Sign In

Please sign in using the log in form at the top of this page or click here

Not a member

You need to register before you can start a new discussion or comment on a post.

Click the button below to go to our forum registration page.

In this Discussion

Welcome to the PDA Society Forum. Please take time to read the 'Forum terms and conditions', which can be found via this webpage: and also in our NEW Forum User Guide:
Messages in the 'General Discussions' category of the forum are visible to all internet users. You are therefore advised not to post anything of a confidential nature in this category.
Welcome to the PDA Society Discussion Forum. Please read our User Guide for more information and contact if you would like to join one of our closed Member Forums for registered members only.
Book Reviews
  • I have a book called "Aspergers - what does it mean to me?" it is a workbook explaining self awareness and life lessons to the child or youth with high functioning autism or aspergers. It is fairly expensive but has lots of chapters, including ways of thinking, people, understanding, thoughts, communication, school, friends, feeling upset to name a few. You can pick and choose which bits are relevant to your son. Each chapter has a number of worksheets for the child to complete to help them understand things, and explain how they feel. At the end of each chapter is a section with info. for the caregiver, which explains purpose of each chapter and how to use the info.

    In the "friends" section for example, it has a part on how to be a good sport, teams, a friend coming to my house, getting along with a friendplaying with friends, pretend play, playing outside. It has info and pictures and parts to complete to make it relevant to them.

    In the introduction section it has sections called "autism is another thing about me", what is autism, and why do I have autism, and was I born with autism. They may help you to explain to your child

    The professional at the Elizabeth Newson Centre recommended that I look at particular chapters with J, to help him in certain areas he was struggling with (though she knows he has PDA not Asperger syndrome)
  • In terms of helping my son to manage his anger I bought a good book called "Anger Management, a practical guide for Teachers, parents and carers" which had some worksheets at the back and I managed to sit down with my son and do at a rate of about one a week.

    They are staged, so first one looks at what makes you angry - is a list then space to write down other things your child may feel angry about. Next worksheet is "how do you feel when you are angry" - again a list and space to add your own things to. Next worksheet looks at particular scenarios, and what thoughts about them would make you angry, then other ways to think about it that would not make you angry - for example teacher ignores you when you ask something - angry thoughts would be "she hates me" or things on those lines, non angry feelings are that "she is distracted by something else", "she did not hear me" - again there is list of scenarios, a couple of completed examples and then others are for you to discuss with the child. Then next worksheet are looking at things you can do when you are angry (obviously that are acceptable/ do not hurt others) - again it is a couple of suggestions then space so you and yr child can discuss. Next sheet looks at the last time your child got mad. It has questions to complete, what happened, what did you do well? What did not go so well? What could you do next time?

    I did one each week, it was quite hard as he hates talking about things like this but we did perservere and I think it helped him to get thinking about it and has helped some. There is lots of other info in the book, its for older children about 8 plus I would say in terms of the worksheets, but there are tips for anger in preschoolers, primary age and teenage children.

    If you/ anyone want worksheets for younger children there is a book called "a volcano in my tummy" that has similar type worksheets but for children a bit younger upto about 10 I think - the format of this book implies more for a school/ group discussion but I think they could be used for 1:1 work, or perhaps complete with a sibling/ friend if the sibling is similar age??
  • There are also some "siblings" booklets by Julie Davies which can be bought from Elizabeth Newson Centre in Nottingham. They have separate booklets which explain autism and aspergers and PDA; and these may help siblings and other family members to better understand your childs diagnosis and how it may affect them. I have the one about PDA (i think its really good!) which I got from the Elizabeth Newson centre after J's assessment and diagnosis. Link below is to full list of publications from the centre and the order form
  • mango69
    Posts: 967
    The Red Beast Controlling anger in people with asperger syndrome by K.I.Al-Ghani - on Amazon for £12.99 but is hardback. Someone on this forum gave me a copy of this book and we have read it several times with our son but tonight he actually seemed to really be interested in it and wanted to read the strategies at the end of the book too (the bit for parents!!) Its a lovely book and my 3 year old loves it too - he instantly recognised the red beast!!!

    Here is the spec from the book

    Deep inside everyone, a red beast lies sleeping.When it is asleep, the red beast is quite small, but when it wakes up, it begins to grow and grow.This is the story of a red beast that was awakened.Rufus is in the school playground when his friend John kicks a ball that hit him in the stomach, and wakes up the sleeping red beast: 'I hate you - I'm gonna sort you out!'. The red beast doesn't hear the teacher asking if he's OK. It doesn't see that John is sorry - how can Rufus tame the red beast?This vibrant fully illustrated children's storybook is written for children aged 5+, and is an accessible, fun way to talk about anger, with useful tips about how to 'tame the red beast' and guidance for parents on how anger affects children with Asperger's Syndrome.

