Coaching People with Asperger's Syndrome

Author(s) : Bill Goodyear

Coaching People with Asperger's Syndrome

Book Details

  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Published : 2008
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 242
  • Category :
    Autism and Aspergers
  • Category 2 :
  • Catalogue No : 26028
  • ISBN 13 : 9781855754133
  • ISBN 10 : 1855754134
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This book arises from a lifetime's practical experience of work with people with Asperger's syndrome and autism. People with Asperger's syndrome easily drop through the net and fall into the wrong services - sometimes staying at home, depending on their families, sometimes falling into criminal justice or mental health services. Others, of course, fall into employment. Those in between, and there are many, benefit from the coaching approach developed by Bill Goodyear, which is described in this book.

The book is crammed with practical tips, real life stories and new thinking. So often research results arrive from highly specialised work - this book attempts to synthesise a range of new learning from a number of fields and present a hopeful view of the condition - there are many entry points to use to create the possibility of forward motion and development.

Touching lightly on some specific and recurring problems, the book unpicks our current understanding of the condition and describes in detail how to use coaching to empower and enable rather than to control and direct. Teachers, parents and other professionals working with this population will find the book useful and interesting (and amusing!), as will people with Asperger's and those people who come into contact with the undiagnosed or unnoticed "Aspies" - health, education and social service professionals especially, but also coaches, therapists and complementary health practitioners.

Reviews and Endorsements

'What an interesting book you have written! You are very fluent in your subject.'
- Sally Lancaster, Journalist

'I very much enjoyed the richness of your book. Your own humanity makes the humanity of the people you write about the more real and believable and the sense of community between "Aspies" and others - that would be created by more enlightened non-medical treatment - the more attainable.'
- Colin Adamson, Business Consultant

'I love this book because it is positive, hopeful and based on realistic, practical ideas and objectives which are relevant to everybody wether on the spectrum or 'off'.'
- Anna Van Der Post, As Teens

Customer Reviews

Our customers have given this title an average rating of 5 out of 5 from 1 review(s), add your own review for this title.

Anna Van Der Post on 07/05/2009 10:37:23

Rating1Rating2Rating3Rating4Rating5 (5 out of 5)

This is perhaps the most intelligently written book on Aspergers I have read. It has something to offer to professionals, parents and adults with Aspergers. Bill Goodyear demonstrates a breadth of knowledge and understanding about Aspergers with no hint of arrogance. He has spent a career learning about this developmental disorder and it shows. He has both an academic perspective gained through extensive reading, coupled with hands-on experience and astute observation. One senses a man who has truly tried to understand Aspergers from inside, a man who has listened and not judged, a man who is willing to change his view in the light of new evidence and above all a man who wants to find practical solutions. Goodyear somehow sees Aspergers in 3D, he understands how genetics, diet, faulty biochemistry, inappropriate educational and home environments, may all be involved in contributing to the child's problems. He is pretty much the first 'expert' I have encountered who appears to understand Aspergers at the level of a parent.

Goodyear explains with great clarity the likely causes of Aspergers and how a child with a slightly different brain architecture may have perceptual experiences at odds with the neural typical world. As most children are not diagnosed until 11 years of age, there have been a lot of years where the child will have been struggling. Accumulated negative experiences and feelings, with the resultant bad behaviour, have led the child to develop some pretty negative views of the world. Goodyear asserts that as we all draw conclusions about the world based on our experiences then many people with Aspergers will have understandably developed negative attitudes. For example, if a child tries to mix with other children and repeatedly fails, having their efforts rebuffed, there is little incentive to keep trying and a learned negativity results and they withdraw from other people. The primary neurological condition is fixed but the secondary learned fear and problems can be worked on.

Life coaching invites the person to discover what they want out of life and what is blocking them and to work on the necessary steps to achieve the end goal. Much of the book is just good old fashioned common sense drawing on many different philosophies. At one point he recommends that we all sometimes just listen. Many of us, especially parents, delude ourselves that we listen, but we are really so busy correcting, guiding, contradicting our children's misguided views that we fail to properly listen. During the teenage years just listening to a child's views or criticisms of us, without any comment or judgement, is probably a good idea and something we can all try. The book is full of ideas and approaches which anyone can draw on. However I would not describe it as a 'How-to' self-help book and it would be hard for many of us to self-coach. It guides us through the aims and approaches of life coaching and looks at what can be realistically achieved. Many of us become trapped in a loop where the child is behaving badly and we cannot separate out what is due to Aspergers and our failure to accommodate our child, and what is just normal bad behaviour. One becomes lost in the disorder and someone who truly understands Aspergers can help to sort the wheat from the chaff.

I can truly see how a life coach could have a lot to offer many young people and adults with Aspergers but only if the coach has the breadth of knowledge, experience and understanding at the visceral level that Goodyear has, otherwise I fear more harm than good could come of it.

He guides people to make the changes they need, at their own pace, in order to achieve their objectives and if they cannot change, to find a way towards acceptance. Clients are accepted, encouraged, and supported and when appropriate helped to try different approaches if what they are currently doing is failing. Finally they are helped to gain a realistic view of life and to accept that life is a series of small successes and small failures and that persistence is a necessary part of success.

I love this book because it is positive, hopeful and based on realistic, practical ideas and objectives which are relevant to everybody whether on the spectrum or 'off'.

Bill Goodyear is definitely one of the good guys.

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