Autism & Asperger Syndrome Resources

The National Autistic Society & Autism Hampshire have extensive information, advice and resources on their websites.

In addition there is a selection of book recommendations below that you may find helpful.

School/ Teens/ Adolescence

Have you ever been called a freak or a geek? Have you ever felt like one? Luke Jackson is 13 years old and has Asperger Syndrome. Over the years Luke has learned to laugh at such names but there are other aspects of life which are more difficult. Adolescence and the teenage years are a minefield of emotions, transitions and decisions and when a child has Asperger Syndrome, the result is often explosive. Luke has three sisters and one brother in various stages of their adolescent and teenage years but he is acutely aware of just how different he is and how little information is available for adolescents like himself. Drawing from his own experiences and gaining information from his teenage brother and sisters, he wrote this enlightening, honest and witty book in an attempt to address difficult topics such as bullying, friendships, when and how to tell others about AS, school problems, dating, relationships and morality. Luke writes briefly about his younger autistic and AD/HD brothers, providing amusing insights into the antics of his younger years and advice for parents, carers and teachers of younger AS children. However, his main reason for writing was because so many books are written about us, but none are written directly to adolescents with Asperger Syndrome. I thought I would write one in the hope that we could all learn together.

Being a teen or tween isn't easy for anyone - but it's especially tough for Asperkids. I know. I was one, I taught a whole bunch, and I am going to be raising three! That's also why I know that Asperkdis deserve their very own guide to all of the hidden social rules that are awfully confusing to us, even if they seem obvious to everyone else. "The Asperkids' (Secret) Rule Book of Social Rules" This isn't your momma's Emily Post, and there is no "don't do this" finger-wagging or patronizing "high and mighty preaching" here. Instead, the "Secret" Book gives Asperkids (aged 10-17) respectful, funny insights written "for Aspies by an Aspie" Chock full of illustrations, logic and even a practice session or six (in comic strip style, thank you very much), this is the handbook every adult Aspie wishes we'd had growing up, but never did.

Fitting in to school and social life can be the single most challenging task when you have Asperger's syndrom. Asperger's Rules!  can help. Packed full of information, this book covers common school situations and the uncommon challenges that they can present to a child with Asperger's. Kids will find the how-to for understanding and communicating with peers and teachers, standing up for and taking care of themselves, setting realistic goals, and making friends. Asperger's Rules! belongs in the backpack of every kid with Asperger's and is an essential resource for getting the most out of middle school.

Perfect for time-poor teachers, Kathy Hoopmann's essential handbook is an easy-to-navigate resource that promotes a positive learning environment in which students with Asperger syndrome (ASD) can thrive. Kathy's unique ability to explain the ASD mind-set shines through as her concise descriptions reveal how to recognise and develop the child's strengths to the fullest potential whilst guiding and mentoring through areas of difficulties. Full of effective and innovative strategies, the book covers areas such as meltdowns, forming friendships, literal thinking and speaking, and the overwhelming influence of sensory sensitivities. Activities to help explain the child's behaviour to other students are also included which fosters understanding and acceptance. A 'Home Link' section adds vital information about how to work with parents and other caregivers to create safe, loving and fun environments for the child at home and at school. With illustrations throughout, this book will be of immeasurable value to anyone who is working in a classroom setting with children with ASD.

Young children

Hey! Looking for a way to explain your child's Asperger's traits to others in a way that's clear, positive and fun? Just give 'em this book. As an autistic person, I like to talk about autism with cartoons, because it's easier than using words. It helps people understand where I'm coming from, and I hope it does the same for you.

Fiction for children

This is a warm, fun-filled fantasy story for children with a difference: the hero is Ben, a boy with Asperger Syndrome. When Ben and his friend Andy find an old bottle in the school yard, they little realize the surprises about to be unleashed in their lives. Bound up with this exciting mystery is the story of how Ben is diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome and how he and his family deal with the problems and joys that come along.

