Child & Adolescent Development: Overview
Resources
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest NewsQuestions and AnswersLinksBook Reviews
100 Things Guys Need to Know3 NBS of Julian DrewA Guide to Asperger SyndromeA Tribe ApartA User Guide to the GF/CF Diet for Autism, Asperger Syndrome and AD/HDA Walk in the Rain With a BrainAdolescent DepressionAfterAggression and Antisocial Behavior in Children and AdolescentsAll Alone in the UniverseAmelia RulesAmericaAnother PlanetAntisocial Behavior in Children and AdolescentsArtemis FowlAssessment and Treatment of Childhood Problems, Second EditionAutistic Spectrum DisordersBad GirlBetween Two WorldsBeyond AppearanceBeyond Diversity DayBig Mouth & Ugly GirlBill HensonBipolar DisordersBody Image, Eating Disorders, and ObesityBody Image, Eating Disorders, and Obesity in YouthBoyBoysBrandedBreaking PointBreathing UnderwaterBringing Up ParentsBullying and TeasingCan't Eat, Won't EatCatalystChild and Adolescent Psychological DisordersChildren Changed by TraumaChildren with Emerald EyesChildren’s Dreaming and the Development of Consciousness City of OneConcise Guide to Child and Adolescent PsychiatryConquering the Beast WithinContentious IssuesCrackedCutDancing in My NuddypantsDemystifying the Autistic ExperienceDescartes' BabyDilemmas of DesireDirtyDoing ItDoing SchoolDying to Be ThinEating an ArtichokeEducating Children With AutismElijah's CupEllison the ElephantEmerald City BluesEmotional and Behavioral Problems of Young ChildrenEvery Girl Tells a StoryFast GirlsFeather BoyFiregirlForever YoungFreaks, Geeks and Asperger SyndromeFreewillGeography ClubGeorgia Under WaterGirl in the MirrorGirlfightingGirlsourceGirlWiseGLBTQGood GirlsGoodbye RuneGranny Torrelli Makes SoupGrowing Up GirlHandbook for BoysHealing ADDHeartbeatHelping Children Cope With Disasters and TerrorismHelping Parents, Youth, and Teachers Understand Medications for Behavioral and Emotional ProblemsHollow KidsHow Children Learn the Meanings of WordsHow to Keep Your Teenager Out of Trouble and What to Do If You Can'tHug MeIntrusive ParentingIt's Me!It's Perfectly NormalJake RileyJoey Pigza Swallowed the KeyJuvenile-Onset SchizophreniaKeeping the MoonKilling MonstersKim: Empty InsideKnocked Out by My Nunga-NungasLaura Numeroff's 10-Step Guide to Living with Your MonsterLearning About School ViolenceLeo the Lightning BugLet Kids Be KidsLiberation's ChildrenLife As We Know ItLisa, Bright and DarkLittle ChicagoLord of the FliesLoserLove and SexLove That DogManicMastering Anger and AggressionMind FieldsMiss American PieMom, Dad, I'm Gay.MonsterMore Than a LabelMyths of ChildhoodNew Hope for Children and Teens with Bipolar DisorderNo Two AlikeNot Much Just Chillin'Odd Girl OutOdd Girl Speaks OutOf Mice and MetaphorsOn the Frontier of AdulthoodOne Hot SecondOne in ThirteenOphelia SpeaksOphelia's MomOur Journey Through High Functioning Autism and Asperger SyndromeOut of the DustOvercoming School AnxietyParenting and the Child's WorldParenting Your Out-Of-Control TeenagerPediatric PsychopharmacologyPeriod PiecesPhobic and Anxiety Disorders in Children and AdolescentsPINSPraising Boys WellPraising Girls WellPretty in PunkPrincess in the SpotlightProblem Child or Quirky Kid?Psychotherapy As PraxisPsychotherapy for Children and AdolescentsRaising a Self-StarterRaising BlazeRaising Resilient ChildrenReclaiming Our ChildrenRedressing the EmperorReducing Adolescent RiskRethinking ADHDReweaving the Autistic TapestryRineke DijkstraRitalin is Not the Answer Action GuideRunning on RitalinSay YesSexual Teens, Sexual MediaShooterShort PeopleShould I Medicate My Child?Skin GameSmackSmashedStaying Connected to Your TeenagerStick FigureStoner & SpazStop Arguing with Your KidsStraight Talk about Your Child's Mental HealthStrong, Smart, & BoldStudent DepressionSurvival Strategies for Parenting Children with Bipolar DisorderSurviving OpheliaTaking Charge of ADHD, Revised EditionTaming the Troublesome ChildTargeting AutismTeaching Problems and the Problems of TeachingTeen Angst? NaaahThat SummerThe American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook Of Child And Adolescent PsychiatryThe Arctic IncidentThe Bipolar ChildThe Buffalo TreeThe Bully, the Bullied, and the BystanderThe Carnivorous CarnivalThe Depressed ChildThe Developing MindThe Dragons of AutismThe Dream BearerThe Dulcimer Boy The Einstein SyndromeThe EpidemicThe Eternity CubeThe Explosive ChildThe Field of the DogsThe First IdeaThe Identity TrapThe Inside Story on Teen GirlsThe Little TernThe Mean Girl MotiveThe Men They Will BecomeThe Myth of LazinessThe New Gay TeenagerThe Notebook GirlsThe Nurture AssumptionThe Opposite of InvisibleThe Order of the Poison OakThe Other ParentThe Present Moment in Psychotherapy and Everyday LifeThe Real Truth About Teens and SexThe Rise and Fall of the American TeenagerThe Secret Lives of GirlsThe Sex Lives of TeenagersThe Shared HeartThe Spider and the BeeThe StepsThe Thought that CountsThe Unhappy ChildThe Vile VillageThe Whole ChildThen Again, Maybe I Won'tTherapy with ChildrenThings I Have to Tell YouTouching Spirit BearTrauma in the Lives of ChildrenTreacherous LoveTrue BelieverTwistedUnhappy TeenagersWay to Be!We're Not MonstersWhat about the KidsWhat Would Joey Do?What's Happening to My Body? Book for BoysWhat's Happening to My Body? Book for GirlsWhen Nothing Matters AnymoreWhen Sex Goes to SchoolWhen Your Child Has an Eating DisorderWhere The Kissing Never StopsWhose America?Why Are You So Sad?WinnicottWorried All the TimeYes, Your Teen Is Crazy!You Hear MeYoung People and Mental HealthYour Child, Bully or Victim?
Related Topics

