Joshua Muggleton knows from personal experience what it is like to grow up feeling like 'a Martian marooned on planet Earth'. Now 22 and studying psychology at the University of St. Andrews, he combines his insights into what it means to have Asperger Syndrome (AS) with his scientific knowledge of the autism spectrum to write an invaluable guide for parents and teachers.
Opening with the very basics of what autism is, Joshua covers mental health, sensory issues, obsessions and rituals, friendships and social situations, and shopping, travelling, and holidays, before tackling what is arguably the biggest challenge of any Aspie child's life: school - and with it, bullying, homework, and other challenges. Providing the inside track on Asperger Syndrome in childhood, he describes practical ways in which parents and teachers can help, and offers a wealth of advice and helpful hints and tips for approaching common difficulties.
An essential guide for any parent or teacher wishing to understand and help a child with Asperger Syndrome or high-functioning autism, Raising Martians will take them from crash-landing to leaving home.
Muggleton comes across as a very charming, articulate and kind young man who I am sure will give enormous comfort and helpful ideas to any young person on the spectrum. The book is, additionally, the ideal medium for educating parents who are struggling to understand what Aspergers is and how it effects their child or what they can do to help support their child. If you feel your child is giving up and lacks direction or faith in themselves, Muggleton might be the catalyst for change -- asteens
Muggleton, in his debut, is particularly well-suited to comment on Asperger Syndrome, since he was diagnosed with it at the age of 15 and is studying to be a psychologist. In concise, logically arranged chapters, he provides a brief history of autistic spectrum disorders and then offers experience-based insight into a number of aspects of AS, including ritual behaviors, problems making friends and dealing with difficult social situations, increased sensitivity to sensory input, bullying, dealing with changes in a normal routine, etc.... Although mostly intended for parents, many teens will also find this to be a very enlightening, often optimistic work on a challenging topic. -- Kirkus Review
When you have read this book from cover to cover, you will know what it feels like to be a Martian who has crash landed on Earth, but you will also appreciate how heroic those people who have Asperger's syndrome are, living in a world that has so many social zealots, who at times appear to be illogical and intolerant of anyone who is different. -- from the Foreword by Tony Attwood
I have been privileged to have known Josh and the family for many years; dipping in and out of their lives as a fellow Autie. Josh explains very clearly and concisely what it means to live on the autism spectrum (AS). His many stories of life encounters take the reader on an unforgettable journey connecting them with the reality of life on the spectrum. This book not only illustrates one life with AS but paints the backdrop to so many others. In doing so it helps to equip its readers with knowledge and the know-how to enable them to walk beside us. Those who read this book will find countless ways to support us and our families, appropriately preventing the circumstances that lead to bullying and mental health distress. Well done Josh...an unforgettable read! -- Dr. Wendy Lawson
Written in an easy, conversational style, this fascinating book is both an illuminating autobiography and a wise and extremely useful insider's guide to growing up with Asperger Syndrome. Comprehensive and detailed, the book is packed full of perceptive insights and practical strategies that can support individuals with AS - through school, college and beyond. Revealing a deep understanding of his own "special interest", Josh writes with disarming honesty, sharing some intensely difficult experiences as well as many happier ones. He gives us a positive message, a practical reference, a sense of hope - and an appreciation of the many special qualities of individuals on the autism spectrum. -- Jude Welton, author of Can I Tell You about Asperger Syndrome?
Every parent and indeed everyone who works or lives with children or young people with autism should read this lovely book. No one better understands the condition than someone who actually has a diagnosis and lives with it. In this book Josh manages to link professional theories to his own personal development and gifts us with what he has learnt along the way. In my 30 years of working in the world of autism I have not read a more valuable book and throughout it Josh's humour shines through. It is good to read a book that not only explains the way a person with autism sees the world and the challenges to be faced but also highlights the strengths people with autism have that can, with the right encouragement, enable them to understand themselves. -- Jane Vaughan, Director of Education, The National Autistic Society
Joshua's book is a highly readable book that covers many of the challenges of life on the autistic spectrum from childhood to early adulthood. Drawing extensively from modern research, and also from his own experience, it manages to be more than just a reference text. Joshua articulates with precision how his disability has impacted on his life. His evaluation of sensory difficulties superbly addresses an area which can be overlooked when considering the needs of a person with autism. I suggest that many young people may also wish to read the book, as it contains a Toolbox specifically designed to overcome the many challenges life presents. This is a young man who deserves our attention. -- Anna Kennedy, Autism Campaigner
When I started to read the book, I was fascinated and touched by the author's introduction; he had a difficult start in life... The description of depression is something I haven't seen in other books written by young people with AS, so this can be invaluable. Subsequent chapters cover sensory issues and obsessions and rituals, explaining the need for structure and certainty in a world of ambiguity... There is also a chapter with questions and answers, which rounds out an already stellar and impressive book, written with intelligence and compasion by a very likeable young man who has traveled that road before and knows what it's like to feel different-like an alien from Mars. -- Autism Society of Michigan Newsletter
Joshua Muggleton... combines his insights into what it means to have Asperger syndrome (AS) with his scientific knowledge of the autism spectrum to write an invaluable guide for parents and teachers... Although Raising Martians is mostly intended for parents, many teenagers will also find it to be a very absorbing, often optimistic work on a challenging topic. This is a book that helps us connect with the autistic child in a new and meaningful way. -- Juno