Blue Bottle Mystery is a delight to read that is more than just another kid's book. For the first time, the issues and frustrations that a child may have with Asperger Syndrome are explored within a fictional format especially for children. Its portrayal of Ben as the central character offers other children with autistic spectrum disorders and their peers a positive role model. It is a valuable teaching tool that demystifies children with Asperger Syndrome, justifying their individuality as valid and interesting.

In Blue Bottle Mystery Kathy Hoopmann has combined her love of children with her passion for fantasy literature to produce a delightful read for anyone who loves an adventure and wants a unique insight into the mind of an Asperger child.

The sequel to Blue Bottle Mystery, this is a science fiction novel for kids, with a difference. Ben is learning to cope with his newly diagnosed Asperger Syndrome, but when an alien crash-lands in his back yard, things really get complicated. The alien, Zeke, knows nothing about Earth's rules and norms and it is up to Ben and his friend Andy to help Zeke survive. The humorous parallels between the alien's inability to relate to humans and Ben's own idiosyncrasies highlight the difficulties Aspie kids face every day.

Of Mice and Aliens is not just another kids' book. As well as being a delightful read for anyone who loves adventure, it is a valuable teaching tool that demystifies children with Asperger's, justifying their individuality as valid and interesting.

From the author: 'This book is the third in the series to feature Ben and Andy but this book focuses on a young girl called Lisa who has Asperger syndrome. As with the other Asperger adventures, the book explores features of Asperger syndrome.This book is aimed at the 9 - 12 age group and is suitable for both girls and boys, although girls might find it particularly good reading. This is my favourite of the three books in the series.'

When Lisa discovers a derelict hut in her friend Ben's backyard, she delights in exploring the remnants of an era long gone. Imagine her surprise when Great Aunt Hannah moves into a nursing home nearby, and reveals that once she was a servant in those very rooms. The old lady draws Lisa into the art of lace making and through the criss-crossing of threads, Lisa is helped to understand her own Asperger Syndrome. But Great Aunt Hannah also has a secret and now it is up to Lisa to confront the mysterious Lacemaker and put the past to rest.

Adults with autism and parents

Estimated to affect just over 1 per cent of the adult population in the UK - some 700,000 individuals - autism is still persistently viewed as a disorder or impairment but, this concept needs to be challenged. Written by a university lecturer with several years' experience in the field, this book presents an up-to-date overview of autism and Asperger syndrome, and comments on the realities of adult life including further and higher education, employment, dating and parenthood. For autistic children, teenagers and adults, their families and friends, and any professionals interested in autism. Topics include:

Terminology and what's preferred
Common myths and stereotypes
Diagnosis and related issues
Tips for undiagnosed adults
Understanding how autism impacts on the individual
Sensory issues
Transition into adulthood
Friendships and intimate relationships

The Criminal Justice System - what happens when autistic people break the law

In this sensitive and insightful book, Dr Luke Beardon asserts that there are many hugely intelligent, empathic, kind, caring, loyal and skilled autistic individuals so it s time to treat them as such and respect their differences.

Winner of the 2015 Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction
Shortlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize
Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller
Foreword by Oliver Sacks

What is autism: a devastating developmental condition, a lifelong disability, or a naturally occurring form of cognitive difference akin to certain forms of genius? In truth, it is all of these things and more - and the future of our society depends on our understanding it.

Following on from his groundbreaking article 'The Geek Syndrome', Wired reporter Steve Silberman unearths the secret history of autism, long suppressed by the same clinicians who became famous for discovering it, and finds surprising answers to the crucial question of why the number of diagnoses has soared in recent years.

Going back to the earliest autism research and chronicling the brave and lonely journey of autistic people and their families through the decades, Silberman provides long-sought solutions to the autism puzzle while casting light on the growing movement of 'neurodiversity' and mapping out a path towards a more humane world for people with learning differences.