Author(s): Jennifer Cook O'Toole
As a parent, a teacher and an Aspie herself, Jennifer Cook O'Toole provides a unique insider's look into Asperger Syndrome. She shows how to help children on the spectrum by understanding how they think and exploiting their special interests to promote learning. Her strategies work because she thinks like the children that she teaches. This book is full of original and effective methods for engaging with children with Asperger Syndrome. The author discusses theory of mind, the necessity for concrete forms of communication, and ways to inspire imagination through sensorial experiences. In particular she explores the untapped power of special interests, explaining how to harness these interests to encourage academic, social and emotional growth. Affirming that different doesn't mean defective, this book offers the insight and guidance that parents and professionals need to connect with the Asperkids in their life and get them excited about learning.
Jennifer Cook O'Toole has Asperger Syndrome and is the mother to three young Aspie children. She graduated from Brown University, and attended Columbia University's Graduate School of Social Work. She has previously worked as a social worker, and a teacher in both special needs and mainstream education. In 2002 she was nominated for Disney's Teacher of the Year Award. She served on the Family Advisory Board for Levine Children's Hospital, North Carolina, and regularly gives presentations at hospitals and local universities on special needs parenting. She lives near Charlotte, North Carolina.
Preface: How Asperger's Saved My Life.; 1. The Theory of My Mind: How Asperkids Think.; 2. Special Interests: The Way In.; 3. All Aspies Are from Missouri: Concrete Minds.; 4. Detour - This Way: Getting around Learning Challenges.; 5. Living the Practical Life.; 6. Dear Santa, I'd Like a Friend for Christmas.; 7. It Depends on Where You're Standing: Perspectives on Comfort Zones.; 8. Conclusion: My Father's Legacy.