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Friday, January 16, 2015

"Helping Adults with Asperger's Syndrome Get & Stay Hired, by Barbara Bissonnette. A Review

Helping Adults with Asperger's Syndrome Get & Stay Hired: Career Coaching Strategies for Professionals and Parents of Adults on the Autism SpectrumHelping Adults with Asperger's Syndrome Get & Stay Hired: Career Coaching Strategies for Professionals and Parents of Adults on the Autism Spectrum by Barbara Bissonnette
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Some folk have a heavier load to bear than others. Sometimes that weight is emotional, historical or psychological. But then there are those who are encumbered with neurological differences that put them at a disadvantage. And that hardship can become more taxing and stressful when it comes to entering the workplace. One specific neurological divergence is Asperger’s Syndrome (AS), which finds itself on the Autism Spectrum. Barbara Bissonnette, a certified coach and the Principal of Forward Motion Coaching, has pulled together a fine resource for those who desire to aid others who have AS to acquire and retain employment, in her new 203 page paperback, “Helping Adults with Asperger's Syndrome Get & Stay Hired: Career Coaching Strategies for Professionals and Parents of Adults on the Autism Spectrum”. Don’t let the laborious title fool you, the book is manageable and easy to work with. Though this volume is clearly written for the professionals who work with or hire people with AS, nevertheless it is a wealth of information and insight for those who have loved ones that live with this neurological distinction.

“Helping Adults with Asperger's Syndrome Get & Stay Hired” unfolds into two sections. The first segment explains AS, showing the various complications and snags an “Aspergian” may wrestle with. The chapters cover common problems in the workplace, anxiety, anger and other emotions, and finally how AS has strengths that can be advantageous to an organization. Bissonnette has filled each chapter with an abundance of personal, illustrative accounts, mostly drawn from her clients.

The second, and larger portion, of the book is a guide for those who want to prepare people with AS as they look for, and flourish in, a job. The author escorts the coach through the techniques and technicalities that will profit someone with AS. The chapters move along from helping to decide what sort of vocation would match their particular skill-sets, on into the job-search, then the interview, afterward on how to keep that job, and finally when disclosing a person’s AS to their employer is fitting or inadvisable. Almost every chapter has worksheets, problem-solving charts, and “cheat-sheets” to be filled out. Presently many of these worksheets are downloadable at the publisher’s website*.

“Helping Adults with Asperger's Syndrome Get & Stay Hired” is user-friendly and easily comprehensible to those who are just looking into Asperger’s Syndrome. And yet the book makes a nice resource for the trained professional who has worked with Aspergians for some time. I have worked with people who have AS off and on over the years and I found this manuscript a discerning and valuable tool as I interact with them. This is a book worth obtaining!

My thanks to Jessica Kingsley Publishers Inc. and Net Galley for the free, temporary e-copy of this book used for this review.

[*For the downloadable worksheets, follow this link and scroll to the bottom of the page: http://www.jkp.com/uk/helping-adults-...]

{Feel free to reprint, repost or republish this review; but please, as always, give credity where credit is due. Mike}


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