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Living Well on the Spectrum


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Table of Contents

Foreword, Stephen ShoreIntroduction. How to Get the Most Out of This BookI. Life on the Spectrum1. A Typical Day in Your Life: Problems and Solutions2. A Unique Brain: How Thinking Differences Can Affect Your Daily Life3. How Social Differences Can Be Vulnerabilities and Strengths4. The Role of Your Emotional Differences5. How Sensory and Movement Differences Can Affect Your Interactions with Your EnvironmentII. Positive Solutions for a Quality Life6. Positive Solutions: Your Bag of Tricks7. At Home8. At Work9. At School10. In the Community11. Building Friendships12. Dating, Sex, and Marriage13. Health14. Putting Yourself in Charge of Your Life and Finding Help When You Need ItAppendix: Problem-Solving WorksheetResources

About the Author

Valerie L. Gaus, PhD, is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Long Island, New York, where she lives with her husband and two children. With more than 15 years of experience providing mental health services to people with autism spectrum disorders, Dr. Gaus serves on the advisory board of the Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism Association and has lectured internationally on Asperger syndrome and related topics. She is the author of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Adult Asperger Syndrome.


"On a daily basis, adults on the spectrum face stressful, frustrating, and sometimes debilitating roadblocks that most neurotypical individuals don't appreciate or understand. Author Valerie Gaus, a psychologist who has been immersed in working with spectrum adults for more than 15 years, 'gets it.' Her newest book!is a straight-talking roadmap that will provide both wind and rudder to help adults navigate daily life and meet long-term goals. Filled with practical strategies to minimize stress and maximize progress toward individual goals, this book exudes an unwavering strength-based, can-do attitude. Dr. Gaus reinterprets what could be considered deficits and weaknesses of AS/HFA into distinctive strengths that can be used to one's advantage throughout life. She infuses this attitude with candor and sensitivity!.She combines an uncanny understanding of the challenges ASD presents with an array of practical, problem-solving tactics. What's different about this book is the methodical, concrete way she helps the spectrum adult assess his or her current way of thinking and functioning, recognize the patterns that are interfering with personal and professional success, and then create a customized step-by-step personal solution plan. Living Well is a powerful guide for achieving well-being in all areas of life." - Autism Asperger's Digest, May-June 2011 "Dr. Gaus presents her ideas clearly and effectively and makes terrific use of practical examples. She offers great ideas to help those on the spectrum decrease stress and maximize their progress toward life goals by understanding, fully utilizing, and celebrating their special qualities." - Gary B. Mesibov, coauthor of Understanding Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism and Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, USA "As an Aspie, I found this an excellent and readable guide. The book gives readers a better understanding of their social, intellectual, and physical strengths and weaknesses, and provides strategies for improving communication and social skills. It includes helpful techniques for choosing goals and setting course toward them. Kudos to Dr. Gaus for creating this manual - I hope it will be much read." - Eric Schissel, Ithaca, New York, USA

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