With about one percent of the population fitting somewhere on the autistic spectrum, accurate insight into this condition is welcome.
Muggleton, in his debut, is particularly well-suited to comment on Asperger syndrome, since he was diagnosed with it at age 15 and is studying to be a psychologist. In concise, logically arranged chapters, he provides a brief history of autistic spectrum disorders and then offers experience-based insight into a number of aspects of AS, including ritual behaviors, problems making friends and dealing with difficult social situations, increased sensitivity to sensory input, bullying, dealing with changes in normal routine, etc. While many of his comments about schooling are Britain-centric, American audiences will, nonetheless, find this a useful work. The combination of personal experience and helpful, research-based suggestions is especially welcome. Particularly poignant and thought provoking is his description of his grade-school ritual of pacing athletic-field marking lines, with his parka zipped up and hood raised—in all weather—just to find relief from stressful recess problems and bullying, a behavior that made good sense to him given the situation but must have seemed highly dysfunctional to anyone watching.
Although mostly intended for parents, many teens will also find this to be a very enlightening, often optimistic work on a challenging topic. (foreword by Tony Atwood, not seen) (Nonfiction. 12 & up)