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1. Introduction. 1.1. Meet the Family. 1.2. A Layman's Guide to Asperger's. 1.3. Sensory Issues and Autism. 2. Pitfalls of Adolescence and Beyond. 2.1. Under Pressure. 2.2. Spoken Peer Pressure. 2.3. Unspoken Peer Pressure. 2.4. Coping with it All. 3. Work and Education. 3.1. Further Education and the After School Club. 3.2. Higher Education, Whatever That Is. 4. Bullying. 4.1. ...And How It Still Happens. 4.2. Preventative Measures. 4.3. Confidence is Key. 5. Going Out and Staying In. 5.1. New Places and New Faces. 5.2. Staying In: The Calm After the Storm. 5.3. Upping Your Dating Game. 6. Sex and Relationships. 6.1. Big Dumb Sex. 6.2. Relationships and How to Cope. 7. Growing Up. 7.1. Out with the Old and In with the New. 7.2. Employment and Coping with Unemployment. 8. Final Thoughts. Further Reading. Index.
A no-holds-barred, funny and articulate guide to the pitfalls and positives of the young adult years on the autism spectrum
Luke Jackson is 26 years old and has Asperger Syndrome. He is the best-selling author of Freaks, Geeks and Asperger Syndrome, also published by JKP.
I enjoyed reading Luke's book immensely and will be recommending it to the majority of my teen/young adult counselling clients in the hope that it will go some way towards assisting them through the years of 'storm and strife' that accompanies this particular passage of time. Luke has managed to cover many facets of 'growing up', including dating and sex among other things. However, his book is not for the parent who wishes to keep their 15-year-old wrapped in a blanket of innocence, for Luke tells it 'how it is', with a no holds barred approach. Using correct descriptors for body parts and various sexual acts, there is an absence of euphemisms. Luke writes from an autobiographical perspective, not claiming to be an expert. What is clear though is that he is an 'expert by experience' and conveys his knowledge deftly like a wise old professor! -- Elaine Nicholson * Action for Asperger's * Jackson wrote Freaks, Geeks and Asperger -Syndrome: A User Guide to Adolescence at age 13. Now he returns at age 26 to share all that he has learned, both the good and the challenging, about becoming an adult, living with Asperger's, and finding his place in the world. With candid humor, the author shares his experiences in becoming an adult and what that means to him. He explores the difficulties he and many others with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) deal with, such as finding work, social scenes, bullying, drug use, sexual relationships, and friendships. A consistent message throughout is the acceptance of differences in yourself and others. Jackson encourages those on the spectrum to embrace and own those qualities that make them unique and to use them to their advantage. VERDICT Jackson's personal and brutally honest take on being an adult with ASD is eye-opening and refreshing. A valuable read for teens and adults with ASD as well as parents, siblings, employers, teachers, caregivers, friends, and partners of those on the spectrum. Jackson's view that -acceptance of oneself is the first hurdle; welcoming others is key as well -- Library Journal Reading Sex, Drugs and Asperger's Syndrome feels like having a conversation with an older brother or cousin. He advises without preaching, explains without boring and throws in enough jokes to make the entire reading experience thoroughly enjoyable... From bullying to drugs, employment to nights out, and mental health to sex, it includes the entire spectrum of life without judgement, leaving no stone unturned and rendering no subject taboo... Powerful, honest, funny and friendly, Sex, Drugs and Asperger's Syndrome is a must-read -- Penny Gotch * Disability Now * This is a brilliant book. Luke writes beautifully, engagingly and with wisdom. There is nothing he shirks, it is all there, all the drugs, all the pitfalls of relationships, all the social gaffes and mistakes, all described with humour and without judgement. -- Jude Ragan * Autistica * With wisdom beyond his years and the mastery of an expressionist artist, Luke guides the reader through the rocky shoals of successful transition from adolescence to adulthood as a person on the autism spectrum. A straightforward, honest must read for anyone seeking greater understanding of the coming of age of the human soul, autistic or otherwise. -- Stephen Mark Shore, Ed.D., Clinical Assistant Professor of Special Education at Adelphi University Sex, Drugs and Asperger's Syndrome is one of my favorite books this year. Luke Jackson provides the reader with an in-depth understanding of many relevant issues regarding both Asperger's Syndrome as well as autism in general. This includes employment, bullying, sexuality, relationships, and much more. The autism community and society as a whole will benefit greatly from these much needed discussions. -- Stephen M. Edelson, Ph.D., Executive Director, Autism Research Institute (autism.com), San Diego, California