Today I will be looking at Gunilla Gerland’s book ‘Finding Out about Asperger Syndrome, High Functioning Autism and PDD’.
This is not a recent addition to autism literature, having being published in 2000, but nevertheless I think this book is still worthy of a mention particularly for children or teenagers with a recent diagnosis. Siblings and school peers may also find this book helpful, as may parents and carers.
The author of the book, now an adult, has high-functioning autism and wrote this book to help other autistic people to understand their disability and to help them explain their difficulties to others. However, the author makes it clear that autism is not the same for everyone and that not everything described in the book will be experienced by everyone.
At 46 pages long, the book is short but in a way this is one of its strengths because it is not overly wordy and what is written is expressed in a clear and concise manner. It is nicely structured with short paragraphs that cover the difficulties of autism (motor skills, eye contact, change etc), thinking differently, sensory issues as well as the benefits of having special interests. In fact a particular strength of this book is how it encourages readers diagnosed with autism to think positively about themselves. In addition, the author also writes about how it can feel to be told you’re autistic and briefly draws on the experiences of other autistic people which may provide some comfort to those readers newly diagnosed.
However, this book may disappoint those who are looking for a more detailed or theoretical read. Indeed, one criticism is that the title of the book suggests detailed information on aspergers, high functioning autism and PDD whereas in fact it takes an overall look. This may disappoint those looking for specific information on each of these particular disabilities.
Nevertheless this is a useful book for those families who are adjusting to a new diagnosis written by someone who knows what it is like to live with high functioning autism.
This book is available from Amazon and other good book sellers.