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Asperger Syndrome in the Family: Redefining Normal Paperback – March 15, 2001
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The author describes the pathway towards diagnosis of one of her daughters and subsequently her father and herself. She describes the difficulties and solutions of daily living and family life. This is the process of 'redefining normal'. Families looking for further information about Asperger's syndrome will seize upon the insights and suggestions. Teenagers who are Aspies will find this a useful self-help guide to socialising, emotions, relationships, overload and interior design. There are some potentially valuable self affirmation pledges for Aspies and Aspie parents. -- Bulletin
The book injects humour into this difficult condition as well as giving sound advice on how to support and nurture a young child with Asperger Syndrome. Written in an easy, light style, this is not only a good read, but a thought-provoking one as well. -- Montessori International
This autobiography gives us insight into the lives of a family dealing with Asperger Syndrome (Liane and her daughter are both "aspies"). Where Liane Holliday Willey excels is in her ability to see the humorous side of the many unusual strategies that her family and in particular, herself, have to develop. For example, "Create a few personae you can put on like you put on a coat" or "Never talk about private matters in public, body parts that are covered by underwear, siblings' diaries, parents' arguments".
Her anecdotal accounts of family issues are honest and quite touching. Her need to know what her family think of her behaviour, and ways to make her acceptable to them, are heart warming. The spinach between the teeth of her daughter's class teacher and Liane's attempt to remove it, with resulting confusion and embarrassment, emphasize the lack of understanding in some social situations and the need to laugh at them and then learn from them.
Through it all, Liane remains determined to try and live happily in a neuro-typical world and to help her "Aspie" daughter and herself function successfully in day to day encounters.
For families living with "Aspies" and professionals working with them, this is highly recommended to further understand the challenges of Aperger Syndrome.-- Joan Wheeler. Regional Services Coordinator Autism Association Queensland Inc.
Willey's second book, Asperger Syndrome in the Family: Redefining Normal, is an honest and touching account of her family life as it wraps around her daughter's and her own Asperger's Syndrome. Like her first book, this is filled with information that can be illuminating as well as practical.' -- GeekMom.com
- Publisher : Jessica Kingsley Publishers; 1st edition (March 15, 2001)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 176 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1853028738
- ISBN-13 : 978-1853028731
- Item Weight : 9.9 ounces
- Dimensions : 6.14 x 0.4 x 9.21 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,222,096 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy reading this and I think it hold great advice for both Aspies and Neurotypicals, but I would recommend it with the above reservations in mind.
The author worries about her young daughter with AS. "I think about my daughter and her future... I want things to be easier for her. I want the world to work harder when it meets people who are different." Yet she also recognizes the often overlooked strengths and positives of "aspies". "We can teach you to follow the right path instead of the wrong, for few have a moral code as stringent as ours." Willey's book unfolds as a series of reflections and not a biographical sketch. She talks about the ups and downs of aspie marriage, accentuating the positive side of obsessions, and the importance of balance, which can be difficult for the aspie to find and maintain.
Throughout the book, there are helpful bullet points and lists, such as "10 Traits Aspies Struggle With", which begins with number one, inflexible and rigid thinking, and goes on to number ten, language and communication which goes beyond a literal level. There's also the very useful topic, "Socializing the Aspie Way". Here she sets out some critical rules for positive social experiences, such as "keep party gatherings small", "set time limits for your socializing", and "prompt the aspie to rely on an innocuous calming stim when they get too nervous in public."
I highly recommend this book for anyone who wishes to better understand people with Asperger's or Asperger type traits. People with AS are different from the norm, but that doesn't always mean something negative. Once allowed to get close, no friend will ever be so loyal, and few others will have the same drive to learn about subjects of particular interest.