A common thread through most autistic disorders is a lack of awareness of non-verbal social cues; things like body-language, facial expressions and the ‘unspoken rules’ of sociability, that non-autistics pick up intuitively. Autistic children need to have the meanings of different non-verbal cues spelled out (for example, that a frown means someone is upset), along with the social conventions around various activities (such as making friends). The Asperkid’s Secret Book of Social Rules is a handy guide for tweens-to-teens with autism, on the basic norms of etiquette and good people-skills. The book comes highly recommended by many parents of autistic teens. The author, Jennifer Cook O’Toole, writes from first-hand experience as someone with Aspergers.
About the author: O’Toole was diagnosed as an Aspie in adulthood, is the mother of three Asperkids, the wife of an Aspie, an award-winning Special Educator and two-time author of ￼brand-new books for and about Asperkids (Asperkids: An Insider’s Guide to Loving, Understanding and Teaching Children with Asperger Syndrome, and The Asperkids’ (Secret) Book of Social Rules: The Handbook of Not-So-Obvious Guidelines for Teens and Tweens, from Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2012). Both books were chosen by Autism Speaks as “Main Resources for Families,” and Autism Asperger Digest selected Asperkids to the “Top 12 Books to Read When a Loved One is Diagnosed with ASD.” Her third book, The Asperkid’s Launch Pad: Homes That Empower Everyday Superheroes will be released in Spring 2013. [From Amazon]
One thought on “The Asperkid’s (Secret) Book of Social Rules”
While I haven’t read this book, I believe the biggest challenges for autistics when it comes to succeeding socially is in adulthood. Once you’re an adult, you are not spending each day in a class with your peers. You are largely responsible for developing your own social life, and as a result, many on the spectrum can be incredibly lonely at this stage, as they don’t have the skills necessary that makes people want to have them as friends.
So for adults on the spectrum, what is required is that we learn from socially skills (not just anyone) neurotypicals, understand the communication skills they use, and teach these things to people on the spectrum in a clear and systematic way. I don’t believe that parent’s and teachers are the best people to help adults on the spectrum, we need people of a similar age whom they would identify with socially, to get involved in providing the right support.