.

Here is the story of emotional and dramatic power; here also is an invaluable guidebook through the medical mazes and challenges of surviving mental illness.