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The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  3,237 ratings  ·  199 reviews
The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome is the definitive handbook for anyone affected by Asperger's syndrome (AS). Now including a new introduction explaining the impact of DSM-5 on the diagnosis and approach to AS, it brings together a wealth of information on all aspects of the syndrome for children through to adults.

Drawing on case studies and personal accounts from

Hardcover, 396 pages
Published September 28th 2006 by Jessica Kingsley Publishers Ltd
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Aaron Miller
Feb 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
I read this after I was diagnosed with AS at the age of 25. It's an excellent source of information on how AS manifests itself and issues surrounding the condition.

My only problem with the book is that Attwood babies Aspies too much, commonly suggesting that they should make everyone aware of their condition and expect both understanding and allowances. If a person with Aspergers ever hopes to live a full life, he or she needs to accept that not every situation can be planned or controlled. The
Ooh, you’re always setting yourself up for a fall when you call your book The COMPLETE Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome. You may as well call it the ONLY Guide or the BEST EVER Guide. *wince* Maybe I should cut Tony Attwood some slack; the title was probably his publisher’s idea.

Nonetheless, I found this book slight lacking. One might even say... incomplete. *rimshot*

It’s particularly poor when it comes to strategies for dealing with Asperger’s. Almost all the suggestions are aimed at children (“dra
Nov 17, 2008 added it
For a guide to Asperger's this is quite good. Upon reading it, I knew that this pattern fit me very well, and promptly got diagnosed. Alof of the patterns, repetative thoughts, behaviors, pedantic speech, idiosyncratic interests, skill with words, trouble with non-verbal communication (including flirting). Ex: 29, never had a romantic relationship, or had much in the way of that connection. That's been the most devestating effect. That's mainly because even if someone is flirting me, I can't rea ...more
Nov 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
I read this book hoping, like many others, to gain a grasp of my own responses to the neurotypical world, and its responses to me.

In that, I would consider it successful. It spent perhaps too much time discussing children, but it is supposed to be "complete", and this information would undoubtedly be of use to many parents finding these characteristics in their offspring.

The book describes Asperger syndrome, and goes on to talk about differences between aspies and neurotypicals in social underst
Tony Attwood is a therapist rather than a researcher and that is reflected in this somewhat incomplete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome. If you want a comprehensive description of the Syndrome, the ever-changing diagnostic guidelines and the individual symptoms, this is the book for you. If you want an extremely thorough over-view of all available therapies/interventions/support services and their efficacy this is most certainly the book for you. If you want a summary of the current state of researc ...more
Joseph Sciuto
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Tony Attwood's "The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome" is more like a textbook, than a guide, beautifully written and easy to understand. I cannot recommend this book more highly, especially for children, adolescents, and adults diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, parents, relatives or friends who suspect someone close to them as possibly having Asperger's syndrome, teachers, educators, medical and psychological professionals, criminal justice and law enforcement personnel, and people simply ...more
Jun 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
I read this book in the hope that I would gain a clearer understanding of two people in my circle. I wanted something a bit more detailed than the (helpful) information I had been given by the National Autistic Society - that would include references to the research findings into this condition. I was also hoping to avoid a book that made a lot of assumptions about what 'masculinity' and 'femininity' might be. I have read one of Simon Baron Cohen's books on autism and felt somewhat irked by his ...more
Nov 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
I thought this book was very detailed in regards to Asperger's Syndrome. I bought it to learn about the condition because my son was recently diagnosed with it. I read it seeing myself lurking through the pages. I had hoped to find out how to cope with someone who thinks differently than other people do. I figured out there was a reason why my son and I are so close.

If you are looking for a complete guide to understanding Asperger's I recommend this book. You will learn how it is diagnosed, theo
Laura Cushing
Nov 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A complete guide to Asperger's system, just like the title says. I'm sure it's not 100% complete, nothing ever is - but it's as close as you're going to get. Attwood discusses every life stage from early childhood to adulthood, and gives strategies for working with aspergers and overcoming some of the challenges those on the autistic spectrum face.

