Autism Wiki

A Parent's Guide to Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism is a handbook for parents of children with Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism. It has been authored by Sally Ozonoff, Geraldine Dawson and James McPartland. Sally has a Ph.D and is a Professor in Psychiatric and Behavioural Sciences as well as a licensed clinical psychologist in the health faculty of the Davis campus of the University of California.[1]. Geraldine is a Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University.[2] James also has a Ph.D and is an Associate Professor of Child Psychiatry and Psychology at the Yale Child Study Center as well as a licensed child psychologist and Director of the Yale Developmental Disabilities Clinic.[3]


The first four chapters are about the technical aspects of diagnosising high functioning Autism including the process of making the diagnosis and follow up options. They are relatively short as they serve merely as an introduction. Well versed parents may wish to skip them and go straight to the main part of the book. For those who new to Autism and seek information about the process of diagnosis, these chapters do a good job summarising and introducting the background.[4]

The majority of the book looks at methods in which the challenges faced by Autistics as well as their parents, carers and peers, can be met. It refers to common situations and challenges encountered at home and at school. Social issues are examined and ways to compensate for these are suggested. The requirements of adult Autistics are also looked at and their needs, such as the transition from school to work, are also covered. The needs of adults on the Autistic spectrum are often overlooked in mental health literature and mostly covered by the social sciences. The fact that high functioning Autism remains a challenge in adulthood is acknowledged.[5]

The authors guide parents towards the use the strengths of Autistics, rather than emphasizing their deficits and handicaps, as well as helping them to recognize their own strengths and resiliency.[6]


  • Temple Grandin; "I really like how this book emphasizes building on the talents and strengths of a person with high-functioning autism or Asperger syndrome. It contains many useful case histories and combines both scientific and practical information for parents, teachers, and other professionals."[7]
  • Ami Klin; "This is the most comprehensive and practical resource available on raising a child with Asperger syndrome or high-functioning autism. Parents, who are typically baffled by the confusing information given to them on the topic, now have the guidance they need to maximize their child's potential while celebrating their child's uniqueness. Written in a clear and lucid style, the book is rich in real-life examples and concrete plans of action. It will empower any parent to become an effective and savvy advocate, and to help their child live a more successful and fulfilling life."[8]
  • Mary; "Very informative and helpful. I need to buy it, as I'm sure I'll want to turn to it again and again. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone dealing with a child with high-functioning autism/ apserger's (used interchangeably). In my opinion it's not just good for parents, but good for educators as well."[9]
  • Robyn; "Informative, helpful, reassuring. I would not hesitate to recommend it to a parent or proffesional working with AS/HFA kids.It helps you to understand what AS/HFA is, why your child does what s/he does, and most importantly how to work with your child, teachers, and others to ensure continual progress."[10]