An Interview with Tony Attwood
Interview By Allison Martin
and highly informative, Tony Attwood's Asperger's
Syndrome is hands down the best single guide to Asperger's Syndrome
available. The scope of this remarkable book is very comprehensive - from
diagnosis, social behavior, language, interests and routine to cognition,
motor skills, and sensory sensitivity - Attwood covers all the areas where
children with Asperger's struggle.
What inspired you to write your book, Asperger's Syndrome?
Tony Attwood: 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?
Tony Attwood: 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?
Tony Attwood: 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?
Tony Attwood: On the link between prematurity and Asperger's
Syndrome, we do know that for some families there is a higher incidence
of unfavourable 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.