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From Like to Love for Young People with Asperger's Syndrome (Autism Spectrum Disorder)

From Like to Love for Young People with Asperger's Syndrome (Autism Spectrum Disorder)

Learning How to Express and Enjoy Affection with Family and Friends

Tony Attwood and Michelle Garnett

Quick Overview

Children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often find it difficult to express like or love for someone. This book, by the leading experts, addresses this issue in practical terms, providing carefully created activities in which parents can help a child with ASD to develop their ability to understand affection and to express it appropriately.
Details Price Qty
Paperback / softback
2013, 9.02in x 6.18in / 229mm x 157mm, 176pp
ISBN: 978-1-84905-436-2
2013, ePUB, 224pp
ISBN: 978-0-85700-777-3
?  About our Ebooks


If your child rarely shows you that he or she loves you, it can be profoundly distressing. This is the experience of many parents of children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and most fear that it reflects the truth. In fact the truth has generally more to do with the difficulty that young people with an ASD have in communicating like or love for someone physically and verbally. They may not know how to go about expressing themselves in these ways, or understand that family members and friends can find the absence of demonstrative affection upsetting.

This book, by world leading experts Tony Attwood and Michelle Garnett, addresses this issue in practical terms. They provide carefully designed activities for parents to work through with their children to help them to understand and express affection. Their child will learn to identify his or her own and others' comfort and enjoyment range for gestures, actions and words of affection and the different ways to express feelings for someone, appropriate to each relationship and situation. The activities are simple, straightforward, and very carefully structured, so that they can be undertaken at the pace that works for the individual family. The book also guides the adult through the challenges faced by the child, leading to greater understanding and confidence in their relationship with their child, and increased ability to nurture the child's ability to form engaged relationships and friendships with others.

Readers of Tony Attwood's previous books will recognise his warm, positive and empowering approach. The book will be a transformative resource for parents and family worried about their child's emotional life.


'This book is clear, concise and practical... in other words, it is a parent's dream. The book gives us usable information in a blessedly short book. I recommend this book for parents, caregivers, and teachers. Tony is one of the world's most empathic and creative experts on those individuals on the higher end of the autism spectrum. Michelle's work is already known in Australia, and she is a rising global star.'
- Susan Moreno, founder and president of MAAP Services, Inc., editor of The MAAP and author of The Partner's Guide to Asperger Syndrome and More Cognitively Advance Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders


To me as a parent, this book is a godsend – clear, logical, easy to read and above all useful!

It addresses a fundamental problem which is of concern to many parents – How can we, in practical terms, help our children learn to express and communicate their emotions, especially when they reach their teenage years and beyond?

Grounded on a solid base of expertise, experience and compassionate understanding, the authors offer a clear, insightful structured solution. The sessions described in the book are easy to understand and equally easy to implement. They will go a long way to help our young people with Asperger's syndrome (autism spectrum disorder) understand the “rules of the game” and thereby achieve a more level playing field.

- Brenda Boyd, author of Parenting a Child with Asperger Syndrome, Parenting a Teen or Young Adult with Asperger Syndrome (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and Appreciating Asperger Syndrome

'Some of the most basic factors determining an individual's placement on the autism spectrum are difficulty in identifying and correctly responding to cues in social situations, along with struggles with reading and expressing emotion. These are also among the most challenging aspects of life to teach a person. Coauthors Attwood (The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome; Asperger's Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals) and Garnett (founder & director, Minds & Hearts) are both clinical psychologists based in Australia with decades of experience with people on the spectrum. Here, they showcase a series of activities and worksheets that parents can use to assist their children in understanding and expressing affection. VERDICT Through storytelling, the authors describe social situations to depict different phases of affection. This easy-to-read book is good for use with a wide range of individuals and is recommended for parents and professionals alike.'
- Library Journal



This is one downloadable PDF, including all of the activities from Part 3 of the book, and the Appendix:
Session 1: Introduction to the programme - Exploring feelings of affection
Initial assessment through stories
1. The activities and experiences that you like
2. People whom you like or love
3. How do those people express that they like you or love you?
4. How we feel, think and behave when someone likes or loves us
5. What would life be like without being liked or loved?
6. List some of the things that are not so nice about being liked or loved
7. Project: Collect pictures of people expressing affection
8. Project: Family affection
9. Project: Social StoryTM
Session 2: Beginning to recognize and express affection
Review of Session 1
1. A Social Storyâ„¢ about how liking or loving someone can affect your feelings, thoughts and abilities
2. Using the like and love thermometer to explore pictures of liking and loving.
3. What can you say and do to show that you like someone?
4. What can you say and do to show that you love someone?
5. Project: Use the ideas at home to express liking or loving a member of the family
Session 3: Giving and receiving compliments
Review of Session 2
1. Review the project from Session 2
2. Why do we give compliments?
3. Compliments for specific people
4. Types of compliment
5. How often should you give someone a compliment?
6. How do you reply to a compliment?
7. Practise giving and receiving compliments
8. Could a compliment be embarrassing?
9. Project: Create a compliment diary
Session 4: The reasons we express like or love through affectionate words and gestures
Review of Session 3
1. Review the compliment diary project from Session 3
2. Why do we give affection?
3. What would happen if nobody showed you that they liked or loved you?
4. What would happen if you stopped showing your friends that you liked them?
5. If you did not get enough affection, how could you make yourself feel better?
6. How do you feel when...?
7. Project: Complete a diary of receiving and giving affection
Session 5: Developing our skills at expressing affection
Review of Session 4
1. Review the diary of giving and receiving affection from Session 4
2. Different types of affection in different situations
3. How can you tell if someone needs affection?
4. How can you tell if you have given too much affection?
5. How can you tell if you have given not enough affection?
6. What are the three most important things you have learned about affection?
7. Complete the post-programme assessments
8. Express affection to someone in the group with a compliment or gesture such as a hug
9. Receive your certificate of knowledge
Appendix: Affection questionnaires
The Affection for Others Questionnaire (AOQ)
The Affection for You Questionnaire (AYQ)
The General Affection Questionnaire (GAQ)

Downloadable PDF