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The Asperkid's (Secret) Book of Social Rules: The Handbook of Not-so-obvious Social Guidelines for Tweens and Teens With Asperger Syndrome Paperback – September 15, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-1849059152 ISBN-10: 1849059152 Edition: 1st
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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 + The Survival Guide for Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders (And Their Parents)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

  • WINNER! AUTISM SOCIETY AMERICA BOOK OF THE YEAR 
  • ABOUT.COM READERS CHOICE RUNNER-UP 
  • AUTISM/ASP. DIGEST TOP 15 LIST
  • AUTISM SPEAKS TOP FAMILY LIST 
BEAUTIFUL BALANCE OF CELEBRATION AND TANGIBLE TOOLS - SHE GETS IT!This book & their author, are world changers... when I reach for support, need a lifeline, some encouragement, HELP, SOS, Jennifer...offers solid steps...celebrating Asperkids just as they are, while offering a survival guide to help us navigate the complex social world. Jennifer is brilliant AND she "gets it." That means everything.--Kelly (MOM)

A-HA! Hope in a Book
As the illustrator of this book, I love the illustrations! Kidding. My favorite part of "The Asperkid's (Secret) Book of Social Rules" is the "Ah... I see" or "Ah-ha!" moments I had as I read and grasped each concept. Jennifer has a special gift in communicating through stories that all of us (both on and off the spectrum) can easily relate to and take something away from. (And I love the illustrations.) :)
-Brian Bojanowski


