I am Special is a workbook developed by Peter Vermeulen and already used extensively with young people with autism spectrum disorder. The workbook is designed for a child to work through with an adult - parent, teacher or other professional. Unlike other books, its content and layout are devised especially for children who read, think and process information differently.
I am Special is divided into two parts. The first is a theoretical introduction that explains how to inform children that they have autism or Asperger Syndrome and how to use the worksheets with groups or individuals. The second part consists of a series of worksheets which the child works through with an adult to create a unique and personal book about him or herself. It includes a series of exercises that present autism positively. They strike a balance between general facts, information about autism and personal information, covering the strengths an autistic person may have as well as the difficulties they may face.
I am Special can be used with young people over the age of ten years. Not only is it an excellent source of information for the autistic child; it can be the first step in a process of counselling or psychotherapy or the springboard for a discussion group on autism.
Peter Vermeulen trained as a counsellor and educationalist and has worked for many years with autistic children. At present he is Autism Consultant and Lecturer at Vlaamse Dienst Autisme, where he edits a bi-monthly magazine Autisme, and a freelance lecturer and trainer. He also works freelance at the Department of Psychology and Pedagogical Sciences and the Department of Sociology at the University of Leuven. He has published extensively on autism.
1. Introduction. 2. Introducing autism. 3. Working with `I am Special'. 4. Manual for the worksheets. 5. Worksheets. 6. Appendices. References. Index.