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The Asperkid's (Secret) Book of Social Rules


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements. “Where was this Book when I, like, Needed it?" Rules, Posers and Speaking a Foreign Language: Introduction. Need-to-Knows: The Unspoken Rules – In Bullet Points. What you Need to Know about the Need-to-Knows: Making Sense of the Rules. 1. How Not to Make a Light Bulb: Why Everything is Hard Before its Easy. 2. The Potty-Training Rule: Knowing When a Thank You is Expected. 3. So You Noticed a Kindness: The Technicalities of Thank You. Quotealicious. 4. I'm Sorry: The Hardest Words to Say. 5. The “Perseverance” of “Perserverance”: Being Right vs. Being Included. 6. Perfectly Imperfect: Congratulations, You're Human. 7. But I Wasn't Laughing: Laughing with You vs. Laughing at You. Quotealicious. 8. Poof! You're Interesting: Being Interesting by Being Interested. 9. Mirror! Mirror!: Reflect, Reflect, Reflect. 10. You're Welcome: The Power of Compliments. Quotealicious. 11. Broken Spaghetti: The Benefits of Thinking Like a Wet Noodle. 12. Boiling the Pasta: How to Make that Flexible Thinking Thing Happen. 13. You've Got to Hold the Pillow: Why Criticism Matters. 14. Take a Breath and Watch the Hammer: Knowing How to Handle Criticism. 15. Speak in Sandwiches and Make Suggestions: Knowing How to Give Good Feedback. Quotealicious. 16. Unfiltered: White Lies and Trust. 17. Tact and the Triple-Filter: How Honest to Too Honest? 18. Literally?: What They Actually Mean. 19. Do I Need an Umbrella or an Ark?: Sorting Mountains from Molehills. 20. Temper, Temper: There Will Be More Apple Juice Tomorrow. Quotealicious. 21. The Science of a Greek Goddess: Hygeia, Aphrodite and Why They Were Such Good Pals. 22. Traveling by Bubble: Transparent Boundaries that Only NTs See. 23. Choices and Tactics: How to Recognise a Friend. 24. Who's Who, What's What: Friendship Levels and Cling Wrap. Quotealicious. 25. Standing Up Straight: Self-Advocacy, Anger Band-Aids and Being Heard. 26. Talking to Myself: Inner Dialogues and Old Tapes. 27. Likes, Tweets and Texts: Netiquette Need-to-Knows. 28. The Loveliest Curve and an Open Door: Beauty and Chivalry are Alive and Well. 29. There's More for Dinner than Mashed Potatoes: Missing the Bigger Picture. 30. Wedgies, Tattletales and Queen Bees: Taking Your Power Back from Bullies. 31. Through the Looking Glass: Laughing at Yourself without Being a Laughingstock. Stickies (Little Nuggets of Aspie Truth – Sticky- Note-Sized). Practice Sessions. Stick a Fork in it – We're Done. AKA: The Conclusion. Resources You Will Actually WANT to Use. Really. References.

Promotional Information

Top secret guide to the hidden social rules of making friends and conversation, for teens and tweens

About the Author

Jennifer O'Toole was identified as being on the spectrum in 2011, just after her three children. She is now the author of seven bestselling books --the Asperkids collection, Sisterhood of the Spectrum, and Autism in Heels -- which include a Wall Street Journal Bestseller, a Publishers Weekly "Best Book" title winner, and three of BookAuthority's "Best-Selling" and "Top Autism Books of All Time." Jennifer is the bestselling female author of any single book in the genre, a multi-award-winning international speaker, and the founder of a brand-new venture called Belong, a virtual wonderland of enrichment and community, empowering neurodiverse individuals, couples and families worldwide.


This is no doubt a very helpful guide, covering a wide range of issues from Facebook, privacy, power games people play and how to deal with them, and above all it may help to develop a better understanding of how to avoid social traps and become a strong self-confident adult.

The book will be of great interest to female and male adolescents and adults with Asperger syndrome. It offers some practice items and examples using comics.

The insights it gives are very comprehensive, everything from how and when to thank people to how to cope with criticism.
*Autism Support Crawley, Heather Eves*

A book always has faults. Right? Not in this case! I just can't find a bad thing to say about it. Written as a self-help guide for 'Asperkids' it's chock-full of insightful, practical advice on how to successfully sail the seas of planet NT and succeed... The book is warm, witty and wise and at £13.99 it's a bargain. It's written to be read by 'Tweens and Teens' on the spectrum but could easily be used by teachers, parents, and therapy folk as resource material for individual or group teaching and support. Go buy it!
*Positive About Autism Blog*

O'Toole is uniquely qualified to write this book - she's the proud mother of three "Asperkids," she's married to an "Asperguy," and is herself an "aspie." This crucial guide to social interactions begins with a list of 125 "Need-to-Knows," which run the gamut from platitudes ("The bigg3est mistake you can make is being too afraid to make one.") to simple reminders ("Graciously accept compliments with a simple smile and 'thank you'") and bits of wisdom ("Anger is abnd0aid emotion. It's a real thing - but the wound you have to heal is underneath the anger.").... While aimed to help those with Asperger's navigate the world, O'Toole's approachable guide is also an invaluable resource for friends and family members of Aspies.
*Publishers Weekly*

