Look Into My Eyes: Asperger's, Hypnosis & Me - Paperback RRP £12.99/$18.95 Kindle RRP £4.99/$6.99
Look Into My Eyes is an autobiography of one man's life through the lens of Asperger's syndrome - a high-functioning form of autism spectrum disorder. As a small child Dan Jones knew he was different to other children, they would want to play football and interact with each other, he would want to crawl around searching for snails keeping himself to himself. Dan found his own coping strategies to manage his anxieties, discovering meditation as an eight year old, and hypnosis as a teenager.
This book offers a rare insight into what it is like to live with Asperger's. Dan has a unique perspective; not only does he have Asperger's, but a large part of his professional life has been spent working with people with autism spectrum disorder and their carers, so this book shares ideas and advice about what to do if you are seeking a diagnosis for yourself or a child.
This expanded second edition includes 50% more content across two new chapters, a chapter by Dan's wife about what it is like to be in a relationship with someone with Asperger's Syndrome, and an extensive chapter of tips and strategies for parents/carers of those with Autism Spectrum Disorder, for teachers, employers and friends of those with ASD, covering various areas including interview skills, social skills, and shopping.
Through this book you will be taken into Dan's world, from birth to adulthood, through his experiences of the world around him, exploring what has been helpful, and what hasn't. Dan is open and honest about both the positive and negative aspects of himself, and shares how Asperger’s has impacted on all areas of his life and what he has done to address the challenges he faces.
Asperger's wasn't used as a diagnostic term until the mid-1990's, by which time Dan was leaving school and moving into the world of work. Until recent years Dan disliked diagnostic labels because of the way people would take the label and turn it into an identity which would dis-empower them. He also saw parents and carers do this with their children where they wouldn't address things, instead they would blame the label for undesirable aspects of their child's behaviours. What changed for Dan was his experience of being discriminated against. He realised that having a diagnosis may help him challenge the way he was being treated by giving him access to occupational health support. Following his diagnosis he started to reflect on his life and realised many things could have gone differently had he been diagnosed sooner.
"Having Asperger’s can be overwhelming. Every moment can be a sensory overload. I can be walking through a town centre and I will be hearing jarring sounds of machines, and cars, and the chaos of hundreds of different voices, and movement coming from everywhere, having to dodge people, constantly having to try to adapt to people stopping and starting, darting my attention from face to face, and to dogs people are walking, and to movement of signs, and flashes of sunlight off windows, and objects people are carrying. Normally my only escape is to go into my mind and shut out as much as possible. I have tried to convey this chaos and sensory assault through my writing."
The event which transformed Dan's life the most growing up was watching Paul McKenna on TV and reading two of his books. This triggered a lifelong interest in hypnosis. Hypnosis is essentially the study of advanced communication skills, how to apply those skills in social interactions and how to understand people's verbal and non-verbal responses and behaviours. Dan shares the impact hypnosis has had on his life and what it is that hypnosis has taught him.
One of the biggest motivations for Dan to write this book was to give hope to parents of children with Asperger’s and to those with Asperger’s Syndrome. Through his work Dan has encountered many parents that seem to have no hope for the future of their child. They deeply love their child who has Asperger’s but many of the parents seem to believe that their child won’t achieve much in life because of their diagnosis, one aim of this book is to give hope to those parents.