    Max has suggested we have a Red Beast box just as in the story full of useful things he could use when he is getting angry or to help him calm down. I am going to be making one tomorrow with him now.
  • I have loaned a good book from my local library called “How to Help Your Autistic Spectrum Child – practical ways to make family life run smoothly”, by Jackie Brealy and Beverly Davis.
    see above to search inside the book on amazon
    Jackie is a parent of a child with Asperger syndrome, and a special needs teaching assistant. The book is easy to read and gives some useful advice and web addresses/ other sources of help. I found some useful info in there. They mention a website about nutrition called so I am going to look at that.

    There are other sections such as how ASD affects the family, getting organised to save your sanity!, strategies for dealing with day to day difficulties, behaviour, eating, coping emotionally and getting support to name a few. You can tell that it is written by a parent who has been there, and its easier to relate to than some other books I have read.

    some other parents have contributed, and in the section about home educating the parent who is discussing her experiences says that her sons needs are compounded by fact that he has PDA as well as Aspergers (does not go into detail about what PDA is though )
  • Another book I loaned from the library (but think I will actually buy) is called

    Encouraging appropriate behaviour for children on the autistic spectrum (Frequently asked questions) by Shira Richman

    There are answers to 100 different real questions from parents, covering all sorts of topics such as toileting, social skills, bevaviour, communication etc. The author is a behaviour therapy consultant who has worked with autistic children using ABA (applied behaviour analysis)

    Some examples of the questions answered in the book are:

    a) how can I avoid unwanted behaviours before the spiral out of control and need intervention?
    b) How can we get our daughter to sleep past 4am?
    c) My son is scared of the shower, how can I get him to wash?
    d) My son is toilet trained but I always have to remind him to pull his pants up, flush and wash his hands. How can I get him to be more independent?
    e) How do I help my son, who has asperger syndrome, through puberty?
    f) Is there a way to teach the art of chit chat?
    g) My son has trouble following the rules of games, how can we teach him some simple games he can play with his family?
    h) Our daughter stares into space for long periods of time. How can I increase her ability to focus?
    i) My son, diagnosed with PDD, is a sore loser to the point where his siblings no longer include him when they play together. How do I teach him to lose gracefully
    j) my child is terrified of haircuts. Is there anything I can do to reduce his anxiety?
    k) We would love to be able to go out to dinner as a family but my daughter with autism turns us into a spectacle at the restaurant. How can we make going out to eat pleasant again?
    l) I feel that I am constantly making excuses for my child. Is there a was to avoid this?

    These are examples, amazon allows you to look at the index etc and I think you can then view the full list of questions if you wish, see

    The things she suggests to me seem logical and sensible approaches and there are a number of things I have read that I am going to try, and I would like my own copy to refer back to as you can't work on everything at one time! (and my sons are different ages but I think the questions cover a whole range of ages and also for children on different ends of the spectrum, i.e. in answering some questions she gives advice and then also slight variations in technique for if your child is non verbal for example.
  • westd_Moderatorwestd_Moderator
    Posts: 1,292
    I bought the following booklet about special educational needs from the National Autistic Society Bookshop, for about £4 I think.

    Booklet Title/ Author: Special Educational Needs, A guide for parents and carers of children with autistic spectrum disorders, by Carolyn Waterhouse and the NAS Advocacy for Education Team (National Autistic Society)

    It is a really useful introduction to most aspects of SEN. It gives example letters to write at different stages when you are trying to get your child help at school, and it gives recommendations that will help you; such as keeping copies of letters, noting times/ dates of phone calls, checking to see that a statement is not too ambiguous and that is reflects your child’s needs and adequately details the help your child should receive.It also gives suggestions about what a child with autisms needs might be, although of course it’s a guide and not all the suggestions may apply to your child.

    It explains about School Action, School Action +, Individual Education Plan’s and the Assessment and Statementing process, annual reviews and appealing to tribunal.
  • westd_Moderatorwestd_Moderator
    Posts: 1,292
    Another useful book, for looking at and dealing with behaviour (it says AS but I think it is equally relevant to PDA or others on the autistic spectrum who show these sort of behaviours) is called:

    Asperger Syndrome and Difficult Moments, Practical Solutions for Tantrums, Rage and Meltdowns, by Brenda Smith Myles and Jack Southwick

    It has information about the characteristics of "AS" and how they might impact behaviour (cognition, language, sensory issues, socialisation etc) and then it has chapters discussing tantrums, rage and meltdown, and it describes what they term the “rage cycle” – rumbling stage, rage stage, recovery stage .Then the following chapters go into more detail about techniques to identify and describe behaviour, and then develop a behaviour plan including chapters where they look at various techniques (self awareness, self calming and self management) to try and help the child to become more aware and control behaviour. It mentions/ gives descriptions about social stories social scripts, self esteem building, visual schedules/ supports and graphic organisers/ maps, circle of friends, using the stress thermometers (like in the “when my worries gets too big” book) or stress tracking charts; and planning effectively to prepare/ reduce meltdowns.

