Asperger's syndrome

April Is Autism Acceptance Month

Autism is a neurological disorder that is diagnosed in an estimated one in 88 children every year, usually within the first three years of life. Depending on the degree of affectedness, the children may or may not be able to communicate readily or form meaningful relationships with others. Children and adults with autism may be able to function independently in later life, or they may always require a strong support system. In April 2002, a Congressional hearing declared autism to be a national health emergency, and as awareness has grown, so have diagnosis rates.

Support and understanding for families with autistic children has also increased tremendously in the past decade. A local group, the Autism Society of Northern Virginia, has decided to embrace their children's differences and have dubbed April as Autism Acceptance Month.  A very active group, they are hosting the Autism Acceptance Walk, a fundraiser with a sensory-friendly carnival which will be held from 1-4 pm on Sunday, April 28, 2013, at the Fredericksburg Fairgrounds. 

A Change in Classification

The behavior of some autistic children may seem strange to those who are unfamiliar with it: repetitive motions, an inability to tolerate change or to tolerate a great deal of stimulation of the senses. For many years an official diagnosis of autism was separate from one of Aspergers or PDD-NOS, but that has changed with the issuing of the latest edition of the DSM-V (the DSM is the manual used by clinicians and researchers to diagnose and classify mental disorders) due out in May of 2013. According to an article on the Autism Research Institute's Web site:

London Eye Mystery

Siobhan Dowd

Ted and Kat watched their cousin Salim board the London Eye. But after half an hour it landed and everyone trooped off–except Salim. Where could he have gone? How on earth could he have disappeared into thin air? Ted and his older sister, Kat, become sleuthing partners, since the police are having no luck. Despite their prickly relationship, they overcome their differences to follow a trail of clues across London in a desperate bid to find their cousin. And ultimately it comes down to Ted, whose brain works in its own very unique way, to find the key to the mystery.

Middle School

The Love-Shy Survival Guide

By Talmer Shockley

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"Shockley, a high-tech research technician diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, presents an intriguing work designed to help readers with great anxiety in starting a romantic relationship (what he calls 'love-shyness'). First defined in Brian G. Gilmartin's Shyness and Love: Causes, Consequences, and Treatment (1987), the label (not yet an official diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV) describes people who, because of psychological problems, cannot have romantic relationships.

"For these individuals, any romantic or prospective romantic situation induces such a high level of anxiety that almost any dating and sexual relationship proves impossible. Shockley summarizes relatively recent research on love-shyness, explains its link with Asperger's, and discusses how love-shyness differs from normal shyness. In addition, for both male and female sufferers of the syndrome, he provides candid advice on how to survive the jungle of relationships and make dating an enjoyable experience.... ."
--Dale Farris, Groves, TX (Library Journal)

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House Rules

By Jodi Picoult

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A teenager with Asperger's syndrome--smart, quirky, with a passion for crime scene analysis--winds up on trial for murder. (Catalog summary)
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By Kathryn Erskine

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Ten-year-old Caitlin, who has Asperger's Syndrome, struggles to understand emotions, show empathy, and make friends at school, while at home she seeks closure by working on a project with her father.

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