Tag Archive | Asperger’s syndrome

Two books:

I thought these two little books that came my way this summer might be of interest.

The first is The Music Man’s Songbook by Jon Lawrence. This is a charming little book of song scripts, with a CD to go with it, that will get the children learning, thinking, moving, counting and finally sleeping! They can use it either with mums and dads or on their own. The author says that he was particularly interested in getting the children moving and the songs are open to as many physical interpretations as you like! Anything to get the kids active! It’s published through Bird’s Nest Books and is available directly from them or through Amazon. Find Jon’s website here.

The second is Katy Elphinstone’s book of advice for parents of autistic children: ‘Dos and Don’ts Autism and Aspergers, Advice for Parents and Carers’. Having read it through I find it full of common sense for parents of any children as well as those on the autistic spectrum. It’s contains the most down-to-earth ideas; ideas that we sometimes completely forget when in the throes of dealing with difficult challenges. A short book, well worth dipping into. You can find more about it – and buy it – here; http://www.dos-and-donts-autism.com/ and on Amazon.

Katy is another home educator, finding it was the best choice for her children and is going to do a guest post here in a little while. The illustrator is Matt Freidman of Dude I’m an Aspie fame.

The curious challenges of an Aspie

You touch him and he screams. You hug him and he lashes out at you. He never looks at you. You have to word everything carefully because he takes your words literally; if you said it was raining cats and dogs he’d expect to see cats and dogs coming down and if there weren’t he’d accuse you of lying.

And his days, life, must have predictable patterns and routines so he knows what sensory bombardment to expect, otherwise he can be reduced to a curled up huddle there’s no communicating with. 

Yet he’s brilliant mathematician and can store data like a computer.

Such is the character in ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time’, the wonderful book written by Mark Haddon, told with the voice of a lad with Asperger’s Syndrome.

And I’ve been lucky enough to go to see the stage production too – a truly amazing experience.

And I say experience because that’s exactly what it was. Even more so than the book, you truly experience some of what it must be like living with a teenager with Asperger’s and the difficulties it presents.

It is so easy to judge and condemn as we sit smug with our ‘normal’ children, behaving in ‘normally acceptable’ ways, and think how we would do something about the behaviour of others we observe but know nothing about.

If you haven’t lived it, you can’t know what it’s like from the inside. You can’t know what’s best to do and certainly aren’t qualified to judge. Some parents have challenges to face we cannot even conceive.

Stories like these go a long way to helping those of us in ignorance to live it and thus understand and appreciate that not every person reacts to life in the same way as our own children do. Everyone has challenges to face. Everyone is different. Some extremely so.

A story can reach an audience in ways a factual text cannot, like this production reached me, because it promotes not only understanding, but ignites compassion too.

And it is compassion we need to practice in order to live alongside one another and all our quirky differences in harmony and acceptance.