Saturday, August 11, 2012

Jennifer O"Toole and the Theory of Mind

I wanted to thank Tony Mei so much for coming on the show on Friday, August 10th to talk about the 2013 National disAbilities Awareness Challenge. We are looking forward to Tony coming back on the 29th of August to talk about the Working with Scouts with disAbilities website and then on September 12th to talk about his work on the National Special Needs Committee for the Boy Scouts of America.
Today, we wanted to give you a preview of our next installment of Autism and Scouting Radio which will be on Wednesday, August 22nd from 10:00 to 10:30 am PST . Our special guest interview will be with award-winning author and Asperkids creator Jennifer Cook-O’Toole. She will be sharing the concepts behind her books which can be translated directly into strategies to use with scouts worldwide.

Jennifer is a teacher and Author of Asperkids - An Insider's Guide to Loving, Understanding and Teaching Children with Asperger Syndrome which is on shelves now and The Asperkid’s Secret Book of Social Rules which will be coming out this September. Both books are published by Jessica Kingsley publishers.

When I was reading Asperkids, my youngest who is on the Autism Spectrum (not technically an Asperkid) came up to me and asked me, “Are you an Asperkid?”  I said, “No, I am not an Asperkid.” Still standing in front of me, he pipes up “Why are you reading Asperkids?” (Yes, he kept on saying Asperkid in each question. I told him I was trying to learn. Then the next question was “ Are you trying to learn on how to be an Asperkid?” I put the book down, thought a moment and said “Yes”.  Out of my six year old, he got to the root of everything, how does one learn how to teach and work with an Asperkid or any scout who is on the Autism Spectrum, you need to learn their language and get into their world. This is one of the central themes of Jennifer’s book, about getting into their world and learning Aspiespeak.

When learning Spanish, French, German, Russian or Italian it would be natural to assume one would pick up a book or manual to learn.  Asperkids is a place to start to learn to speak Aspie.

Asperkids is an exciting book full of effective and fun ways of engaging with children with Asperger's Syndrome. With originality and insight, Jennifer explains how theory of mind difficulties in autism create the need for concrete forms of communication, and she provides a treasure trove of ways to inspire imagination through sensory experience. In particular, she reveals the untapped power of special interests, showing how to harness them to ensure
academic, social and emotional growth.

It’s geared to parents, teachers and caregivers that work with children on the Autism Spectrum, specifically kids with Asperger’s, although in my reading I found that the strategies and insight she shared were applicable to both my older son (12 with Aspergers) and with my younger son (6 with Autism) and I am sure would work with many scouts who are on the Autism Spectrum.

Jennifer Cook O'Toole is the winner of the 2012 Temple Grandin Award, GRASP's 2012 Distinguished Spectrumite Medal, is an Expert Columnist for Modern Parent Magazine and was nominated for Disney's American Teacher of the Year.

Author. Advocate. Aspie. Mom.

Find Asperkids Here!

Show day will be Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012 from 10:00 - 10:30 p.m. PST / 1:00 - 1:30 p.m. EST.

There are a couple of ways to tune in:

1) You can call in live at (347) 855-8132.
2) You can go to the following link:

If you miss the initial broadcast, it will still be available on demand at the above link. We are also developing an expanded Autism and Scouting page where we will list all our broadcasts future and past.

Here are direct links to both stations of Autism Empowerment:

We invite you to come follow our shows and share the word about our new stations with your family, friends and social networks. The more we can spread the word, the better of a collaborative community we can develop!

Here is a link directly to our Welcome to Autism Scouting Radio broadcast.

We also wanted to provide a link to our Welcome to Autism Empowerment Radio broadcast because this is a really great show that explains who Autism Empowerment is (we’re a 501(c) non-profit public charity), what our mission is and what our four foundational pillars of Accept, Enrich, Inspire and Empower mean in terms of the programs and services we offer and develop. It’s a 30 minute show that gives a great overall at look at where we’ve been in the past year, what we’re doing and where we’re going.

If you know of anybody that you would like to see interviewed or you have a topic idea for a future broadcast, please let us know by emailing
Accept, Enrich, Inspire, Empower!

To learn more about Autism Empowerment, a 501(c)(3) public charity and to help financially support our Autism and Scouting Program, please visit:

Autism and Scouting Program, please visit:Autism Empowerment -

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