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The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  3,038 ratings  ·  182 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.
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 (“
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 ...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
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'ssyndrome, teachers, educators, medical and psychologicalprofessionals, criminal justice and law enforcement personnel, and people simply ...more
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 ...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,
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
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
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.
Lauren (
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
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 ...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
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.
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
Jun 14, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: autism
The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome is a comprehensive guide to this diagnosis written for parents, teachers, and clinicians. I fit none of these categories although I'm hoping to work in a college disability support office. In this role, I expect to work with students with Asperger's syndrome. Reading this guide book has given me much to consider.

Attwood does a good job of explaining each characteristic of the syndrome in language that is understandable to all audiences for whom this book
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
Jul 29, 2014 rated it liked it
I didn't find it as helpful as I'd hoped as it was vague in places I would have liked more detail. Also, I'm pretty sure Asperger's is not so much as "disorder" as it is a "difference;" it's only a "disability" because the world was set up by neurotypical people rather than Aspies. It would have helped to explain that more. Also, would would have made this book more complete would have been to get more in-depth of commonly co-occurring morbidities, such as depression and anxiety, rather than ...more
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.
Jun 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is an excellent resource for anyone who knows or works with a child or adult with Asperger's Syndrome. Very straight forward, and the author is not judgemental of people with this difference. Just tells it like it is. I recommend for Aspies themselves, their parents and family, and teachers who work with Asperger children.
Neisha Cedeno
Jun 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing book on a subject very close to my heart. I feel that if there is any book out there that covers this subject thoroughly, it is this book by Tony Attwood. I find my son in almost all of the pages in this book. This is definitely a recommended read for anyone who has had a recent diagnosis. It is very informative and quite positive.
May 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The most helpful and definitive of treatments. Well worth the investment and the time.
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
more aptly titled "asperger's syndrome: a teacher's guide". over half of the content pertains specifically to the raising of children and recommendations for school systems.
Sarah Jarvis
Jan 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
It was very thorough, covered all the bases (hard to do for a spectrum), entertaining, easy read even though it was really long.
John Braine
Jun 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: anna
After years of various misdiagnosis, my 9 year old daughter was recently diagnosed with Asperger's. So I went straight for a book. This came at the top of my search but was also top of the reading list that came with the diagnosis.

Unfortunately, reading this caused even more confusion and doubt as I read through. It was a bit of a rollercoaster read. Oh - she definitely has AS. Oh, no! she doesn't. She just doesn't have a lot of the key pieces; None of the social issues. No problems with Theory
Lambda Moses
Mar 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
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.

Apr 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
I found this book to be a useful guide to understanding people with Asperger’s syndrome. The book is more of a handbook than a book to read from cover to cover. Most people could benefit from reviewing the table of contents and reading only the relevant chapters.

This guide is likely more useful to parents and teachers of children with Asperger’s syndrome, as it devotes significant time to this area. In addition, the book seems to focus more on boys or men with Asperger’s syndrome. The author
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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, ...more
“Universities are renowned for their tolerance of unusual characters, especially if they show originality and dedication to their research. I have often made the comment that not only are universities a 'cathedral' for worship of knowledge, they are also 'sheltered workshops' for the socially challenged.” 19 likes
“It seemed that other people’s “normality” was the road to my insanity” 5 likes
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