Inside Asperger’s Looking Out – Kathy Hoopmann
A book written by a teacher based on her experience working with students with Aspergers Syndrome. Hoopmann has chosen various pictures of animals to illustrate the points and descriptions she makes about Aspergers.
I have to be honest – the photos of the animals make the book a lot less accessible for me. I think it might be a specific to me thing (or rather, specific to my autism thing) but I have a really hard time seeing the correlation between a lot of the text and the photos of animals.
If you can get past that, or that doesn’t bother you the way it does me, then the book is really good – either as a way of introducing a child to the fact they are autistic or non-autistic children to autism. It has a positive message without sugar coating the difficulties – particularly the difficulties with sensory processing. Knowing that other people don’t experience senses the same way I do was something I only learnt about four years ago, before that I just thought everyone else was really stoic or had developed better coping mechanisms than me. The strong focus on sensory processing is really good in this book.
As for touch, why, oh why, are we made to wear things that strangle and scratch?
It doesn’t seem fair that we have to be uncomfortable all day just to make others happy.
The book also explains meltdowns in an accessible way, something that isn’t usually labelled or addressed in books for children. Then moves on to the difficulties in social and communication, and again it explains in a very straight forward and accessible manner about different aspects that might cause difficulties with learning social rules or with interacting.
Then it moves onto things that would fall into the category of repetitive or restrictive behaviours or thoughts, and explains why they happen through a handful of common examples, before finishing with a wish that people could be more accepting and more understanding.
Is it worth reading?
It’s a great book, and versatile in that it could be helpful for both autistic and non-autistic children. Another book to go in the classroom book box. One thing, if you are going to use this to help an autistic child understand their autism better, you might find that they have the same issue I do with just “not getting” the animal photos.
Value for money?
RRP is £10, which seems to be the standard for children’s autism books. This one is quite strong in that it could be used by all the children in a family to understand autism, and to be fair you could show it to older relatives as well. Definitely value for money in a classroom.