Skip to main content
"A great blog that is fun, interesting and informative. Packed full of information on a range of topics. I love their sense of humor while they are providing well informed and thought out answers to your questions. All in all a great read for any parent!"--Christine Howard.

Asperger's Syndrome and Montessori: A Book Review

Asperger's Syndrome and Montessori: A Book Review
Photo by M. Jost

I was excited to receive Jennifer Cook O'Toole's book in the mail, Asperkids: An Insider's Guide to Loving, Understanding and Teaching Children and Asperger Syndrome. It was one of the best memoir and self-help books I've read in a long, long time. And every moment I put it down to cook, check email, go on Facebook, get my son ready for school, I could not wait to pick it up again and continue reading! (I have a big pile of books just eager to be read, so much to do, so little time with all the demands of modern life!)

The story of Jennifer's life as an Aspie growing up was revealing and helped me understand the syndrome beyond any text book or blog I've EVER read. She survived a difficult childhood including having a mom who did not understand her; and a father that could not reach out to her with any solutions or answers to her being 'different'. (Jennifer did not know she had Asperger's Syndrome until her early thirties.) Her father, she would later find out, had Asperger's. Yet in spite of all that, Jennifer did not hold a grudge against her family.

As a mom (now) to 'Asperkids', Jennifer never gave up trying to help her children. Her innovation with both Montessori and non Montessori materials and activities grew from both her struggles as a child and as an adult with Asperger's, plus her background as a teacher. Her understanding of Montessori was uncanny, given she is not a Montessori trained teacher.

As a Montessori teacher myself, I can say she did not miss a beat in her depictions of the Montessori methodology, philosophy, and the materials. To me she sounded like a trained and experienced Montessori teacher and author. Yet, her love and understanding of Montessori could not change the fact that a Montessori preschool classroom setting would be a challenge for her special needs children. But instead of giving up, and in spite of trying other schools, she came back to Montessori education as a means to best homeschool her family for several years, then she created progressive methods to further enhance her family's education at home.

I highly recommend this book to parents of children with special needs, developmental delays, and or challenging social skills, as well as to parents who have children attending a school with an Asperger student so that they can better understand what that child must be going through. I also recommend Asperkids to educators who have or might have an Asperger student in their classroom including a Montessori classroom.

You can find Jennifer on Facebook and on her blog, Asperkids.

Her book is available on Amazon.com and other retailers both online and off.



*******

You may also be interested in my recommended Montessori and homeschool books for parents and teachers on Amazon.com or my Montessori and homeschool programs for birth to nine-year-olds at Montessori for the Earth.


Popular posts from this blog

Montessori Printables & PDFs

Montessori printables,downloads, and PDFs are an inexpensive to make your own, DIY materials for your homeschool or day care setting! Well I have some terrific resources to share with you from the Montessori mom bloggers of the Montessori Bloggers Network. Want to PIN for later?

A Montessori Infant and Toddler Home Environment

I get a lot of questions about how to do Montessori at home with infants and their toddler siblings. So I created a Montessori Infant and Sibling Series. This is part one.
Questions
"How do I organize the work room areas (where all the Montessori-related materials are going to be) including a two-year-old area (such as art section, math section, etc.) and an 11-month-old area of the room?"
"What about their bedrooms and the living room? Which room should I start with first? It's just overwhelming."
"Should I make up a daily schedule first, or organize (plan, shop, and display) all the materials first? And how do I decide what I should put on the shelves for each of my children?"
Want to PIN for later?

DIY Bedtime Box With Day and Night Matching and Sorting: A Guest Post by Carolyn Wilhelm of Wise Owl Factory

I recently purchased Motherhood May Cause Drowsiness: Mom Stories from theTrenches, Lisa Nolan's mom lit parent humor anthology with forty contributing mom bloggers. Motherhood May Cause Drowsiness is very funny and poignant while describing the experiences of the sleep deprived mothers who contributed the chapters. Any young parents needing some comedic relief about their situations would feel less alone and more understood by reading this book. I've already sent it to a young mom who I know will enjoy the writing. The writers are all very talented and many have written other books and/or blogs. They are introduced at the end of the book with links for future reading and enjoyment.
I smiled for days remembering some of the lines in the book such as, "I hear a doggy barking!" spoken by a child trying to delay bedtime. The teacher mom I could so relate with, as both jobs can be exhausting. There are poems and stories, and it is the perfect bed stand book to help parent…

Best Montessori Books I Own

Welcome to my Best Montessori Books I Own Series: I highlight four Montessori books including Teach Me to do it Myself, Montessori activities for you and your child  by Maja Pitamic; How to Raise an Amazing Child The Montessori Way by Tim Seldin; The Essential Montessori Updated Edition: an Introduction to the Woman, the Writings, the Method, and the Movement  by Elizabeth Hainstock; and Awakening Your Toddler's Love of Learning by Jan Katzen-Luchenta. Some of these books are available at your local library, as an ebook on Kindle, and or used and new on Amazon.com where you can add them to your wish list or purchase them on the spot. Want to PIN for later?

Does your toddler hit?

Does your toddler hit? How do you handle it? Time outs: I don't think time outs are very effective for toddlers in a school or daycare setting. (We did not use them at out school.) Instead the toddler needs help to use her words and express her feelings. But what about at home? At home time outs can be a way of dealing with extreme behavior, like hitting, but there are better methods you can try that are age-appropriate.
CLICK to subscribe for my 37-page Montessori FAQs PDF