The Asperger Teen's Toolkit
by Francis Musgrave
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Pub Date 21 Jul 2017 | Archive Date 21 Jul 2017
Dealing with the everyday realities facing teens with Asperger Syndrome, this book presents a toolkit of tried-and-trusted ideas to help them work through difficulties and find the solutions that work best for them.
This book covers everything they need to know to thrive in their adolescent years, including how to hack your own internal alarm system to overcome anxiety and other difficult emotions.
It also arms teenagers with everything they need to navigate sexuality and relationships, develop a healthy self-image, deal with bullies, be smart with money and stay savvy online... In short, no issue is left unexplored.
Fun and informative, this is a must-read for teens with high-functioning autism, and for those who want to understand what adolescence is like on the spectrum.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 12 members
It is an interesting book, with useful information, but somehow I felt that most of it is not necessarily addressing the teen suffering of Asperger but can easily apply to any teen.
This is a useful addition to the burgeoning literature for or about people with Asperger's Syndrome. Very sensibly it starts off with a caveat about it not being a substitute for consulting with a mental health professional. The book is intended for general advice and the author is not a mental health practitioner so it is limited. However the topics covered are very up to date (including gender identity) and the section on social media is very well done. I have known many teenagers with AS to spend a lot of time on FB and other platforms and things can go seriously wrong there. The difficulties with social interaction do not go away when on the internet and indeed are often magnified so it is great to see some advice out there for dealing with this. Much of the advice would be suitable for all teenagers,
I do wonder whether all teenagers with AS would be able to use the book without guidance. As someone who has worked with children and young people with AS for many years I felt that there are sections which would need further explanation. For example one piece of advice is about announcing controversial opinions to all and sundry and advises caution in doing so. This is very sensible - the advice is to do your research first - but some people may not be aware of how offensive their opinions are without further guidance.
Finally, one area that concerned me a little was the advice concerning self harm. "Join a voluntary group to talk to people like yourself in a similar situation...' It's not clear what this means. Research suggests that getting people who self harm together in a group is counter productive and can lead to an increase in the behaviour. It may be that the author meant getting together in a general way with other teenagers with AS and not specifically self harmers but this is not clear.
I found the Asperger Teen's toolkit easy and quick to read and found it quite helpful that each section was broken down, the breaking down advice into the different areas was also quite helpful. The language was simple and plain without being condescending and the pictures and layout made it an interesting read.
The advice regarding mental health such as depression and anxiety are the most effective and I feel this is what could be most useful to individuals dealing with this issue. Research through this book has helped me develop a course for young adults with autism regarding mental health.
I would recommend this book for teens with Aspergers or a professional working with individuals with Aspergers or autism.
The Asperger Teen's Toolkit is a very exciting and needed book concept. As a mom of a Teen with ASD there really isn't much out there to help us guide our children through the rough waters of the teenage years. For that reason, I really appreciate the effort of this book. I especially like the toolkit concept, the use of graphics, The Gender Identity and Relationship and Sex sections I would not use as they go against our religious values and aren't really something I would expect any book to cover as, I believe, they are better covered by family discussion. Apart from the Gender Identity and Relationships and Sex sections ( only 12 pages/ 136), I really saw great value in this book. The Asperger Teen's Toolkit covers important topics like bullies, depression, social media, health and more. Overall I think it's a very useful resource on a subject matter that greatly needs attention.
FULL REVIEW TO BE PUBLISHED
I do not regret having had the adolescence I had, but it would have been pretty much easier if I had read "The Asperger Teen's Toolkit," by Francis Musgrave. It’s a light book intended for teenagers and young adults with Asperger’s Syndrome, but due to the useful tips and ideas, I’d say that even parents and family members in general could find it useful as well.
You can expect Francis Musgrave to highlight many aspects of the emotional side of the syndrome, topics that teens might find especially hard to understand: self-identity, relationships, meeting new people and so on. It’s like a window to an Aspie’s heart, to put it in pretty words, but to their minds as well.
I can only give a big thank you to the publisher for providing an ARC copy of this book. Francis Musgrave really clarified some points for me, things that I still couldn’t completely understand and that will help me, even now that I’m a 22-year-old guy.
A well-written and informative guide. Clear and helpfully organised. Full of practical suggestions but never patronising.
I have a huge interest in autism, however this book is too literal, we need more actual experiences.
The Asperger Teen's Toolkit by Francis Musgrave
The Asperger Teen's Toolkit is written as a manual for teens and the language is encouraging and helpful. The book uses a toolkit with six central focuses for teens to consider to resolve and manage normal teen issues for Asperger teens. The chapters are thematic and deliver suggestions to handle the general issues along with a summarized “Toolkit Tips” for each theme. Readers are encouraged to consider their own circumstances and apply the toolkit tips. Some of the many themes covered in the work include sexuality, relationships, music, and online. Being a teen is difficult, at times, and this book would be useful for any teen; the author’s idea to support Asperger Teens through this exploration of topics is invaluable. A chapter I found particularly helpful is titled, “Dealing with Bullies and Difficult People [AQ]”. The chapter clearly identifies the actions of bullies and provides contrast as the everyday actions that could feel like bullying, but is not. The chapter includes ideas to resolve or dilute the bully’s actions, ways a teen could respond or not respond, and the idea that reports to school or police may be necessary to provide personal safety. Throughout the author stresses that Asperger Teens should give kindness and respect and expect these same social norms in return. The book is easy to read and provides chunks of information in an attractive format. Teenagers may skim the book or read it thoroughly for ideas. Parents & guardians with reluctant readers should encourage teens and explore the book as a family interaction.Recommended.
The Asperger Teen's Toolkit by Francis Musgrave
If only my son would read this book – but he won’t, because he has Asperger’s Syndrome, and to read a book about Asperger’s Syndrome per se means that he would have to accept that someone else might know best, and that having Asperger’s Syndrome could be seen as a problem – ideas that he vehemently denies.
When I looked at this book as a non-Aspie mum however, I could see many useful tips and suggestions for helping my son’s life run more smoothly. With headings focussing on things like self-harm, dealing with bullies, social media, anger, gaming and animals it seemed to describe my son’s life perfectly. There are some areas however, where the advice didn’t seem to have an Aspie at its heart.
For example, ‘Being positive and easy going is a very endearing quality, and is a great place to start, particularly if you find yourself in a new environment.’ (p.23) If my son was able to be positive and easy going when faced with a new environment then he probably wouldn’t have been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome in the first place!
I have very mixed feelings about this book. The advice is good, but in my own experience, giving out advice is easy, but putting yourself in the place of someone with Asperger’s Syndrome and THEN giving that advice makes it a very different prospect indeed. Perhaps a ‘how to do’ would be a better way to go than a ‘what to do.’
I don’t really know what to rate this book, so I’m going to go with middle of the road and say 3 out of 5 stars.