LINKS TO SELECTED RESOURCES
With some Personal Observations
As I've said elsewhere on this web site, I'm not into lists. Other people do it far better than I can. I know people. I know what's good, and here is a small collection of the links to folks and organizations who will connect you with others who are like-minded. I ask those who know of other resources not to be offended if I don't include you or them. I simply don't have the time. Check back every now and then...I may add a link or two.
Mediation, Negotiation, and Collaborative Problem Solving
An excellent, high-powered page on mediation and negotiation as a skill. Mediation has become way too specialized over the past two decades. It didn't have to go that way, but once the legal profession, speducators and professional trainers got ahold of it, something not necessarily good happened to the idea of folks using plain old common sense to resolve their differences. My mediation history goes back to the Harvard Project, still going strong today. I am still an inveterate generalist, and have deliberately chosen to stay away from becoming a specialist in ever-narrowing categories of mediation. I am interested in folks picking up the tools of negotiation and deal making -- an ordinary part of life except for most of us with Asperger Syndrome. We can learn them too.
Two Inclusion-Oriented U.S. AS Adult Supportive Regional Organizations
The Asperger Association of New England is one of this country's oldest and most successful "integrative organizations" that serves the needs of AS adults as well as it does children. Based in the Boston suburbs, it's the home organization of my friend and colleague Stephen Shore.
An Ambitious Inclusion-Oriented National Organization, primarily East Coast Oriented
This New York based national organization has an excellent web site and links to many adult-oriented resources. Its board of directors and movers and shakers must be on the autistic spectrum. A mixed blessing, but one that seems to work well for Michael John Carley, GRASP's Executive Director.
The Best Single Source on Person-Centered Planning and Inclusion
Absolutely the finest trainers in the field in Canada and the US, associates of this special organization created and contiue to set the gold standard for person-centered planning (PCP) and inclusion. Bad PCP has gotten a bad rap because most of the folks supposedly doing it are inept, manipulative, and not true believers. They talk the talk but don't walk the walk. Not these guys. You haven't experienced the real, deep values of person-centered work unless you've been directly touched by training with Jack Pierpoint, Connie Lyle O'Brien, her husband John O'Brien, and the rest of the Marsha Forest Centre crew.
The Best Person Who Understands that Our Behavior is Communication: David Pitonyak, Ph.D.
David Pitonyak, Ph.D., is a special, rare find in the field of behavioral psychology. He began his training in the traditional way, in institutions. He now works on broken institutions and in healing the souls of those broken by such places, their inmates (we now call them "residents") and their keepers (now called "care giving professionals"). A dedicated student of Herbert Lovett's philosophy, David has taken a profound understanding of people and institutions with difficult behaviors to an extremely high level. Once you've heard him speak and tell his stories, you'll be hooked. You will never again accept the unacceptable.
Communicating with All Our Languages
AUTCOM, considered by many mainstream professionals in the "autism industry" as an organization of humanistic upstarts, kooks, and wizards, this remarkable, small national organization "gets it." It really does. Nuzzle up to a member of this organization, and you'll never think the same way about autism ever again.
Three Major Publishing Houses
Autism/Asperger Publishing Company, is a well-managed, growing publishing house that's captured the titles and the imagination of many newer American authors in the field of child and adult autistic concerns. Keith Myles, its owner, is without question the best all-around AS book distributor in the United States, regardless of whether the title he's hawking is his or not. He also puts on a bang-up books and publications booth at major conferences.
Future Horizons every now and then it comes out with a good title, even a great title. Its publisher does not discount sales. Future Horizons is a major convenor of autism conferences.
Jessica Kingsley Publishers is my publisher. Simply put, she has the most comprehensive current and back list of titles in the business, extending into fields of direct interest to human services professionals working with children, adolescents and adults. Her books have three things going for them not true of any other publisher: (1) They are always affordable. (2) Kingsley selects authors who write well. She doesn't hand-hold clear thinkers who happen to be awful writers. She wants them to have both skills, and it shows in the high quality of her publications. (3) Kingsley is a consummate businesswoman. She has the best international distribution of any specialty publisher, and isn't afraid to shell out the big bucks to have her titles available on every major "to the trade" publisher's index. If she's printed it or sells it, you can find it.
A "Best Single Stop" Organization with Scads of Information about Asperger Syndrome
I'm sorry folks, but the Brits have it all over us. The United Kingdom's National Autistic Society has a web site, substantive articles and some social thinking far more advanced than the Autism Society of America's web site and its board of directors. That's why I've listed the Brits here, and not us Ameruhcans. Yes, as a society, the English have problems with disability rights and inclusion, but they "get Asperger Syndrome" far better than we do with our principal national autism organization.
The Best Overall Meta Link Site for Asperger Syndrome
Janet Norman-Baine's Oops...Wrong Planet Syndrome! web site is far and away the most comprehensive meta-site for all things Asperger Syndrome and autistic. She's the biggest collector of informational ephemera in the business, but she's a solid web mistress, utterly dedicated to sweeping all corners of the Internet on a regular basis. She plays no favorites.
Simply put, if not for Tony Attwood as our Johnny Appleseed Asperger Syndrome would still probably be just 299.80 in the DSM-IV. Tony generously acknowledges the contributions of others to this crowded field, but in my book he's the firstest and the bestest. Of special interest to the research types who've gotten this far into my web site is Tony's brief summaries of major academic journal articles and research reports. While still leading the pack, Tony stays abreast of best and promising practices, something that involves a lot of reading. Attwood does not rest on his laurels. As others have crowded into the "kid and adolescent" field, Tony's moved, strongly, into addressing adult issues. After all, Penny, his sister, isn't getting any younger, and I have the feeling that in addition to the encouragement of Lorna Wing when he was a student in England, Penny's life has provided Tony with the juice to stay with common sense and keep his eyes on the prize: a high and dignified quality of life for all of us.
Two Sites Dear to My Heart
I co-founded one, and have been an active list serv poster and article contributor to both....
ASPIRES is the widest-range-of-thinking on the web site dedicated to understanding Asperger Syndrome as an adult relational phenomenon. Founder and web mistress of the ASPIRES web site is Linda Newland, my buddy, one gutsy lady and a friend since we both met on a parents of AS kids discussion list 1997. Linda doesn't shy away from carrying controversial articles, so don't expect pablum and always good times when accessing the articles and links she features on the site. ASPIRES has a great discussion group list serv.
Oregon Parents United, a web site and discussion list serv, was one of this country's first "home grown" special education parent assistance web sites. Linda Newland and I co-founded it in 1998. It may not be as complete as other national organization-maintained web sites, but it has articles and links those other sites wouldn't dream of carrying.