This is no doubt a very helpful guide, covering a wide range of issues from Facebook, privacy, power games people play and how to deal with them, and above all it may help to develop a better understanding of how to avoid social traps and become a strong self-confident adult. The book will be of great interest to female and male adolescents and adults with Asperger syndrome. It offers some practice items and examples using comics. -- Debate The insights it gives are very comprehensive, everything from how and when to thank people to how to cope with criticism. -- Autism Support Crawley, Heather Eves A book always has faults. Right? Not in this case! I just can't find a bad thing to say about it. Written as a self-help guide for 'Asperkids' it's chock-full of insightful, practical advice on how to successfully sail the seas of planet NT and succeed... The book is warm, witty and wise and at GBP13.99 it's a bargain. It's written to be read by 'Tweens and Teens' on the spectrum but could easily be used by teachers, parents, and therapy folk as resource material for individual or group teaching and support. Go buy it! -- Positive About Autism Blog O'Toole is uniquely qualified to write this book - she's the proud mother of three "Asperkids," she's married to an "Asperguy," and is herself an "aspie." This crucial guide to social interactions begins with a list of 125 "Need-to-Knows," which run the gamut from platitudes ("The bigg3est mistake you can make is being too afraid to make one.") to simple reminders ("Graciously accept compliments with a simple smile and 'thank you'") and bits of wisdom ("Anger is abnd0aid emotion. It's a real thing - but the wound you have to heal is underneath the anger.")... While aimed to help those with Asperger's navigate the world, O'Toole's approachable guide is also an invaluable resource for friends and family members of Aspies. -- Publishers Weekly Her American sense of fun comes out strongly in her writing, and the black and white comic-style illustrations add to the humorous approach... There is emphasis on not giving up, on starting over when things go wrong and on learning what a special and unique person you are. This will be a really useful tool for both Aspies and their families, and it fills a gap that needed to be filled. -- Healthy Books I completely agree with Jennifer, and think the way she says it is just great; these skills and explanations are absolutely necessary to young people's success. -- Temple Grandin, author of Thinking in Pictures Asperteens rejoice! Finally someone has produced a guide to the mysteries of teenage social etiquette. Jennifer's brilliant writing style serves up huge, life-changing advice in small, bite-sized chunks, making this an invaluable reference point for navigating the difficult path between childhood and adult life. If you're a teenager, buy a copy. If you're older, buy one too - it's never too late to learn those 'secret rules' and apply them in your life. -- Helen Wallace-Iles, Founder and Director, Autism All-Stars UK, and mother of four children on the Autism spectrum The joy of knowing that the mistakes of the past have a good chance of melting away is the real, not-so-secret ingredient that makes this book shine. -- Michael John Carley, Executive Director, GRASP, ASTEP, and author of Asperger's From the Inside-Out Wow! This book is awesome. Jennifer O'Toole's The Asperkid's (Secret) Book of Social Rules is a triumph of words, wisdom and wit. It is a fun yet oh so important set of keys that will help Asperkids of all ages unlock virtually every mystery the NT world holds. I love it! -- Liane Holliday Willey, author of Pretending to be Normal and Safety Skills for Asperger Women Jennifer O'Toole has done it again. Reading this book was like dipping into a bag of wonderful treasures. A very comprehensive guide to social rules for Aspies and a brilliant reminder of just how much NTs take for granted and how hard our Asperkids have to work each day. This book serves as a 'universal translator' and will strengthen relationships between Aspies and NTs everywhere. As a mother, I particularly found Chapter 20 on meltdowns helpful, and need to remember to 'smell the flowers and blow out the candles' just as much as my little Asperkid. Our whole family is adopting the Asperkid positivity vibe. Jennifer is like the favourite Aunt and best friend we all wish we had. If I could choose one book to give to my little boy as he grows up, this would be it.' -- Rebecca Mitchell, UK Psychotherapist (MBACP), author of the blog lovingmartians.wordpress.com, and very proud Mum to one Asperboy superhero and his equally amazing NT supersister Jennifer Cook O'Toole has done it again with The Asperkid's (Secret) Book of Social Rules. Jennifer is the queen of understanding and helping others to understand the ins and out of Asperger syndrome. In this book Jennifer hits on all of the important issues tweens and teens face and provides ways for your Asperkids to thrive during this challenging time. Learn rules like "to be interesting to other people, you first have to be interested in them", "one mistake does not break a friendship", "being right isn't always the most important thing even when it feels that way", and so much more. As the mother of an eight year old with non-verbal learning disorder, ADD, and SPD, this book is the first I grab to help both me and my amazing little gal. An incredible book by an incredible woman. -- Lisa Davis, MPH, creator, host, and producer of It's Your Health Radio and It's Your Health TV Not only is The Asperkid's Secret Book of Social Rules a book for Asperkid teens and tweens, it is also a book for their parents, caregivers and for anyone who grew up Aspie and wants to understand themselves and the world around them better. Being undiagnosed until in my 40s, this is the book I wish I had when I was a teenager. Thank you Jennifer, for not only making these social rules no longer 'secret' but for helping create a social survival guide that helps promote acceptance, enrichment, inspiration and empowerment for Asperkids everywhere! -- Karen Krejcha, Executive Director of Autism Empowerment (www.autismempowerment.org), Aspie, GRASP 2012 DSM Award winner, and loving mom of two sons with autism and Asperger syndrome The Asperkid's (Secret) Book of Social Rules is a must-have resource for tweens and teens with Asperger syndrome. By exposing the 'secret' thinking of NTs and opening each chapter with a list of 'need to knows', O'Toole sensitively and candidly explains the social rules that often confuse teens with Asperger's syndrome. The graphics, humor, and short chapters make the book lively and accessible, while O'Toole's own experiences as an individual with Asperger syndrome helps teens connect personally with her insightful, practical advice. -- Diane M. Kennedy and Rebecca S. Banks, authors of Bright Not Broken: Gifted Kids, ADHD, and Autism 'There are so many reasons to love this book. It is kid-friendly, fun, packed with practical tips, and full of respect for those needing these tips the most. The thing I love best about it, however, is how appropriate the content is for every student, both those on the spectrum and those who are not. In fact, we can all learn something from Jennifer O'Toole's wonderful advice on relationships, organization, learning, communication and self-respect." -- Paula Kluth, PhD, author of You're Going to Love this Kid: Teaching Students with Autism in the Inclusive Classroom 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

From the Author

Written by an Aspie (and mom of three!), The Asperkid's (Secret) Book of Social Rules: The Handbook of Not-So-Obvious Social Guidelines is a comics-infused explanation of the world's hidden social rules. Our kids are amazing -- and they deserve to know the rules everyone else plays by! So -- here they are. Every single 'hidden' or 'secret' rule I wish someone had told me when I was younger -- something I teach my own Asperkids and which I'm proud to pass along -- even if it means sharing my most less-than-fabulous moments with the whole world. The kids are, quite simply, worth everything I've got to give."
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Pub; 1 edition (September 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849059152
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849059152
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,815 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