I learned a lot about my aspergers from reading this book, and have been working on a few new strategies based on the reading. I also found the resour
Jul 17, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Therapists, mental health professionals, neurotypicals in general,
I have read many books on the autism spectrum, but had difficulties at times relating to some of them as most tend to be written on just diagnosed children whereas I was diagnosed in my early twenties (I was actually diagnosed after the removal of Aspergers from the DSM with autism spectrum disorder, but the original referral was for Aspergers and I felt it always fit me better).The book's weaknesses , though were mainly on how again it's usually those diagnosed in childhood who still receive mo ...more
Donna Parker
Mar 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: asperger-s
I don't know if I'd say this is the only book on Asperger's Syndrome I'd recommend, but it's certainly a great place to start. Lots of information, easy to read, and doesn't make you wince. There's no complete guide mostly because just as every person is unique, each person's experiences with AS are unique. ...more
Sarah Whitney
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing

Asperger considered that the characteristics could be identified in some children as young as two and three years, although for some children, the characteristics only became conspicuous some years later. He also noticed that some of the parents, especially the fathers of such children, appeared to share some of the personality characteristics of their child. He wrote that the condition was probably due to genetic or neurological, rather than psychological or env
Jigme Datse
Jun 28, 2017 rated it did not like it
This was absolutely horrible. Well, it was for me. Apparently the person who recommended it thought it was great, and thought it was a great fit for me. After having followed every single recommendation that person has given me, I can say very clearly this person either has insufficient knowledge of the "field" of Autism Spectrum Disorder resources, or honestly has/had no clue whatsoever about what would work for *me*.

Let's start with formatting. Clearly the author, his editors, the publisher,
Mar 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone wanting to know more about Asperger's Syndrome
Recommended to Douglas by: no one
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
A bit dry, very heteronormative, and mostly focused on children and teenagers, but adults are not completely ignored. I learned some things, about alexithymia and apraxia especially. I'm glad dyscalculia was mentioned because I've never read about it in combination with Asperger's before.

Author used the word 'asexual' when he should have used 'celibate', which bothers me greatly as an asexual person.

Overall, this guide is not very complete (as the title implies), and a bit outdated. Also, I ment
Alice Lemon
I decided to read this book because of my suspicions that I have Asperger's. I did find that it contained a decent amount of useful information, though it definitely seemed far more focused on children---and far more addressed to the parents of children---than I would have liked.

I also got the definite impression from the chapter on romantic relationships that his impression is that people with Asperger's shouldn't have romantic relationships with neurotypicals, though I'm not sure that's the a
Apr 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm not going to lie, some of this went over my head. It's a lot to process, but I'm sure as the parent of someone with Asperger's, it will make more sense with time and effort to understand and create the right environment for him.

Some parts were electrifyingly enlightening, answering some mysteries no one had identified for me as yet. Or maybe they had but it just didn't click until I read certain parts of this book. I hear there are courses that Tony Attwood runs on Aspergers, and I'm definit
Brittany Osborne
Mar 29, 2018 rated it liked it
This book is very informative but it was difficult for me to read on many levels because it is written like a textbook. The long lengthy sentences and the repetition of the word Asperger's Syndrome in basically every sentence contained in the book made my brain want to scream. The book was also very depressing. It puts Asperger's Syndrome in a very bad light and stressed the negatives of the condition. ...more
Karen Barber
Sep 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Definitely not a ‘read-through’ and not every aspect will be relevant.
Having just received a diagnosis for son, this was a good starting point. Plenty of information and some useful pointers to consider.
Unfortunately the style was a little academic for a complete starter into the process. Don’t think you’ll ever cover everything, so this is more of a comprehensive guide in my mind.
Did think the links to other texts was a good idea.
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: asd
My copy from the library must have been an older edition. It didn't have the introduction about how Asperger's fits into the new diagnostic criteria for ASD in the DSM-V. I was curious about that exact topic the entire time that I was reading the book. It had a lot of great information and I loved that it talked specifically about girls with the diagnosis and what to expect beyond childhood. ...more
Stephany Wilkes
Apr 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review feels a bit like coming out, but so be it. First, some background in case there are other adult readers like me (diagnosed in adulthood and/or some time ago), who may find this context helpful.