ADHD: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Childhood Mental Disorders and Illnesses
Parenting
Child Development and Parenting: Infants
Child Development and Parenting: Early Childhood

by Christopher Gillberg
Cambridge University Press, 2002
Review by Lynda Geller,Ph.D. on Oct 6th 2004

A Guide to Asperger Syndrome

With the incredible proliferation of books about Asperger Syndrome, it is gratifying to read one that is written by a well respected researcher in the field, yet is quite approachable in its style to a variety of readers.  While the book would not be considered to be popular press, it is written clearly and concisely.  Dr. Gillberg, himself, states that he intends this book for families and clinicians who are encountering a plethora of newspaper and magazine articles about the disorder that seldom allude to important research bases.

The chapters are organized to lay out critical information, review areas of important discussion in the field, and summarize the important points in an understandable format.  Each chapter includes a number of references so that readers may search out primary sources of information, but not at the overly inclusive level one might find in a journal article.  Thus, one feels generally informed and able to pursue additional supporting information, without experiencing the cluttered style of typical journal writing.  Some of the chapters might be hard going for parents, such as “Cognitive neuropsychology,” but the concluding remarks at the end of each chapter summarize the salient points in a useful way.  Other chapters, such as “Attitudes, interventions, and treatment” are useful guides in their entirety for parents seeking to understand basic mental health and educational interventions.

For clinicians, this book is a well conceived review of current issues.  It has more detail in its presentation of evolving issues than the well known Asperger’s Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals by Tony Attwood, the milestone book that made the disorder understandable to the general reader.  The differences are due partially to the burst of research in the four years between the publications of the two books and partially to the orientations of the authors, Attwood being an experienced clinician and Gillberg having an extensive research career.  One hopes that readers of the first guide will read this guide for the latest information and to gain an understanding of the many controversial issues in the field today.

After reading the chapters about symptoms, diagnosis, underlying developmental issues, comorbidity, and treatments, Gillberg changes gear with a chapter about famous geniuses and one including case vignettes and interpretations.  The case vignettes include descriptions of individuals from young childhood to mature adult and comments about how their various presentations represent Asperger Syndrome in all its variability across severity and development.  These two chapters humanize the face of what Gillberg has been so aptly, but clinically describing and give an appreciation of the great inconsistencies in manifestation of the syndrome. 

The Appendix includes the ASDI (Asperger Syndrome Diagnostic Interview), the ASSQ (The High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Screening Questionnaire,) and the ASDASQ (Autism Spectrum Disorders In Adults Screening Questionnaire.)  These instruments may be particularly helpful to the general clinician as a guideline in assessing a patient or to an individual or family wondering if they should be seeking a specialized diagnosis.

Clinicians reading this book will discover it to be somewhat European in its content, with discussions of such disorders as DAMP (Deficits in Attention, Motor Control, and Perception) which is not commonly utilized in the United States and allusions to health and educational systems as they occur in Europe.  Those seeking more detailed descriptions of therapeutic approaches to help children and adults with Asperger syndrome will find them only briefly summarized and will need to look elsewhere for more specific guidelines to treatment.

In summary, A Guide to Asperger Syndrome is a well written source of basic research and clinical information presented at a level generally accessible to a variety of clinicians and interested readers.  Its references provide an excellent listing of many of the important books and papers in the field that offers a helpful foundation to those interested in expanding their knowledge through a more detailed exploration of primary source material.

 

© 2004 Lynda Geller

 

Lynda Geller, Ph.D., Executive Director, Asperger Foundation International, 501 Madison Avenue, New York, New York 10022