A Primer for Parents and Professionals
In his introduction, Richard Bromfield encapsulates the essence of complexity that is Asperger’s syndrome. This lets us know, as parents, that we can trust his advice. His words set the tone and flavor of his approach when he writes:-
‘These children frequently smash through the glass ceilings that authoritative professionals have predicted for them.’
I enjoyed this discrete paradigm: the child, parent and teacher. Although Richard acknowledges the impact of the deluge of other influences from therapists to peers, he restricts his remit to a manageable 170 pages.
To me, the choice of title seems a curious one–why would anyone NOT embrace Asperger’s? Certainly, over the years I have met a great many children with Asperger’s syndrome as well as their parents. As often as not, these parents are forthcoming about their children’s diagnoses, strong advocates, who are proud of their children’s achievements, talents and gifts. Most of these children are mainstreamed although I would hazard a guess that this is primarily because these is no suitable alternative program. There is no good fit available. And that is the unwritten secret of this book, which also accounts, in part, for Bromfield’s patient and compassionate approach.
Most teachers have a heavy workload, more so, in the current economic climate. Class sizes grow. Resources shrink. And then, teachers are expected to expand their skill set to accommodate and teach a wide spectrum, one or more quirky kids, some with learning difficulties, ADHD and maybe Asperger’s.
Teaching is a vocation, a fact reflected in their salaries. They want the best for their students, all of them, but some are more difficult to engage and motivate. This is where Bromfield steps in to demonstrate how teachers can intervene to promote successful learners.
There are so many useful bullet points here, one-liners that once grasped could make all the difference in a child’s life:-
– Don’t take it personally
– Assume anxiety exists
– Model acceptance
– Do not turn away from depression
But I won’t give too much away.
Bromfield’s hands-on experience shines throughout this book; his insight is sure to prove invaluable to many readers.
I do have one criticism, something easily amended on the next printing:- give me an index! [please]