    It has a lot of information, and a lot of the strategies it describes seem to be applied to a classroom situation so perhaps it would be useful for teachers or teaching assistants, but there are some chapters/ information for parents as well which is not quite as “in depth”.

    It seems to pull together bits I have seen in other books for managing behaviour. The description of the rage cycle is really interesting and useful in itself (to a parent or a teacher/ professional – it describes how the child may look/ talk/ behave at each stage; and about effective and ineffective ways for the adult to behave at different stages of the cycle – e.g. is says that at the rumbling stage effective interventions may include touch control, diffusing tension through humour, redirecting, acknowledging student difficulties and it describes what exactly is involved in “diffusing tension through humour” for example.

    It also details what adult behaviours may escalate a crisis at the “rage” stage of the cycle – some examples are: raising your voice, saying “im the boss here”, nagging, holding a grudge, mimicking the child or youth, making comparisons with siblings/ other students, rewarding for unacceptable behaviour.
  • lyngully
    Posts: 42
    Hi Debbie

    Like you, I'm trawling library books searching for answers! I daren't think how many I have at the mo, or reserved....... I've taken to putting in sticky tabs and writing key points in a notebook.

    I found a good book recently, "How to understand autism the easy way" by Alexander Durig. I haven't finished reading it yet..... it's on my amazon wishlist whilst I move on to another book.

    Amazon link http//

    Product Description
    In this clear and accessible introduction to autism, Alexander Durig provides a host of ideas and examples that enable the reader to understand the phenomenon of autism, recognize different kinds of autistic perception and behaviour, and prepare for interaction with autistic people. To help 'normal' people understand and lose their fear of autism, Durig discusses the notions of 'slight' autism, being or becoming 'autism-friendly', and the mental well-being of autistic-people. The author explains how autistic perception 'works' and how it yields autistic behaviours', to enable readers to see the world through the eyes of an autistic person, and thus change the way they perceive autism.

    The book "Asperger syndrome and difficult moments" sounds good, and is on the shelf in my local library, I hope it's still there later in the week!
    My daughter is now 8, and is starting to identify for herself, when she is getting upset and sometimes why. I'm keen to make the most of this opportunity, long may it last! She says she gets stressed when people shout because she is not responding, so we have a family deal, that if anyone is not talking "kindly" we can point it out to the offender who must apologise and correct it.
    I'm hopeful that this book will help us.

  • Just want to back Margo's recommendation of the Red Beast book: my 6 year old really took to it straightaway (and even tries to apply it when I lose my temper, bless her!).

    It's one of the few books I've found so far that is suitable for younger children. The combination of small amounts of clear text and the lively illustrations make it very easy to understand, and I could tell that she recognised herself in it.

    Well worth the money!
  • westd_Moderatorwestd_Moderator
    Posts: 1,292
    We have a book in our NAS library called "what to do when you grumble too much: A kids guide to overcoming negativity" by Dawn Huebner

    quite useful to read. the author has also written other similar books about anxiety, anger, sleep problems, bad habits (like nail biting) and ocd!! (see the suggestions at the bottom of the page about the negativity book)
    the anxiety book has 24 very positive reviews, and you can view some example pages in the book. I could do with this book for myself! Would def. suggest a look at these!
  • have asked my library to get me a copy of this book
    A history of autism: conversations with the pioneers, by Adam Feinstein

    apparently the author has travelled all around the world and spoken to experts on autism in many countries.

    Phil Christie is one of them, he is mentioned in the acknowledgements section.

    I will let you know whether it is a worthwhile read when I have finished reading it myself.

    Its about £27 to purchase in paperback so thought I would loan it rather than buy it!

    Both excellent tools used by the Sutherland house school, and many other schools including my children's schools (I have my own copy and have used the when my worries book with both my children) this is good for helping children with social and emotional regulation, recognising increasing anger or anxiety and helping identify strategies to help them better deal with their emotions. The concept of the five point scale can be adapted to help with a number of things as the book explains and the second edition has a CD with blank scales etc.
    REALLY useful.
  • PanDAPanDA
    Posts: 70
    Hi all. I just wanted to share a few links with you for books on PDA that I've reviewed on my blog. ☺️

Please Log in or Register to comment on this discussion.