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Asperkids: An Insider's Guide to Loving, Understanding, and Teaching Children with Asperger's Syndrome Paperback – May 15, 2012

41 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1849059022 ISBN-10: 1849059020 Edition: 1st

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Asperkids: An Insider's Guide to Loving, Understanding, and Teaching Children with Asperger's Syndrome + The Asperkid's (Secret) Book of Social Rules: The Handbook of Not-so-obvious Social Guidelines for Tweens and Teens With Asperger Syndrome + Asperger's Rules!: How to Make Sense of School and Friends
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Jennfier is in a unique position to write this book. Not only are her kids on the spectrum, so are she and hubby. In addition, she is a school teacher. That makes for a pretty encompassiong view on what it means to be on the spectrum, raise a child on the spectrum and teach a child on spectrum... This book is full of insight and simple useful tips... If you are the parent or teacher of a child on the spectrum, I highly recomment it. -- Aunt Aspie's Book of the Month! (... )her first book, was so innovative and refreshing... Jen cleverly uses the quick Aspie mind to its own advantage by encouraging analysis and insight... If you have a child with Asperger's or high-functioning autism, it'll have much the same effect as an invigorating run along the beach. -- Aukids The book contains many practical suggestions for educating children with Asperger syndrome at home. O'Toole analyses the difficulties and challenges with perception and insight, showing how to help children for whom everyday activities may be upsetting and incomprehensible. -- HEAS Asperkids has LOTS of practical ideas that will really help kids on the spectrum. I completely agree that using a child's passion is the best way to motivate learning. -- Temple Grandin, author of Thinking in Pictures A mother with Asperger syndrome (AS) and three Aspie children, O'Toole is uniquely situated to understand the best ways to approach parenting and teaching youths with AS... O'Toole approaches the Aspie lifestyle with a great deal of humor and insight. She's particularly good at explaining the hurdles Aspie children face daily as they navigate school and social settings, and she helps readers see the world the way anyone with AS does. The result is an easy-to-read guide to interacting with Aspie children, replete with additional resources and references. -- Library Journal Reviews Full of effective and enjoyable ways to engage (such) children, and offers guidance and insight to other parents, as well as teachers and other practitioners. -- Young Minds Magazine Her book presents an insider's perspective into the world of Asperger syndrome which would be very helpful to anyone who seeks to understand the condition. Many effective and original ways of engaging with Asperger children are presented. -- HEAS (Homes Education Advisory Service) Within seconds of opening the book I had shed a few tears, and later, as I continued reading in the bath (...) I had several more unexpected cries. These were all moments of pure recognition, and with each one came a mixture of joy, release and relief. Not only does O'Toole describe so many ways of being that sound just like my little L, but I could also connect with much of what she said about being a Mum. Not only does this woman understand what it is to be an Aspie (she is one), she also understands what it is to be the parent of one (she has there) and the wife of one. What could top that in terms of a well-rounded viewpoint?... O'Toole accurately grasps my hopes for L and his future, that he can move forward with an understanding and pride in himself, and that he will see the positive aspects to having those Spectrum qualities as well as some of the challenges he will inevitably face... I now feel that I've got a way in to L's mind which is so much more meaningful that the off-piste advice I am given by well-meaning but autism-ignorant professionals. One of my friends, who also has a son on the Spectrum, once commented that she wished she could see inside her son's head for a while. "Asperkids" and all it offers, may just be one way to do it. -- Loving Martians - Wordpress blog by Rebecca Mitchell I read this book in just two consecutive sittings - loved it!... As Aspie herself, Jenny is quite brilliant and as a teacher and parent she is doubly insightful into her own children's needs and how to help them. -- Netbuddy.co.uk Amazing. Jennifer's ability to share her Asperger perspective and explain what our kids need most in the home and in school is fantastic. She gets right to what matters and makes powerful points that have to be heard. On both a personal and a professional level, I say this is a book that needs to be on shelves