Been There. Done That. TRY THIS! An Aspie’s Guide to Life on Earth edited by Tony Attwood, Craig R. Evans, and Anita Lesko
Even once you understand that the Aspie brain works differently than the neurotypical brain, that doesn’t tell you how to cope. It can feel overwhelming to sort out what issues are due to brain wiring and what to do about them.
Why this is important
For anyone else, there are numerous survival guides–just check the size of the pregnancy category at a book store for a comparison! And yet, pregnancy is something that a large majority of women experience and they usually have lots of other people to ask for ideas. Autism, on the other hand, has very few guide books and is not something you can just chat about while you’re standing in line at the grocery store (yeah, once that belly was showing, I couldn’t seem to go anywhere without discussing pregnancy with total strangers).
Something that really stuck with me
They included the frequency of each struggle as well as the amount of stress it causes (problems like anxiety, self esteem, aversion to change, meltdowns, etc) and then the whole book is an issue-by-issue set of stories and ideas about the particular challenge. There were so many of Tim’s behaviors that didn’t make sense before that could easily be categorized into one of the sections in the book and that had specific ideas for coping. It isn’t just for Aspies–I found good strategies for my own anxieties and so forth.
Any thumbs down?
Not really. I think the format of reading several different Aspergian’s experiences and thoughts followed by Dr. Tony Attwood’s summary did a good job of overcoming any problems. Any one author didn’t really answer the questions as thoroughly as would be needed if it were the only description on a topic but with multiple points of view, it felt thorough while moving quickly.
This book does a good job of what it sets out to do. Providing a guide to ‘life on Earth” based on the most stressful problems people with autism will typically encounter. Highly recommend if you prefer learning through words. If it’s a struggle for you (like it is for Tim) and you don’t have a reader to go through it for you and glean the important information, it’s still worth getting from the library to look at the chart of ranked stressors on page 15 and possibly the 3-5 page summary at the end of each section by Dr. Attwood.