My husband recommended I read this after seeing it referenced in one of his video games. For 20 years (yes, really), I've basically ignored an ASD diagnosis I received because I received it in totally unplanned fashion in college. Briefly, a psychology professor told our class we could receive
Michelle Llewellyn
Oct 07, 2016 rated it liked it
A developmental brain disorder for a person unable to socialize, converse and understand the thoughts and feelings of others. A person unable to accurately express their own thoughts and feelings but with considerable intellectual ability that is not autistic-no delays in cognitive or language development.
Unlike normal people, a person with Asperger's was born with an inability to read people and their facial expressions. They can't look people in the eye so they miss those cues or, if they do,
T. Rose
Sep 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After reading several books on Asperger’s, with each book referencing this book, I just had to read it. This book definitely contained much information on Asperger’s that was helpful in my research of the subject. I found this book very helpful, well written and a good value. No book is the only or complete source on a subject, but this book would be a great start because it is fairly comprehensive.
Daniel A.
May 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Aspies and those who love them
Well, it took long enough, but it was eminently worth it.

I finally finished The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome, the primary work on the subject of Asperger's, written by Tony Attwood, the clinician (in my opinion) most influential and knowledgeable about the diagnosis and treatment of it, after "only" five-odd months spent reading it, off and on. While often difficult to process and dense in the information it conveys, The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome is one of those rare books w
Cynthia Kim
Sep 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: autism
The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome was the first book I read about AS and it’s still the best I’ve come across. Dr. Tony Attwood takes a no-nonsense approach to explaining what Asperger’s Syndrome is and how it affects people at all stages of life. He writes in a conversational style that makes some of the more technical aspects of AS easy to understand for the layperson without “dumbing down” the subject matter. He addresses the symptoms of AS as they manifest in both children and adults ...more
May 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the book I recommend to anyone interested in wanting to understand Asperger's Syndrome (now not referred to as such, but included under the Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis). Tony Attwood writes clearly, with understanding, knowledge and clinical experience, empathetically, but also with ready willingness to step back and let people with the disorder speak for themselves. It is also replete with strategies of management, development, social intersection, self-care, education, and more, ...more
Lambda Moses
Mar 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: autism
This book presents some interesting and indeed quite comprehensive observations on Asperger's syndrome, showing Dr. Attwood's extensive clinical experience. Asperger's syndrome can indeed be manifested in such diverse ways. However, I did not give it 5 stars because it has limited help for adults, as when it comes to coping strategies and therapies, it mainly talks about children. It may be helpful if my future kids are Aspies.

Moreover, in spite of Dr. Attwood's emphasis that Asperger's is not
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
A very interesting, complex, detailed guide for anyone affected by Asperger's Syndrome. There are chapters on What is Asperger's Syndrome?; The Diagnosis; Social Understanding and Friendship; Teasing and Bullying; Theory of Mind; The Understanding and Expression of Emotions; Special Interests, etc. etc. There is information regarding both children and adults.

There are many tips, tricks and strategies detailed. Best of all there is a chapter at the end containing Frequently Asked Questions.

The b
Doan Huong
Jun 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: autism
There are some books that can change your life forever. "The complete guide to Asperger's syndrome" is one of those books.

It is not until I graduated college that I've discovered the concept of Asperger's syndrome. Almost every detail in the book describe my life precisely including my school life, social life, college life, and problems at work.

The book is like the Bible for people with Asperger's syndrome and those who want to learn more about the issue.

So far, I haven't personally know any
Feb 24, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: mental-illness
The title is a bit misleading because it is not the "complete" guide to Asperger's. The main focus of the book is on children and is geared more for parents that have children with Asperger's. There is one good chapter ( Ch. 13) on Long-term relationships about how being married to an Aspie is difficult. I appreciate the discussion on why strong willed women are often initially attracted to an Apsie man and then why the relationship is hard. It is not possible to be "partners" in an Aspie marria ...more
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Tony Attwood is an English psychologist who lives in Queensland, Australia and is an author of several books on Asperger's Syndrome. He received an honours degree in psychology from the University of Hull, an M.A. in clinical psychology from the University of Surrey, and a Ph.D. from University College London under Uta Frith. His book, Asperger's Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals, pr ...more

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