A Devoted Father, An Educator, and An “Aspie” Collaborate In Aspertools: The Practical Guide for Understanding and Embracing Asperger’s, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and Neurodiversity
“I believe that Aspertools…is at the vanguard of changing peoples’ perceptions about what’s going on with our brains.” – Brian Udell, M.D., Medical Director, The Child Development Center of America
One in every sixty-eight children have been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), making it the fastest growing developmental disability in the world today! Navigating the many aspects of the Autistic spectrum disorder for parents can be harrowing, especially since the characteristics of the disorder manifest in a myriad of ways. By drawing from his experience as the parent of Rebecca, who has Asperger’s, Dr. Harold Reitman’s latest book, Aspertools: The Practical Guide for Understanding and Embracing Asperger’s, Autism Spectrum Disorders and Neurodiversity (HCI Books), offers guidance, empathy and information to anyone raising a child with Autism.
Because Rebecca was not properly diagnosed until after she graduated college, Dr. Reitman, a renowned orthopedic surgeon, was determined to provide a simple guide and the necessary tools to help families, professionals, those afflicted with the disorder, and society as a whole. Each child is different and so are their needs. Dr. Reitman focuses on looking at characteristics and not labels, and by using the term “Aspie” in his book more as an umbrella term to include all who are different, it encourages those who are different to embrace their differences. While his book is not geared specifically towards Autism, its principles and guidelines can be applied to anyone whom society considers as ‘different,’ something Dr. Reitman repeatedly assures us is something to be celebrated not ashamed of.
Reitman’s relationship with his daughter as a child suffered by his not knowing she had Asperger’s; now his knowledge and willingness to put what he knows into practice has only strengthened their bond. As a contributor to the book, Rebecca offers great insight into what it was like growing up with Autism in a world that was not accommodating. She shows through her own example how people with Autism can still be successful. One of a few women in 2009 to earn her degree in discrete mathematics from the prestigious Georgia Institute of Technology, today Rebecca tutors math to “different brain” kids.
“No two brains are alike so we cannot continue with a ‘one size fits all’ educational and workplace system,” says Dr. Reitman. “What I have learned from my daughter and our educational advisor, Pati Fizzano, is that effective tools are essential for day to day life. Aspertools is a practical guide that includes those critical tips to make it more seamless, less frustrating and more productive.”
By referring to Rebecca’s perspective in the book, parents get a better understanding of what their child is going through. Together, they break down what the disorder is to the parent and the child, making parents more conscious of how their actions affect their child, and creating a mutual understanding between the two.
A contributor to Aspertools, Pati Fizzano is an ASD Certified Teacher, ESE Certified Strategist and Exceptional Student Educator who is regarded by her peers and community as the best mentor, teacher and specialist for helping “different” students achieve their full potential.
Dr. Harold “Hackie” Reitman is a retired orthopedic surgeon, former professional heavyweight boxer, CEO of PCE Media LLC., philanthropist, author and movie producer. His recent release, The Square Root of 2, is a fictionalized adaption of his daughter’s challenges at college. He received the Emerald Society 2000 Humanitarian of the Year Award, the Healthy Mothers-Healthy Babies 2002 Honorary ‘Mr. Mom’ Award and the Florida Medical Association’s 2002 Harold S. Strasser, M.D. Good Samaritan Award. He is Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the American College of Surgeons, and the International College of Surgeons. Dr. Reitman resides in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and is the proud father of Rebecca – the inspiration for his book. To learn more, please visit www.aspertools.com.
Available online, at bookstores, or order directly from the publisher; www.hcibooks.com or (800) 441- 5569
Aspertools: The Practical Guide for Understanding and Embracing Asperger’s, Autism Spectrum Disorders and Neurodiversity