This autism/Asperger Syndrome(a/AS) includes a variety of things which is quite helpful to know the details of a/AS. Although the book doesn't have many pages, it sure provides us with many facts based on histories, neurodevelopments, diagnosis, Theory of Mind(ToM), and of course, the difference and similarities between classic autism(CA) and Asperger's.
The author indicated in the 1st chapter that those with CA have obvious speech delay and lower IQ's, which looks apparent to the neurotypicals(NT's),while those with AS don't have speech delay, but do have average or even higher IQ's than NT's. In this way those with AS seem normal because they talk as if they did almost the same as NT's. However, the trouble is people with AS have a lot of difficulties to catch social words. One of the problem is that both of them need ToM, which means the ability to understand or predict other people's feelings by non-verbal signals as well as words. Another thing I think perplexes NT's is lack of understanding figurative meanings and pragmatics. For example, most AS people may get confused if others use idioms like "Stop beating around the bush!" I suppose idioms and figurative expressions exist because most of them originated from social or historical backgrounds. I would say AS people miss this point and that's why they can't interact with other people.
I can see the similarities, too; both with CA and AS tend to stick to repetitions or the same, but they get agitated when things change out of the blue. For instance, I love listening to the same songs a whole bunch of times and it never bores me at all. On the other hand, some of my friends label this eccentric. They may want to say, "Don't you wanna try something different?", that's why. And weak central coherence is one of the things that bothers both with a/AS.They pay very close attention to tiny, tiny details and can't see the whole point. When I was in vocational school where I dealt with electricity, I was slower at getting things done than most people. I was so distressed that I tried to catch up with them, forgetting the purpose of learning. "I'm never gonna drop out" - That was all I had in mind. In short, I must have forgotten accuracy outweighed faster achievement. In retrospect, I couldn't see the forest for the trees, which showed explicitly I needed central coherence and still I do. I might have noticed this if I had been diagnosed with AS then.
I was amazed at The Extreme Male Brain Theory in Chapter 5. According to the author, a/AS people have extreme masculine brain function, and I guess it makes sense. Most experts say there are more males with a/AS than females, and the author hit the right nail on the head. This reminded me of Allan and Barbara Peace's Bestseller, "Why Men Don't Listen and Women Can't Read Maps". They said men show fewer facial expressions than women. In this respect, people with masculine brain functioning may not be good at showing or understanding emotions well enough. Particularly, a/AS people often find it very hard to catch or predict what other people may think or feel. Of course, male NT's literally have male brain functioning systems and that's no problem. The problem is that a/AS people have extreme male brains, which can cause lack of ToM.
Anyway, I find this book useful because I'm sure it helps us get the depth of autism/Asperger's.