everywhere. -- Meredith G. Bove, MBA, Educational Strategies Consultant and mother of a son with Asperger Syndrome, USA Jennifer provides a unique perspective into the world of Asperger syndrome - helping to put all the pieces together, with a little humor thrown in along the way. I will highly recommend this book to any Asper-parent to better understand their child's world and help them grow, learn, and develop based on their unique strengths. -- Courtney Enos, MS-OT, occupational therapist, Touchstone Therapy, North Carolina, USA Asperkids has touched my heart to its deepest core, brought tears to my eyes, knowledge to my mind and an in-depth understanding of Asperger Syndrome. It is beautifully written, easy to understand and incredibly sincere. I will most definitely stock the shelves of our psychological book store with this wonderful, insightful book. Kudos to Jennifer Cook O'Toole for her passion, love and knowledge of Asperger syndrome and her willingness and eagerness to share it with everyone. -- Diane Chartrand-Balcer, Purchasing Director for Insomnia Bookstore at Southeast Psychology, North Carolina, USA Fresh, honest, organic and raw insights - Jennifer has written a legacy for all those on the spectrum, inviting everyone into an intricate and delicious mindset of an Asperfamily's challenges and successes. This book is a literary feast of new and exciting creative ideas and strategies which are shared in a very unique conversational manner. This book may be the key to unlocking a new and successful way of teaching and communicating with persons on the spectrum. -- Josie Santomauro, mother of a son with Asperger syndrome, editor of Autism All-Stars: How We Use Our Autism and Asperger Traits to Shine in Life and co-author of Set for Success: Activities for Teaching Emotional, Social and Organisational Skills Jennifer Cook O'Toole's personal understanding of the Asperger 'profile' makes Asperkids a fascinating read. In it she gives a wealth of exciting and innovative 'detours' around the challenges of AS and has provided a book full of lively and enthusiastic ideas to get you really enjoying working with your Asperger child. This is one of the most respectful books about teaching children with Asperger syndrome I have read and I thoroughly recommend it. -- Clare Lawrence, teacher, autism worker, mother, and author of Autism and Flexischooling: A Shared Classroom and Homeschooling Approach and How to Make School Make Sense: A Parents' Guide to Helping the Child with Asperger Syndrome Asperkids is brilliant! Not only is Jennifer an inspiring person, she's an Aspermom out to make a difference. Her passion to educate the NT world about Aspies shines through. Many Asperkids, and their families, will benefit from her personal insight. I am convinced this book will make a positive impact. -- Julie Clark, author of Asperger's in Pink: Pearls of Wisdom from Inside the Bubble of Raising a Child with Asperger's As a neurotypical mom with two kids with Asperger syndrome, Asperkids gave me an inside look into the minds of my own children. Jennifer's unique viewpoint really helped me understand how I can communicate better with my kids, support their talents, and help them navigate the world. Asperkids should serve as a touchstone for parents and teachers alike. I'll definitely be sharing this book! -- Joslyn Gray, autism advocate and author of the blog stark. raving. mad. mommy. Just a few pages into Asperkids, I knew I was reading something special... O'Toole is the real deal bundle of experience and knowledge our Asperger community can turn to for compassionate understanding and wise advice. -- from the Foreword by Liane Holliday Willey, EdD, author of Pretending to be Normal and Asperger Safety Skills for Women reading [O'Toole's] book is making me understand more how his brain is wired and I am learning SO much. -- Elizabeth Conner, mother of a child with Asperger syndrome Asperkids by Jennifer Cook O'Toole is a no-brainer to include as required reading in any education, medical, or therapy college or university program... This book addresses much more than diagnosis and treatment guidelines. If you changed the title, it could be a manual on how to respect and understand the teaching-learning experience and teach in a way that children will not only learn from, but love. The concepts of learning styles, instructional styles, engagement, thematic teaching, humor, developmental approach, differentiated instruction, structuring environments for learning, the fun factor, empathy, positive energy, balancing the environment with multisensory opportunities, and much more are presented in a fun and easy-to-learn style that will stay with students into their careers. I love Asperkids and cannot wait to share it with my Occupational Therapy students this semester. -- Toni Schulken, MS, OTR/L, Pathways for Learning

