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Freaks, Geeks & Asperger Syndrome: A User Guide to Adolescence is a book by Luke Jackson, a 13-year-old boy with Asperger syndrome. The book is a serious but light-hearted look at the challenges and joys of living on the autism spectrum. The thirteen-year-old writer has three brothers and three sisters. One of his brothers also has AD/HD and one is autistic. He has also written two other books, A User Guide to Gf/CF Diet, and Asperger Syndrome and AD/HD.

As Jackson writes, "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."

The book like a milestone of its own as it is one of the books among few written by a person with Asperger syndrome. Writing in the foreword, Tony Attwood has commented about the usefulness of this book in these words: "At last we have a book for adolescents with Asperger sybdrome, written by a thirteen-year-old who has a diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome. Luke Jackson is an expert on the challenges encountered by his peers ... I will now benefit by incorporating of Luke's wisdom into my clinical works ... His style is entertaining and educational but i would add that it is also therapeutic. This book will enhance our understanding of Asperger Syndrome, change attitudes, and replace bleak despair with insight and laughter."[1]

Structure

The book begins with a foreword by Tony Attwood and a section on acknowledgments, followed by 15 chapters:

  • Chapter 1 - An Introduction: Me and My Family
  • Chapter 2 - Asperger Syndrome and the Autistic Syndrome: a label or a signpost
  • Chapter 3 - To Tell or Not to Tell: Giving the news - How and when to tell other people

  • Chapter 4 - Fascination and Fixations: Specialist subjects - Collections - Compulsions - Controlling a compulsion
  • Chapter 5 - Sense and Sense Abilities: All of the senses, our different sensory perceptions - All in a muddle
  • Chapter 6 - A Different Physiology: Dietary differences
  • Chapter 7 - A Word About Sleep: Medications - Sleeping solutions with people with AS - Sleeping solutions, tips for parents
  • Chapter 8 - Language and Learning: Teenage talk - Literalism and logic - Precise parents make cheerful parents
  • Chapter 9 - The Problem with School... : Reading, writing and 'rithmetic - Not to mention homework - Not much fun and games - School or otherwise, if it still goes wrong

  • Chapter 10 - Bullying: My experiences - What is bullying? - Why me? - When is a bully not a bully? - Dealing with bullies
  • Chapter 11 - Takewondo: My takewondo class - The history of Takewondo - The benefits of Takewondo
  • Chapter 12 - Friendship and Socializing: How to win friends and influence people - A word of warning for pushy parents
  • Chapter 13 - The Dating Game: Fathom those feelings - Top tips to enhance your chance - The rules of the game, do's and don'ts of dating
  • Chapter 14 - Morals and Principals - Representation and reality: Negative publicity, Rules are not made to be broken, Moral musings for adolescent Aspergers

  • Chapter 15 - One Final and Positive Note:

At the end of the around 200-page book, four useful sections are appended: Idioms - an Explanation, Further Reading, Useful Address and Websites, Index.

References

  1. From the back cover of the book, Freaks, Geeks & Asperger Syndrome

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