Kathy Hoopman is brilliant!
Whether she is writing a factual guide to Asperger’s Syndrome as in her recent publication ‘The Essential Manual for Asperger Syndrome (ASD) in the Classroom,’ or educational fiction aimed at multiple audiences teaching about Asperger’s Syndrome, she gets it right.
Placing her main character, Ben, in the familiar environments of home and school, among everyday people taken from family, friends and teachers, we see how Ben copes (or doesn’t!!) with the pressures and demands of everyday life, and how what most of us take for granted can be an enormous challenge for someone diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome – and more importantly, WHY it is an enormous challenge. Through her narrative Kathy emphasises the communication difficulties that arise through Ben’s literal understanding of what is said to him and the frustration that results from his confusion.
My 12 year old son with Asperger’s Syndrome read this from beginning to end when he was first diagnosed, and as well as really enjoying it, he commented on how helpful it had been in understanding his symptoms a little more as he could relate so well to the character of Ben. On the basis of this he has read his way through all of Kathy Hoopmann’s fiction to date!
Handled with sensitivity and gentle humour, Kathy also injects her story with a little bit of genie’s magic! Lovely!
I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.