Book Description

Jennifer Cook O'Toole shows how to help children on the spectrum by understanding how they think and by exploiting their special interests to promote learning.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Pub; 1 edition (May 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849059020
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849059022
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,221 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jennifer O'Toole is the winner of the Autism Society of America's 2014 Outstanding Literary Work of the Year, the 2012 Temple Grandin Award, a recipient of GRASP's 2012 Distinguished Spectrumite Medal, 2012 AuKids Speaker of the Year, and a nominee for the 2012 Autism Society Book Award and Godiva's Woman of the Year. TV actress/Activist Holly Robinson Peete even listed Jennifer among her "Autism Parent Superstars."

Most recently, she's been invited to speak to the President's Council on Fitness at the White House Summit on Americans with Disabilities, and was added to the "Who's Who" list of International Aspie Mentors -- along with Temple Grandin and Stephen Shore - to contribute to Dr. Tony Attwood's "Been There. Done That. Try This." anthology. But it's Jennifer's unique "have a cup of coffee with me" conversationalist presentation of useful insights which has touched hearts, lightened spirits and even led to the founding of Asperkids, LLC, a multi-media social education company, and Academy AK, an online "school of awesomeness for all."

O'Toole was diagnosed as an Aspie in adulthood, is the mother of three Asperkids, the wife of an Aspie, an award-winning educator and author of the internationally- celebrated "Asperkids" book series (ALL are Amazon bestsellers):

*Asperkids: An Insider's Guide to Loving, Understanding and Teaching Children with Asperger Syndrome (2012)

*The Asperkids' (Secret) Book of Social Rules: The Handbook of Not-So-Obvious Guidelines for Teens and Tweens, (2012)

* The Asperkid's Launch Pad: Home Design That Empowers Everyday
Superheroes (May 2013)

*The Asperkid's Not-Your-Average-Coloring Book (October 2013)

The Asperkid's Game Plan: Purposeful Play, Extraordinary Minds....Ordinary Stuff (April 2014)

Sisterhood of the Spectrum: An Asperger Chick's Guide to Life (coming late 2014-early 2105)

She now keynotes internationally, including for the Autism Society of America's National Conference, the USAAA World Conference, North American Montessori Teachers' Association, The National Inclusion Project, the UK's National Autistic Society, Ireland's SHINE, Denmark's Sikon, and at mega conferences alongside Drs. Grandin and Attwood.

Jennifer is one of North Carolina's "50 Most Influential Women," a mentor for Yale's Child Study Center where her books serve as foundational texts, and a member of The Global Montessori Alliance. Her Facebook Fan Page and Asperkids blog have both been chosen by Disney/Babble to the Top 30 Autism Sites in the World.

O'Toole is a featured columnist for Autism Asperger's Digest and The Australian Autism Asperger's Network, contributing as well to Autism Spectrum Quarterly, "Special" Magazine and many more. She has been featured by the BBC World Service, NBC, National Public Radio, Autism News Digest's "Most Amazing Autistic Women," and "The Guardian," the United Kingdom's most widely- circulated newspaper.

O'Toole graduated with honors from Brown University and has since studied at the Graduate School of Social Work at Columbia University and Graduate School of Education at Queens University. Subsequent initiatives with young people garnered her an invitation to serve on North Carolina's Governor's Commission on Domestic Violence, and a nomination for Disney's American Teacher of the Year Award in her first
year of teaching.

In response to the overwhelming popularity of her message, she founded Asperkids, LLC, a multimedia social education company that prides itself on clever creativity, useful strategies and relentless positivity.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer on May 16, 2012
Format: Paperback
If you are looking for a great resource on Aspergers, this is the book to read. It's written in such a way that you feel almost like you are sitting with Mrs. Cook O'Toole. She answers the questions most parents with a newly diagnosed child ask in a way that is easy to understand and relatable. (Especially if you are a "neurotypical" parent to an Aspie) For me personally, I found the advice, suggestions, hints, and insight to be a breath of fresh air. It was nice to have this topic covered in a way that wasn't so impersonal and clinical as other books I've read on the topic. Also, being that the author is an Aspie, herself, gave her credibility in a way I haven't felt for other authors on the topic.

