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Doing Therapy with Children and Adolescents with Asperger Syndrome

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Iclinically met my fi rst children with Asperger’s and High-Functioning Autism in 1981 at Camp Wediko here in New England. Like many college students before us, my newlywed wife and I had driven north to New Hampshire to spend an intensive summer learning more about the careers we were about to enter: she, special education, and myself, clinical psychology. She was assigned to Th ink City, the camp school, and I was a counselor for the Stallions, a group of teens who, I was told, didn’t fi t in with any of the other cabins or groups of children. “I think you’ll fi nd them interesting,” the late and wonderful camp director said to me with a smile.

Within minutes of entering the cabin, I saw children who diff ered in ways immediate to my amateur eyes and ears. Unlike the other children I’d seen at Wediko and before, the Stallions didn’t interact with one another. Th ere was none of the chitchat, jostling, and testing of each other that one expects from teens thrown into a mix. Some of the boys were withdrawn and barely able to say their names. Some boys talked loud and nonstop, not noticing when other people spoke or weren’t listening. A majority of the boys came from disadvantaged and stressed homes.

Diagnoses of Asperger Syndrome in children and adolescents are on the rise, and while a limited minority of clinicians has training and experience in this area, a majority do not. Doing Therapy with Children and Adolescents with Asperger Syndrome is the only guide of its kind for doing both talk and play therapy with young people with Asperger Syndrome. It meets the growing need for practical clinical guidance in this area. Using vivid case material, it offers clinicians wisdom attuned to their needs and those of the young people they endeavor to help.

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