Asperger's Syndrome: An Interview with Tony Attwood

How can parents of children with Asperger's Syndrome assist their child?

Interview By Allison Martin

What inspired you to write your book, Asperger's Syndrome?

The inspiration came from my concern that there was a lack of information available to both parents and professionals throughout the world, and that the knowledge that I had gained from experience as a clinician could not only be presented by workshops but as the basis of a book. It is an extension on my one day workshops on Asperger's Syndrome.

What is the single most important thing that parents of children with Asperger's Syndrome should do to assist their child?

The most important thing is to understand them, and to try and see the world from their perspective. Their job is then to explain the Child's perception of the world and the logic of their response to those who support them at school and other circumstances.

What are the most significant issues that parents of children with Asperger's Syndrome face?

The most significant issue that parents face is a lack of understanding and inappropriate attitudes towards those with Asperger's Syndrome. They also face problems with regard to remedial tuition in the areas of social cognition and empathy in that schools may not have the knowledge and resources to help children in these areas. My clinical experience suggests that success in the social and emotional area is one of the best predictors of successful outcome.

Is there a link between prematurity and Asperger's Syndrome?

On the link between prematurity and Asperger's Syndrome, we do know that for some families there is a higher incidence of unfavorable events, and recent studies have suggested a link between prematurity and autistic spectrum disorders including Asperger's Syndrome. At present this is a link, but no causal factors have been identified.

Tony Attwood is a reknowned expert in autism and Asperger's syndrome. He is the author of a number of books including The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome, Been There. Done That. Try This!: An Aspie's Guide to Life on Earth and and Asperger's and Girls