I also recommend this book if you have a child with any hyper-focusing issues such as ADD/ADHD, hyper-anxiety, OCD, etc as I've found a lot of the suggestions in this book can be very helpful for kids and parents (teachers, caregivers, counselors, doctors, the list can go on and on here) as well. I've seen my son have more "aha!" moments and less frustration ever since putting some of the suggested techniques into effect at home. Even his neurotypical sister is trying to emulate them which I think will help them have a closer relationship as the grow.

I highly recommend reading Asperkids.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Kerry Evans on November 16, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was actually a good book for an educator to read, but it was not what I was looking for. My son has not been diagnosed but I suspect that he has Asperger's. However, he has never had any issues with learning and this book is generally about teaching children with Asperger's. I needed more information on how to help him relate socially and how to show him that at eleven he should know how to tie his shoes, or wipe his face when it has chocolate on it. He just doesn't care about these things, but I think they can be one of the many things alienating him socially, but these sorts of things are not addressed in this book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By hgoldstein on May 21, 2012
Format: Paperback
Jennifer O'Toole's book provides real inspiration for parents and teachers. This is a hands-on resource that is a source of comfort, but it is also a helpful educational aid. As a teacher, I appreciated all the great classroom ideas, in addition to the many recommended resources, like websites, books and educational supply companies that were new to me.
O'Toole's book provides an intimate view of the Aspie experience from one who really knows because she experiences it first-hand every day. This is her life, her husband's life, and the life of her family. Therefore, her book provides the reader with concrete suggestions that can enrich the life of any Aspie.
O'Toole not only shares her intelligence and creativity, but she also provides a role model of a person sensitively dealing with her own diagnosis and that of her children.
This is an impressive debut of an author we will hopefully hear more from.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amy on May 13, 2013
Format: Paperback
Since my son was a toddler, I have worked hard to understand him and be able to connect with him on a level that worked for us. As a result, at 12 years old, we have a great parent-son and teacher-student relationship. Over the years, in an attempt to be the best parent I could to my Aspie, I have read as many books on Asperger's Syndrome as I could get my hands on. Some made me confused, some made me bored, some gave me insight and some made me angry. It wasn't until I read Jennifer Cook O'Toole's book, Asperkids, that I was fully able to truly understand my son. Throughout the book, I laughed, cried with understanding and joy, scribbled notes furiously, and rested in the comfort of knowing that I wasn't alone. I shared many insights from the book - both humorous and poignant - with my Asperkid and we were able to connect together on an even deeper level.
Thank you so much, Jennifer, for writing this book! I share it with everyone who interacts with my son, and those who are journeying through this diagnosis as well. My wish is that every teacher would read this book so that they may better understand the aspies, known and unknown, in their classrooms.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 8, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Imagine a mass of energy with flaming red hair and Irish passion for whatever occupies her attention at the moment. That's Jennifer O'Toole. Now imagine all that energy and passion directed to understanding this thing we call Asperger's, to being one, to being a parent as one, and to understanding children who are thus blessed, and finally how to navigate all that. That is _Asperkids_. Her writing style is at once richly informative and easily accessible, kind to the reader. She shares not only insights about Aspies, but the unique kind of insights that only Aspies can generate about themselves and others. Still, the most apt description of this book is its subtitle. It is indeed an insider's experience, perception, and understanding. It is about teaching as well. But as she has ordered the description in that subtitle, it is first and foremost about a deep compassion for these kids. And don't let her fool you. Here's an inside secret about the book: It's not just about kids. *wink*
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Mark West on May 9, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a comfort and a source of strength for those who love children on the spectrum. Jennifer O'Toole gives NT parents an insider's view of what it's really like to be an Aspie or person with Autism. Her style is loving, yet funny and endearing. This book is a must-read for any parent who loves someone on the spectrum. It is enlightening, affirming and an accessible guide to help us out on this journey. Amazing work! Thank you!
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