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Autism spectrum Reading List 1

July 8, 2015
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A Twitter-friend who’s wondering if they might be on the spectrum asked me for book recommendations. I thought others might benefit from a dedicated list of what I’ve read.

Covers the period 6.15.15 through 7.7.15

 

What I liked:

1) 22 Things a Woman with Asperger’s Syndrome Wants Her Partner to Know by Rudy Simone

Revelatory! Now, if I can just get Spouse to read it! (I bought my own copy.) Rudy Simone also wrote an earlier book for partners of men with Asperger’s — I haven’t tracked it down yet.

2) Asperger’s on the Job: Must-Have Advice… by Rudy Simone

Excellent. I bought my own copy.

3) The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum by Temple Grandin and Richard Panek

Very good.

4) Different…Not Less by Temple Grandin

Profiles of various autistic people’s careers — very informative.

5) [Memoir] Be Different: Adventures of a Free-Range Aspergian by John Elder Robison

Just finished this one last night — entertaining, informative, thought-provoking.

6) [Memoir] The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger… by David Finch

Bought this, wondering if it would teach me things to try in my marriage. Um. Book is laugh-out-loud hilarious in places but… I wouldn’t want to be married to this guy! He takes “self-absorbed” to places I’ve never even imagined.

7) [Memoir] Parallel Play by Tim Page

Good. Quieter guy, who isn’t an asshole.

8) [Memoir] Raising Cubby: A Father and Son’s Adventures with Asperger’s, Trains, Tractors, and High Explosives by John Elder Robison

Robison is an engaging, matter-of-fact writer. His son, Cubby, reminded me strongly of my cousin D, but as far as I know, D didn’t have any adult trying to help him as much as Cubby’s dad… tried. Also, kind of shocked at how much help some autistic boys can get, when — I know from personal, painful experience — autistic girls (can) get shamed and demoralized. Anyway.

9) [Documentary] Too Sane for This World

Brief appearance by Temple Grandin; Profiles of 12 autistic individuals, at various levels of functioning; variety of ages and life circumstances. (None mentioned nonstandard feelings about their gender identity.) I enjoyed it, but found all the stimming kind of hard to watch. (Maybe that’s just because I don’t watch myself, and haven’t been around autistic people offline, I don’t know.)

10) “Just Give Him the Whale!”: 20 Ways to Use Fascinations, Areas of Expertise, and Strengths to Support Students with Autism by Paula Kluth & Patrick Schwarz

Fun, but targeted towards teachers of young children. (Painful for me to read, in places, because no one tried to help me when I was a kid.)

= = =

 

Okay / I didn’t have strong feelings about:

 

11) Autism Spectrum Disorder: The Complete Guide to Understanding Autism, Revised Edition, by Chantal Sicile-Kira

12) The Partner’s Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome by Susan Moreno, Marci Wheeler, and Kealah Parkinson

= = =

 

What I Disliked:

 

13) Alone Together: Making an Asperger Marriage Work by Katrin Bentley

Bought this, hoping I would learn useful things. It was so awful, I couldn’t finish it. Again, another man who takes “self-absorbed” to absurd places — and gets away with it. How? Why? (Wondered if some of my family members might have marriages like this.)

14) Aspergirls: Empowering Females with Asperger Syndrome by Rudy Simone

I like Rudy Simone as a writer, but she can be uneven. I was glad I hadn’t bought this one before reading it.

15) The Autism Revolution: Whole-Body Strategies for Making Life All It Can Be by Martha Herbert & Karen Weintraub

Didn’t finish it.

16) How to Be Human: Diary of an Autistic Girl by Florida Frenz

The layout — font that looks like handwritten text, all in capital letters, along with colorful hand-drawn (?) illustrations — hurt my brain to read.

17) [Biography] The Boy Who Played with Fusion by Tom Clynes

{Author did not mention autism or Asperger’s for main character, but he sounded so much like Cubby and other Aspie boys I’ve read about, I surmised he’s on the spectrum.}

This boy got everything he ever wanted, from adults eager to facilitate his ‘genius’! Another boy who was so unaware of other people, he’s almost sociopathic. I skimmed the book.

18) [Memoir] Atypical: Life with Asperger’s in 20 1/3 Chapters by Jesse A. Saperstein

I realize that some autistic people are more verbally skilled than others, but this guy… not a good writer. Also incredibly self-absorbed. I skimmed it, didn’t finish it.

19) Safety Skills for Asperger Women: How to Save a Perfectly Good Female Life by Liane Holliday Willey

This one marketed as a ‘how-to’, but it incorporates a lot of stuff more suitable for a memoir. I thought it was… kind of a mess.

20) Very Late Diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome by Philip Wylie

Bought this one before I read it, but… I shouldn’t have. Very downer tone. Lots of filler. Would’ve been better as a website.

+++

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