Her American sense of fun comes out strongly in her writing, and the black and white comic-style illustrations add to the humorous approach... There is emphasis on not giving up, on starting over when things go wrong and on learning what a special and unique person you are. This will be a really useful tool for both Aspies and their families, and it fills a gap that needed to be filled.
*Healthy Books*

I completely agree with Jennifer, and think the way she says it is just great; these skills and explanations are absolutely necessary to young people's success.
*Temple Grandin, author of Thinking in Pictures*

Asperteens rejoice! Finally someone has produced a guide to the mysteries of teenage social etiquette. Jennifer's brilliant writing style serves up huge, life-changing advice in small, bite-sized chunks, making this an invaluable reference point for navigating the difficult path between childhood and adult life. If you're a teenager, buy a copy. If you're older, buy one too - it's never too late to learn those 'secret rules' and apply them in your life.
*Helen Wallace-Iles, Founder and Director, Autism All-Stars UK, and mother of four children on the Autism spectrum*

The joy of knowing that the mistakes of the past have a good chance of melting away is the real, not-so-secret ingredient that makes this book shine.
*Michael John Carley, Executive Director, GRASP, ASTEP, and author of Asperger's From the Inside-Out*

Wow! This book is awesome. Jennifer O'Toole's The Asperkid's (Secret) Book of Social Rules is a triumph of words, wisdom and wit. It is a fun yet oh so important set of keys that will help Asperkids of all ages unlock virtually every mystery the NT world holds. I love it!
*Liane Holliday Willey, author of Pretending to be Normal and Safety Skills for Asperger Women*

Jennifer O'Toole has done it again. Reading this book was like dipping into a bag of wonderful treasures. A very comprehensive guide to social rules for Aspies and a brilliant reminder of just how much NTs take for granted and how hard our Asperkids have to work each day. This book serves as a 'universal translator' and will strengthen relationships between Aspies and NTs everywhere. As a mother, I particularly found Chapter 20 on meltdowns helpful, and need to remember to 'smell the flowers and blow out the candles' just as much as my little Asperkid. Our whole family is adopting the Asperkid positivity vibe. Jennifer is like the favourite Aunt and best friend we all wish we had. If I could choose one book to give to my little boy as he grows up, this would be it.'
*Rebecca Mitchell, UK Psychotherapist (MBACP), author of the blog lovingmartians.wordpress.com, and very proud Mum to one Asperboy superhero and his equally amazing NT supersister*

Jennifer Cook O'Toole has done it again with The Asperkid's (Secret) Book of Social Rules. Jennifer is the queen of understanding and helping others to understand the ins and out of Asperger syndrome. In this book Jennifer hits on all of the important issues tweens and teens face and provides ways for your Asperkids to thrive during this challenging time. Learn rules like "to be interesting to other people, you first have to be interested in them", "one mistake does not break a friendship", "being right isn't always the most important thing even when it feels that way", and so much more. As the mother of an eight year old with non-verbal learning disorder, ADD, and SPD, this book is the first I grab to help both me and my amazing little gal. An incredible book by an incredible woman.
*Lisa Davis, MPH, creator, host, and producer of It's Your Health Radio and It's Your Health TV*

Not only is The Asperkid's Secret Book of Social Rules a book for Asperkid teens and tweens, it is also a book for their parents, caregivers and for anyone who grew up Aspie and wants to understand themselves and the world around them better. Being undiagnosed until in my 40s, this is the book I wish I had when I was a teenager. Thank you Jennifer, for not only making these social rules no longer 'secret' but for helping create a social survival guide that helps promote acceptance, enrichment, inspiration and empowerment for Asperkids everywhere!
*Karen Krejcha, Executive Director of Autism Empowerment (www.autismempowerment.org), Aspie, GRASP 2012 DSM Award winner, and loving mom of two sons with autism and Asperger syndrome*

The Asperkid's (Secret) Book of Social Rules is a must-have resource for tweens and teens with Asperger syndrome. By exposing the 'secret' thinking of NTs and opening each chapter with a list of 'need to knows', O'Toole sensitively and candidly explains the social rules that often confuse teens with Asperger's syndrome. The graphics, humor, and short chapters make the book lively and accessible, while O'Toole's own experiences as an individual with Asperger syndrome helps teens connect personally with her insightful, practical advice.
*Diane M. Kennedy and Rebecca S. Banks, authors of Bright Not Broken: Gifted Kids, ADHD, and Autism*

There are so many reasons to love this book. It is kid-friendly, fun, packed with practical tips, and full of respect for those needing these tips the most. The thing I love best about it, however, is how appropriate the content is for every student, both those on the spectrum and those who are not. In fact, we can all learn something from Jennifer O'Toole's wonderful advice on relationships, organization, learning, communication and self-respect."
*Paula Kluth, PhD, author of You're Going to Love this Kid: Teaching Students with Autism in the Inclusive Classroom*

reading [O'Toole's] book is making me understand more how his brain is wired and I am learning SO much.
*Elizabeth Conner, mother of a child with Asperger syndrome*

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