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Martian in the Playground: Understanding the Schoolchild with Asperger's Synd [Paperback]

Clare Sainsbury
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 2 2009 1849200009 978-1849200004 2

This award winning book illuminates what it means to be a person who has Asperger?s Syndrome by providing a window into a unique and particular world. Drawing on her own experience of schooling, and that of a network of friends and correspondents who share her way of thinking and responding, Clare Sainsbury reminds us of the potential for harm which education holds for those who do not fit. This book holds insights that take us beyond the standard guidance on how to manage autistic spectrum disorder.

 

 


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'[A book] that can be easily read in a couple of sittings and one that will provide good advice for people who will interact with these children on a daily basis' - CHOICE Magazine 'This deceptively little book contains more truth and provides more insight into what it is like to have Asperger's Syndrome than many a weighty tome on the subject. It offers a view from the inside, but it is not yet another autobiography. Admirably and refreshingly, the author has refrained from giving an account solely based on her own experiences. Instead she sets out observations from 25 different suffers, giving often astonishing and sometimes harrowing glimpses of what actually happens to a child with Asperger's Syndrome in the classroom, in the playground, in the lunch queue and at home' - The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Non Partisan Playground Politician Dec 30 2005
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I take issue with the title because it suggests that people on the autism spectrum are aliens and are not a part of this world. I also don't like it because I think it is very divisive and further underscores differences rather than helping to foster acceptance and understanding. It sounds as bad as playground bullies' jeers!
Asperger's is a neurobiological condition that is on the spectrum with autism. People who are on the spectrum confront a myriad of social challenges including difficulty in decoding facial expressions; verbal expressions and nuances. The "martian" (I prefer the terms "observer," "sociologist" and "anthropologist") is used to mean one who does not fit into the social mode. Non partisan politician comes into play here because a person on the a/A (autism/Asperger's) spectrum has difficulty knowing which peers voice the party line they support.
From the a/A perspective: Imagine how terrifying it is to be around peers who hound, harass and ridicule you. Imagine being a preschooler who can read and you are the only one in your class who can. You don't know how to read your peers, however and they are more enigmatic than people say you are! You learn from babyhood to align yourself with adults because they can read and can provide you with some protection. They are less apt to ridicule you. Imagine replaying conversations and other things you have heard because a script makes sense to you; you can use it as a guideline for future reference. Imagine thinking every time you are confronted by peers, "What do I say? What do I do? What if they start to laugh at me or try to hurt me?" This is what a person on the a/A spectrum contends with on a routine daily basis.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A truly enlightening read.... June 25 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book has been a truly enlightening read for me. Learning through the eyes and remembrances of over 25 "Aspies" exactly what was a cake walk and what was a road block during their educational experiences provides a wonderful insight into the core of their individually unique programming. Of course they are all different yet they seem to share startlingly similar characteristics in relation to language skills, learning mechanisms and interpersonal relationship challenges.

If you have someone close to you with an Autism Spectrum Disorder this book will help you understand why you are occasionally frustrated trying to reach and successfully interact with them. You will often find yourself shouting "Aha" (or perhaps, "Eureka") as you are presented with the perfectly understandable reason behind a particular exhibited behaviour that has been the source of friction and disruption in your relationship.

I would strongly recommend this book if you are an educator tasked with teaching an ASD child. Ms. Sainsbury's personal insights and the collected words of 25 of her peers will surely assist you in not only improving your skills with the ASD child, but instil you with tools that could be extremely helpful in coping with the vast array of social and learning abilities presented in any class of 20 to 30 young children at different stages of development. One size does not fit all.

The big take away from this wonderful book is that there does not have to be a right or wrong outcome when faced with a seemingly intractable problem.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice Book Jan. 28 2006
By Suzie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Clare Sainsbury gives a wonderful account of what it is like to be a schoolchild with Asperger syndrome drawn from her own experience, as well as commenting about theories on the subject. This should provide valuable insight to both teachers and parents as well as being one of those 'me too' reads for other people with Asperger syndrome like myself. If you are a teacher though and you only want to read one book then this one probably shouldn't be it, simply because I don't think this book alone is enough.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Made Sense of So Much in my Asperger Life Dec 13 2004
By Christopher R. Marsh - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Bought from publisher in UK in 1999. Author addresses useful sociological theory (Theory of Mind) as well as noting, for example, that Asperger social behavior is mistaken for mental retardation, even by a doctor. Read several "a-ha" facts that made sense from my Asperger childhood life. Recommend it, sorry it is so hard to find.
7 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Non Partisan Playground Politicians Dec 30 2005
By BeatleBangs1964 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I take issue with the title because it suggests that people on the autism spectrum are aliens and are not a part of this world. I also don't like it because I think it is very divisive and further underscores differences rather than helping to foster acceptance and understanding. It sounds as bad as playground bullies' jeers!

Asperger's is a neurobiological condition that is on the spectrum with autism. People who are on the spectrum confront a myriad of social challenges including difficulty in decoding facial expressions; verbal expressions and nuances. The "martian" (I prefer the terms "observer," "sociologist" and "anthropologist") is used to mean one who does not fit into the social mode. Non partisan politician comes into play here because a person on the a/A (autism/Asperger's) spectrum has difficulty knowing which peers voice the party line they support.

From the a/A perspective: Imagine how terrifying it is to be around peers who hound, harass and ridicule you. Imagine being a preschooler who can read and you are the only one in your class who can. You don't know how to read your peers, however and they are more enigmatic than people say you are! You learn from babyhood to align yourself with adults because they can read and can provide you with some protection. They are less apt to ridicule you. Imagine replaying conversations and other things you have heard because a script makes sense to you; you can use it as a guideline for future reference. Imagine thinking every time you are confronted by peers, "What do I say? What do I do? What if they start to laugh at me or try to hurt me?" This is what a person on the a/A spectrum contends with on a routine daily basis.

Imagine not understanding their games; their rules and their social dicta which change on a whim based on their neurotypical (NT) needs. Imagine having a love for reading and having one or more special interests and not knowing how to share them with one's peers. Imagine being nonplussed over why people keep pushing peers on you and blaming you because you don't provide your parents/legal guardians with play dates and playmates. Imagine people blaming you for being unfriendly when you simply don't know the Tacit Social Codes & Rules, which always change at the behest of the NT population. Your self esteem plummets and you feel like an anthropologist, observing your peers and trying to learn how to pass at best. Imagine wanting to be forgettable and indistinct. Trevor Romaine's book, "Cliques, Phonies" is an excellent look at clique formation and is a handy tool for the a/A and NT population alike.

I recommend "Finding Ben" by Barbara LaSalle & Ben Levinson; "There's a Boy in Here," another mother-son effort by Judy Barron & Sean Barron as they address the issues beautifully. Kenneth Hall, a gifted young man with Asperger's has made having it an asset and his book, "Asperger's, the Universe & Everything" along with Tony Attwood's book, "Asperger's Syndrome" and Kristi Sakai's book, "Finding Our Way" would be my top recommendations.

Still, this is a decent effort.
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