The Self-Help Guide for Special Kids and their Parents

The Self-Help Guide for Special Kids and their Parents

4.5 (4 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 10 business days
When will my order arrive?


James Williams is an SP or special person - he was diagnosed with autism during early childhood. His mother, Joan Matthews, is an NP or normal person. As James grew up, his different perception of the world and the lack of understanding from NPs created problems. Together, he and his mother met the challenges with ingenuity and humour. One day, while taking a walk, James and Joan decided to write a book of their practical solutions. The Self-Help Guide for Special Kids is that book.

Covering everything from eye sensitivity, to knowing how far away to stand from other people, to being polite when someone is crying, James and Joan's book describes the problems that an SP may face, and the solutions which they have found to work successfully. Pervaded by their caustic humour and common sense, The Self-Help Guide for Special Kids will be invaluable to other SPs and their families both as a source of advice and a fresh and witty account of how it feels to be an SP.
show more

Product details

  • 12-17
  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 155 x 232 x 16mm | 497g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1853029149
  • 9781853029141
  • 1,938,739

Table of contents

(*denotes a chapter by James Williams). Preface to the Revised Edition. A Disclaimer by Joan. Abbreviations. 1. Saying Hello. 2. Noise Sensitivity. 3. Eye Contact. 4. Recognizing Faces. 5. Eye Sensitivity. 6. Eye Teaming. 7. Touch Sensitivity. 8. Shaking or Holding Hands. 9. Change. 10. Nose Sensitivity. 11. Food Sensitivity. 12. Food Allergies*. 13. Chewing and Swallowing. 14. Hating Water*. 15. Toilet Training. 16. Going to the Bathroom. 17. Breathing Problems*. 18. Teeth Problems*. 19. Space Problems. 20. Knowing How Far Away to Stand from Other People. 21. The Inner Ear. 22. Balance Problems*. 23. Auditory Processing Delays. 24. Having an Urge to Quote. 25. The Music Playing in Your Head. 26. Special Occasions. 27. Being Polite When Someone is Crying. 28. Being Obsessed with the Alphabet. 29. Being Obsessed with Time. 30. Being Obsessed with Music*. 31. Being Obsessed with Numbers*. 32. Being Obsessed with Perfection*. 33. Left vs. Right Hemisphere Processing*. 34. Thinking Styles. 35. Stress*. 36. Behavior Problems*. 37. Discipline. 38. Anger. 39. Going to School. 40. Teasing. 41. Verbal Confusion. 42. Understanding Other People. 43. The Rules of Language. 44. Literal Language. 45. Telling Lies and Keeping Secrets. 46. Using Your Voice Politely*. 47. Mouth Control. 48. Tuning Out. 49. Playing Frozen. 50. Cocooning. 51. Exercise. 52. Pain Problems. 53. Foot Problems. 54. Stomachaches*. 55. Headaches. 56. Neck Problems*. 57. Back Problems*. 58. The Chiropractor. 59. Aiming Problems. 60. Waiting Problems. 61. Connecting with Other People. 62. Saying the Opposite*. 63. Things Mothers Do to Their SPs*. 64. NPs and SPs Together. Part I*. 65. Interrupting Other People*. 66. Being Polite*. 67. Trusting Other People*. 68. Disagreeing with Other People*. 69. Carelessness*. 70. Being Lonely and Making Friends. 71. Loving Other People. 72. Understanding Feelings. 73. Cooperation. 74. Being Flexible. 75. Making Good Decisions. 76. Freedom of Choice. 77. Cleaning Up. 78. Future Judgment*. 79. Needing Other People. 80. Mine and Yours*. 81. Doing Things Other People Want You to Do*. 82. NPs and SPs Together. Part II. 83. Reciprocity*. 84. Saying Goodbye. Conclusion: The Final Frontier*. Appendix 1. Getting Better. Appendix 2. The Self-Help Guide to Teaching Language. Appendix 3. The Self-Help Guide to Teaching Social Skills. Appendix 4. The Self-Help Guide for Successful Teaching. Appendix 5. SPs in the New Millennium. Index.
show more

Review quote

The chapters cover various issues, and in a problem/solution format offer a spectrum of practical advice from how to adapt to unfamiliar food to being polite when someone is crying. Detailed self-help guides for language and social skills teaching are included, as is advice for special teachers. The book is written with humour and frankness, but above all optimism: we are introduced to James as an eight-year-old whose `alien status' made school too stressful for him to attend; we leave him as a fully mainstreamed eleven-year-old with friends and a social life... This book offers reassurance, help and hope to anyone with an autistic diagnosis, their families and those whose job it is to educate or help them. -- Disability Times This book, written by local Northbrook resident James Williams and his mom, Joan Matthews, is that rare treasure - a book that gives us "neuro-typical" folks look at life through the eyes of a child with autism. However, whereas Temple Grandin and Donna Williams (among others) have become published authors as adults, and recall childhood experiences, James began writing his chapters as an 8-year-old! At the ripe old age of 11 he made additional observations that are included in the Self-Help-Guide. While over 30 of the short "chapters" are by James, many more are written by his mom, who seems very adept at understanding how her boy experiences things, while also being able to contrast the NP (normal person or non-neurotypical person) point of view with SP (special person, autistic, Asperger etc.)She also tackles topics not touched by James, and where we needed for clarification interjects her comments/paragraphs into chapters otherwise authored by James. The Result is a book of over 80 short chapters dealing with the NP and SP experience of topics as varied as: Being Obsessed with Perfection, Balance Problems, Hating Water, Stomach aches, Being Polite when Someone is Crying, Going to School, Being Flexible, etc, with both problems and potential solutions presented that can help us parents help our own special child to cope. For those of us (most of us) raising young kids with Autism, many of whom who cannot talk and write as well as James, this book is a god-send as it helps us understand how our kids may well be interpreting the world around them. Thanks for speaking up, James (and your mom) for the kids who can't communicate as well (and I am going to think twice about patting my son on the back from now on !) -- Autism Newsletter This book is essential for anyone with an autistic child, or one with a related handicap, teachers and social workers. It is written by the mother of an autistic son with some input from James, too. As the title suggests, it is a reference book rather than just for reading, but there is no jargon in it (I only had to look up the one word "echolia"), so makes for easy reading. It is broken up into 84 very short chapters, each stating a problem encountered by SKs (Special Kids) that wouldn't be a problem for NKs (Normal Kids), and how Joan and James remedied the problem. Most of the problems are ones recognised by the mother - eg. "touch sensitivity", "going to school" and "anger" - but James has added ones that he feels strongly about - "carelessness", "stomach-aches", "hating water" -- Adoption Today
show more

About James Matthew Williams

Joan Matthews is the mother of James Williams, and the author of five romance novels. James, aged 11, is now a fully mainstreamed fifth-grader without special support services. He wants to be a writer and to help other people with autism when he grows up. Joan and James live in Northbrook, Illinois.
show more

Rating details

4 ratings
4.5 out of 5 stars
5 75% (3)
4 0% (0)
3 25% (1)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X