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Paula M. Elsener on December 28, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Of all the books about Asperger's that I own, this is the only one with "how to" information for the child. I bought this book a couple of months ago for my 11 year old son who has Asperger's. We read one chapter together each night and both learn from it. We even reference it when he comes home from school after a "bad day" and look up how he could have handled the situation differently. I would recommend this book to any one who has an asperger child in the pre-teen to tween age.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Karen on September 16, 2012
Format: Paperback
I was honored to have the opportunity to read an advance copy of the book.

Not only is The Asperkid's Secret Book of Social Rules a book for Asperkid teens and tweens, it is also a book for their parents, caregivers and for anyone who grew up Aspie and wants to understand themselves and the world around them better. Being undiagnosed until in my 40s, this is the book I wish I had when I was a teenager. Thank you Jennifer, for not only making these social rules no longer 'secret' but for helping create a social survival guide that helps promote acceptance, enrichment, inspiration and empowerment for Asperkids everywhere!
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Format: Paperback
At first glance, this book looks terrific for kids with Aspergers, but also for any kids, including gifted kids, who need a little help understanding the social expectations of life.

Here's what one parent of a gifted child who also struggles socially has to say...

"The Asperkid's Secret Book of Social Rules" is like the answer to my prayers. My son has not been diagnosed as Asperger's, and he lacks some key characteristics, but this book is EXACTLY the book I've wished existed for helping him navigate social situations, etc. It is direct, funny and easy to read and doesn't "sugar coat" the dynamics of tweens and teens. I am giving it to him this afternoon and will report back, but if you haven't seen this book and have a kid that struggles with how to "fit in" or exhibits behaviors that make you say "WHAT makes him think that was a good idea to do/say!?!" it's worth checking out!

Thanks to the parents of Hoagies' Gifted Education Page for this great review, and for convincing me that I need a copy of this book, too!
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca on September 27, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book is the most amazing, in-depth, encyclopaedia of social interaction must-knows. Although aimed at those with Asperger's, it is a brilliant way for the neurotypicals in their lives to understand them better too. A fun and immensely engaging way to learn to stand in each other's shoes. It could also stand as a general, modern etiquette book. Just fantastic. This will be a wonderful book to share with my 'Asperkid' son and my neurotypical daughter. This book will be a friend for life.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Mark West on October 1, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Thanks to Jennifer Cook O'Toole for showing us the way through social situations. As a mom of a son on the spectrum, I benefit from her insight and graceful guidance. I loved her real world examples and beautiful storytelling ability. She made me feel like she truly understands what my son must go through. She is an incredible advocate and a positive voice for Aspies everywhere.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Anna on February 28, 2013
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I am a therapist working with children and I have found that this resource is excellent for working with teens and tweens in a way that is non-threatening. I have found that the children really enjoy looking through the book and can identify with the issues raised, which is saying something.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Polly Poorhouse on January 4, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just finished this book and my 16-year old recently-diagnosed Aspergirl daughter is eager to get her hands on it. She sometimes resists books on this topic--she hasn't fully embraced her diagnosis. But she was looking over my shoulder one day, and then I saw her pick it up when I was out of the room.

To be honest, I think this is a great book for ANY teen, not just those who are on the autism spectrum. I love O'Toole's perspective--no, you don't "have" to follow the neurotypical rules, but you should know what they are, and be able to make a choice. And this book is not at all about pretending to be someone you aren't; the author clearly warns that that's the way to unhappiness.

I think she's right on. The comic book illustrations and the what-if scenarios in the back are good too--I think a whole book of those would be helpful.

Off to order her other book for parents and teachers...
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Ward on April 18, 2013
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This book is fantastic! It is written from a woman who has aspergers and she just gets it because she was and is there. My 11 yr old son could relate to a lot of stuff she was talking about and it is written so he understands the language.
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