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Ask and Tell: Self-Advocacy and Disclosure for People on the Autism Spectrum Paperback – July 1, 2004

4 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

I strongly recommend this book, as it will help those who have ASD to achieve their personal and employment goals. -- Tony Attwood, Ph.D.; practicing clinical psychologist; Author of Asperger's Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals<br /><br />Self-disclosure is inherently personal – and so is this book. -- Gerald S. Fain, Ph.D., Professor, School of Education, Boston University<br /><br />This book gives a clear presentation of why people on the autistic spectrum need to become their own advocates. --John Ratey, M.D.

About the Author

Ruth Elaine Joyner Hane, lives with her husband, Jay, in Minneapolis. Their lives are enriched by four grown children, a daughter-in-law, son-in-law, two baby grandsons, three cats and many goldfish. Ruth Elaine is midwest director for the Autism Society of America’s board of directors and serves on various ASA committees. In addition to consulting with individuals who are challenged with issues of physical and emotional health and well-being, she leads Serenity Circles for developing emotional intelligence, presents workshops on Chi Energy, Avoiding Burnout in the Age of Anxiety, Finding Joy at the Holidays, and Energy Boundaries. Ruth Elaine coaches people within the spectrum of autism, teaching them what she has learned, and facilitates two social groups. She is a contributing author to Sharing Our Wisdom, a collection of public presentations.

Kassiane Alexandra Sibley is an independent young adult, tumbling coach, special education major, tutor to children on the autism spectrum, and co-teacher of a ballet class for autistic and Asperger children. She has spoken locally and nationally and has also published articles in several publications, and never misses a chance to spread public awareness. Like many Aspies her age, Kassiane was improperly diagnosed before discovering the autism spectrum at the age of 18. In addition to her autism activities, Kassiane competes in power tumbling, for which she recently won the Amanda Howe Sunshine Memorial Award for Sportsmanship.

Diagnosed with "atypical development with strong autistic tendencies," Stephen Shore was viewed as "too sick" to be treated on an outpatient basis and recommended for institutionalization. Nonverbal until the age of 4, with much help from his parents, teachers, and others, Stephen is now completing his doctoral degree in special education at Boston University with a focus on helping people on the autism spectrum develop their capacities to the fullest extent possible. In addition to working with children and talking about life on the autism spectrum, Stephen presents and consults nationally and internationally on adult issues pertinent to advocacy and disclosure, education, relationships, and employment. He also serves on the board of the Autism Society of America, as board president of the Asperger’s Association of New England, and is on the Board of Directors for Unlocking Autism, the Autism Services Association of Massachusetts, and MAAP services. Stephen is executive director of Autism Spectrum Disorder Consulting and adjunct faculty at Salem State College and Emerson College.

Roger Meyer lives in Gresham, Oregon, a Portland suburb. During his 26-year career as a union cabinetmaker, he volunteered evenings and weekends as a young-adult counselor, community organizer, apprentice instructor and community mediator. At the age of 56 he left cabinetmaking to work full time with people. Author of Asperger Syndrome Employment Workbook, he is owner of a comprehensive disability case management consulting and advocacy firm "... of a different mind." Roger facilitates the Portland Asperger Syndrome adult support group and co-facilitates the Portland AS Partners group. He meets monthly with clinicians from multiple disciplines to develop best practices in counseling children, adolescents and adults with AS. Roger is also involved in nondisability community politics. He is a member of the Multnomah County Community Housing and Development Commission and chair of the Rockwood Neighborhood Association.

Phil Schwarz is vice president of the Asperger's Association of New England (AANE), and has been a member of Autism Network International (ANI) since 1994. His chapter in this book is the outgrowth of workshops he has led on the role of allies in autism self-advocacy at Autreat 2003 (the annual conference/retreat of ANI), at the 2003 nat

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 196 pages
  • Publisher: Autism Asperger Publishing Company; illustrated edition edition (July 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1931282587
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931282581
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #683,180 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By BeatleBangs1964 VINE VOICE on December 30, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is the answer to every person on the autism/Asperger's (a/A) spectrum's prayer. People with Asperger's are empowered with knowledge of what this neurobiological condition entails and how to act as their own advocates. For people on the a/A spectrum, please make this book your best friend. It will certainly pave the way down the Long & Winding Road to social acceptance.

Tacit Social Codes & Rules are often ambiguous and confusing to those on the a/A spectrum. This book does an excellent job of demystifying those rules. Another road block people with Asperger's face is being misinterpreted -- what seems clear and direct and perfectly a propos to somebody on the spectrum sometimes comes over as a social faux pas. George Harrison explained this aspect very well in his 1966 classic, "I Want to Tell You," with the lyric "but if I seem to act unkind, it's only me, it's not my mind. That is confusing things."

One of the major challenges people with Asperger's contend with is determining whether or not to disclose this diagnosis and if so, to whom. This book helps clarify many of those questions and serves as a link to communicating with the neurotypical (NT) population.

I love this book!
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This is a one-of-a-kind resource that educators (and so many others) will find very helpful. The subject of disclosure (how, when, where, who) is not commonly covered in other texts on autism and disability-- even though it is so important. Educators and other support people will learn so much from the voices of these individuals on the spectrum. My favorite chapter is Stephen Shore's (author of Beyond the Wall) piece on how students with disabilities can participate in their own educational programs- it is such a practical AND a thoughtful chapter. Shore gives dozens of great examples of how even the youngest child can serve as an agent in his/her own life and education. Thumbs WAY up on this unique and helpful text!
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I have a very good friend who just found out he's on the asperger's scale. He spent most of his life feeling like he was an outsider. I gave this to him and he said he felt less alone because of it and it's helped him communicate with others about why he is the way he is sometimes, which he's found very helpful. Everyone is a little different of course, but this did help him a great deal.
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There are so many places where one can go for advice on Asperger Syndrome etc. A host of them are not actually advice for the autistic himself, but are really meant for their parents, teachers, or psychologists. While those people need solid information, its a breath of fresh air to find a book written to the autistic community and by members of the autistic community. For instance, this book has the most succinct and nuanced discussion of the community advocacy issues that I've found. I'm very glad I purchased this book and am sure I will refer back to it from time to time through my life.
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Ask and Tell is an anthology with contributions by six autistic writers. Like most anthologies it’s a bit uneven in both quality and content. However, I got enough out of two of the six chapters for me to recommend it. The chapter titled “Help Me Help Myself: Teaching and Learning” is by far the one I found most useful. Kassianne Sibley lays out a detailed plan for learning self-advocacy. It’s aimed at young people, but the principles and process she outlines can easily be adapted by autistic adults who are new to self-advocacy. I especially liked the specific examples of written self-advocacy materials that she provides. The other chapter I found informative was “Building Alliances: Community identify and the Role of Allies in Autistic Self-Advocacy” by Phil Schwarz. His concise history of other advocacy movements that the Autistic community can draw on presented a lot of material that was new to me. The remaining chapters are an odd mix of social skills instruction, IEP design and case management, none of which felt relevant to me. Of course, if you’re the parent of a student who wants to manage his/her own IEP, then that chapter would be very relevant.
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I would recommend this book to any autistic person, family, or friends of autistic people. who has to navigate any form of the neurologically typical society. This book explains information that autistic people need to know about, school, work, and even social life. More importantly, this book is good for building relationships with those who are allies of the neurodiversity movement. With enough people reading books like this one, maybe autistic people can actually be seen and heard. The author has both the real world experience as well as the credentials to write this book.
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