"Asperger's From the Inside Out" by Michael John Carley, a Review
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
"Asperger's From the Inside Out" is written primarily for those who have been diagnosed, or self--diagnosed, with Asperger's Syndrome (AS). Michael John Carley is the Executive Director of The Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership (GRASP), and himself was diagnosed with AS at age 36.
Because "Asperger's From the Inside Out" was written by someone with AS and for those with AS, it is very much a "you're not alone; you're not the only one who has struggled with this or that" kind of book. This is its primary strength. Not only does Carley define what AS is, but he also works through the emotional shock that may come from being diagnosed with AS. The author guides the reader through subjects such as lived-out peculiarities of those with AS, relationships, sex, employment, education, childhood, and when-if-and-how to disclose the diagnosis to others in your life.
One important aspect that Carley covers is coming to let go of resentment for things that happened, and didn't happen, before diagnosis. As he works through his own story, the author describes how parents, teachers, and fellow classmates often mistreat, misjudge and misunderstand someone with AS before diagnosis because of their otherness and oddness. The author explains the "other side" and why the misunderstandings were often understandable, and how at times the person with AS may have exacerbated the problems by their own frustrations and actions. His conclusion is for the person living with AS to let the troublesome past go, and if they can't let it go to approach the family members with an apology for their own actions. He also recommends that there may well be the need for parents to ask their children's forgiveness for their own misapplied pressures and misjudgments, now that a diagnosis has been given.
The book is rather choppy in its composition for the first quarter. Not only are there annoying shifts of topic from paragraph to paragraph, with very little transition, sometimes those topical shifts happen within paragraphs. It's somewhere in the middle of Chapter Three that the writing becomes smoother. On a personal level, there's another weakness in the book: the sexual ethics discussed are looser than I am comfortable with.
"Asperger's From the Inside Out" has very helpful information about Asperger's Syndrome. Not only would it be a helpful resource for those diagnosed with AS, but it would be a valuable work for those who love someone with AS. I recommend the book.
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