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Body language - 2012 sale

Body language and communication

A guide for people with autistic spectrum disorders

Author: Simon Perks


Format: A5 Paperback
Availability: in stock
Product number
Body language and communication - A guide for people with autistic spectrum disorders
Simon Perks
Published by
The National Autistic Society

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Understanding and using body language can be difficult for people with an autism spectrum disorder. Learning how to use body language effectively can help those to communicate more successfully and enjoyably with other people.  This book discusses some simple body language techniques and a number of scenarios where they can be put into practice, such as meeting people for the first time, starting a conversation or engaging in small talk and workplace banter.

Print format
illustrated by Steve Lockett
Number of pages
First publication
ISBN / supplier product code
Dispatch partner
Primary distribution partner
Typical delivery
7 working days
Subject Communication Behaviour Participation Quality of life Sensory world
Edited reviews

People communicate using much more than words. Verbal messages are often wrapped up in gestures, facial expressions, postures and intonation. This non-verbal part of the message adds to the meaning of what people are saying. For individuals with an ASD this body language is often incomprehensible: it's a sort of foreign language for them. That is why they both miss out on a lot of important nuances and (unintentionally) may send the wrong or mixed signals.

There are books teaching individuals with autism to read body language but this small book, although having the same aim, is different from other sources because the author himself has ASD. While professionals have to think what might cause people with ASDs difficulties, Simon does not make guesses; he knows what it is like to be a foreigner in social situations. He writes from his personal experiences and encourages the reader to think how they can relate these to their own situations.

In his book, Simon explains how people with ASDs can learn to use and interpret body language in order to interact more successfully and more enjoyably with their family, friends and other people they meet in their everyday life. He starts with the basic aspects of social interaction (meeting people, starting conversations, speaking and listening) and describes useful techniques in each case. He provides explanations not only about what and how but also why it is important in social interaction.

This book can be used both as a manual (teaching basic grammar and vocabulary of the body language) and as a reference book (sort of a dictionary when you forget the word you can always look it up, using the contents list).

It can be used by individuals with ASDs to become fluent in body language, and by professionals working with these individuals to teach useful techniques of social interaction, using different sections of the book for discussions and practice.

Olga Bogdashina
Lecturer, author and mother of a young man with autism

This book is aimed at people with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) to help them to understand body language and communicate with family, friends and colleagues. The author, Simon, has an ASD.

The book is very reader friendly and describes social situations and what to do, though sometimes, I felt there could be a little more explanation. For example, Simon writes: When we meet someone for the first time, it is usual to shake his or her hand. However, this would not apply to a shop assistant or cashier at the petrol station etc.  He also writes: If you use too little pressure, the other person may think you are weak or submissive. It may however be that the person is very shy or lacking in confidence.

The section on starting a conversation is excellent and his explanations on adding emotion and emphasis are very clear. Simon also tackles difficult issues such as small talk and office banter. As he writes from his own experiences, he can share the ways that helped him to cope with all sorts of social situations.

Occasionally I think that Simon over-analyses. For example, he writes: when crossing legs, if the person we are speaking to is seated to our left, we should cross our right leg over our left, so that our right foot is pointing towards the other person. However, the section on understanding groups and mingling is informative and concise.

I enjoyed reading the book. It gave me a very good insight into the difficulties facing people with ASDs in every day social situations. The book has some great pictures by Steve Lockett to illustrate some of the situations described. I would recommend this book to adults with ASDs.

Patricia Thorpe

LSA, tutor of adults with autism and author of Moving from primary to secondary school, Understanding difficulties at break time and lunchtime and Bullying and how to deal with it, all published by The National Autistic Society. 


Autism Helpline Number: 0808 800 4104
Last updated: 04/09/2017 17:13:20