James Williams is an SP or special person - he was diagnosed with autism during early childhood. His mother, Joan Matthews, is an NP or normal person. As James grew up, his different perception of the world and the lack of understanding from NPs created problems. Together, he and his mother met the challenges with ingenuity and humour. One day, while taking a walk, James and Joan decided to write a book of their practical solutions. The Self-Help Guide for Special Kids is that book.
Covering everything from eye sensitivity, to knowing how far away to stand from other people, to being polite when someone is crying, James and Joan's book describes the problems that an SP may face, and the solutions which they have found to work successfully. Pervaded by their caustic humour and common sense, The Self-Help Guide for Special Kids will be invaluable to other SPs and their families both as a source of advice and a fresh and witty account of how it feels to be an SP.
Joan Matthews is the mother of James Williams, and the author of five romance novels. James, aged 11, is now a fully mainstreamed fifth-grader without special support services. He wants to be a writer and to help other people with autism when he grows up. Joan and James live in Northbrook, Illinois.
(*denotes a chapter by James Williams). Preface to the Revised Edition. A Disclaimer by Joan. Abbreviations. 1. Saying Hello. 2. Noise Sensitivity. 3. Eye Contact. 4. Recognizing Faces. 5. Eye Sensitivity. 6. Eye Teaming. 7. Touch Sensitivity. 8. Shaking or Holding Hands. 9. Change. 10. Nose Sensitivity. 11. Food Sensitivity. 12. Food Allergies*. 13. Chewing and Swallowing. 14. Hating Water*. 15. Toilet Training. 16. Going to the Bathroom. 17. Breathing Problems*. 18. Teeth Problems*. 19. Space Problems. 20. Knowing How Far Away to Stand from Other People. 21. The Inner Ear. 22. Balance Problems*. 23. Auditory Processing Delays. 24. Having an Urge to Quote. 25. The Music Playing in Your Head. 26. Special Occasions. 27. Being Polite When Someone is Crying. 28. Being Obsessed with the Alphabet. 29. Being Obsessed with Time. 30. Being Obsessed with Music*. 31. Being Obsessed with Numbers*. 32. Being Obsessed with Perfection*. 33. Left vs. Right Hemisphere Processing*. 34. Thinking Styles. 35. Stress*. 36. Behavior Problems*. 37. Discipline. 38. Anger. 39. Going to School. 40. Teasing. 41. Verbal Confusion. 42. Understanding Other People. 43. The Rules of Language. 44. Literal Language. 45. Telling Lies and Keeping Secrets. 46. Using Your Voice Politely*. 47. Mouth Control. 48. Tuning Out. 49. Playing Frozen. 50. Cocooning. 51. Exercise. 52. Pain Problems. 53. Foot Problems. 54. Stomachaches*. 55. Headaches. 56. Neck Problems*. 57. Back Problems*. 58. The Chiropractor. 59. Aiming Problems. 60. Waiting Problems. 61. Connecting with Other People. 62. Saying the Opposite*. 63. Things Mothers Do to Their SPs*. 64. NPs and SPs Together. Part I*. 65. Interrupting Other People*. 66. Being Polite*. 67. Trusting Other People*. 68. Disagreeing with Other People*. 69. Carelessness*. 70. Being Lonely and Making Friends. 71. Loving Other People. 72. Understanding Feelings. 73. Cooperation. 74. Being Flexible. 75. Making Good Decisions. 76. Freedom of Choice. 77. Cleaning Up. 78. Future Judgment*. 79. Needing Other People. 80. Mine and Yours*. 81. Doing Things Other People Want You to Do*. 82. NPs and SPs Together. Part II. 83. Reciprocity*. 84. Saying Goodbye. Conclusion: The Final Frontier*. Appendix 1. Getting Better. Appendix 2. The Self-Help Guide to Teaching Language. Appendix 3. The Self-Help Guide to Teaching Social Skills. Appendix 4. The Self-Help Guide for Successful Teaching. Appendix 5. SPs in the New Millennium. Index.