After my TEDx talk, I've received quite a few emails from people who have a loved one with Asperger's (or who are themselves Aspies.) While Improve Your Social Skills is a resource for everyone, regardless of diagnosis, I wanted to collect a few of my favorite resources that related specifically to Asperger's.
Improve Your Social Skills
Ok, I wrote this so I guess I'm a little biased. But I think it's a pretty excellent guide.
There are 200+ pages of social skills advice, covering everything from conversation to body language to making friends. My goal when writing it was to give practical, step-by-step explanations for the most important concepts in social interaction.
It has all of the techniques that I used to achieve my own personal social success, and I hope it can help you too!
All Cats Have Asperger's
Ok, I'll admit it. Part of the reason I'm recommending this book is because it's full of adorable cat pictures, and like the entire internet, I love cats.
But mostly, I recommend this book because it's an endearing, simple to read, and it presents Asperger's in a light that is sympathetic and accurate. It's aimed towards kids, but it's useful for anyone who wants to introduce Asperger's to someone else in just a few minutes, or for newly diagnosed patients who want a positive message about their diagnosis.
Look Me In The Eye: My Life With Asperger's
This was one of the first books on Asperger's that I ever read, and it still occupies a prominent place on my bookshelf. I don't identify completely with the author's experiences of Asperger's, but there were several spots where I found myself nodding along.
If you're newly diagnosed and want to read about someone else who has shared your experiences, or if you want to better understand the mindset of someone with Asperger's, this is a solid read.
The Journal of Best Practices
The Journal of Best practices is one part guidebook and two parts memoir. The author, David Finch, discovered his Asperger's diagnosis as an adult, and quickly set to work learning how to overcome his Aspie quirks and challenges so he could be a better husband and father. It's an enjoyable read, and it also has good insights for other folks with Asperger's looking to improve their skills. I definitely recommend it.
The Speed Of Dark
This is a novel but it might as well be a memoir.
The Speed Of Dark is a lovingly crafted exploration of what it means to be autistic. It works both as an engrossing story and as an insightful look into autistic identity. The autistic hero of the novel struggles with the balance between being accepted by others and being himself, and both his autism and his humanity are portrayed in a way that is realistic and warm.
The author is better known for her fantasy and sci-fi novels, but The Speed Of Dark is a brilliant deviation from her normal genres. Highly recommended.
To The Moon
To The Moon is a work of art.
It's poignant, it's beautiful, it's human. It will make you cry. It will make you stay up all night to finish it in one sitting. I know this because that's what it did to me.
I can't tell you what makes this game so beautiful without ruining it for you, so just play it. If you're not really a "gamer" don't worry -- it's more of an interactive story that anything else. Since it's appearing in the Asperger's page I'll admit that yes, Asperger's does make an appearance in the game. But beyond that, you're on your own. Just play this game. You owe it to yourself.
Arthur Explains Asperger's
If you ever doubted that Arthur was a phenomenal show, doubt no more. If you need to explain Asperger's to someone, sit them down and press play.
I'm not even going to explain this. Just watch it 🙂
(And yes, it's a parody)