Reviewed by Paul Horan


This is a well-written and accessible volume. The author and illustrator achieve a pleasant balance with the use of simple language and a range of everyday images. As a parent of a child with Asperger’s Syndrome (AS), I think that this book is a useful tool for other siblings, classmates and other members of the family—the text is specifically targeted at children aged 7 to 15 years of age. In some ways other siblings and cousins are forgotten in the everyday experience of AS. From my own parental and professional experience, siblings and other extended family members are very much affected by the Asperger’s family dynamic, and this book goes a long way to include them in the explanation of the condition.

The book is divided into a number of two-page segments dealing with different aspects of the condition. Many of the issues addressed ring true to life—the author addresses the issues of dealing with loud noises, special-interest talents and difficulties. The book addresses the problems people with the condition have in dealing with change and the need for others to understand the special challenges they experience when working in groups.

The book closes with a section on ‘how teachers can help’, which is useful for professionals, family and friends alike, in trying to develop strategies to help a person with AS achieve their full potential. This is an excellent resource for anybody who may come into contact with AS and I believe parents of children with this condition should be guided to this volume before seeking answers on the internet or elsewhere. The book includes a catalogue of resources detailing further reading, websites and organisations that may be of help in learning to live with AS. This book makes an ideal companion to Jude Welton and Jane Telford’s What did you say? What do you mean? An illustrated guide to understanding metaphors.

CAN I TELL YOU ABOUT ASPERGER’S SYNDROME? A guide for family and friends, by J. Welton (illustrated by Telford, J.) (2005). Jessica Kingsley Publishers, London. ISBN 1.84310-206.4.