Books and Publications

I am Special: A Workbook to Help Children, Teens and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders to Understand Their Diagnosis, Gain Confidence and Thrive - Peter Vermeulen

I am Special is a proven programme for helping children, teens and adults on the autism spectrum to understand themselves and their diagnosis, gain confidence and thrive.

Peter Vermeulen describes in-depth the theory and research behind the programme, and explains how to use it in practice. He presents a series of specially-designed worksheets, included on an accompanying CD in a handy printable format, on a wide range of topics, including how the brain works, physical characteristics, likes and dislikes, sensory issues, strengths and weaknesses, learning preferences, relationships and plans for the future. When completed, the worksheets can be used to build up a unique and personal book about the individual on the autism spectrum, to help foster self-understanding and self-confidence. For the very first time, the programme presented in this second edition is suitable for use with teens and adults as well as children, and also contains helpful interactive material for siblings.

This is a unique resource for all those involved in supporting children, teens and adults on the autism spectrum, including teachers, psychologists, counsellors as well as parents and carers.


'Supporting children and young people on the autism spectrum to attain greater self-awareness and understanding can be a real challenge. Practitioners from a wide range of professional disciplines will find Peter Vermeulen's sensitive and well considered approach inspirational as well as invaluable.'
- Charlene Tait, Scottish Autism

'I am Special is one of the most useful workbooks ever produced for autism. This new edition also embraces technological assistance, in its extensive library of electronic worksheets. Every parent or professional who works in autism should have a copy of this book.'
- Professor Lynette van Zijl, Stellenbosch University, South Africa


This is the title - Peter Vermeulen

To understand the ways people with autism think, Peter Vermeulen argues, we need to try to get inside their world. The latest scientific thinking is clearly explained, and illustrated by numerous personal accounts. This introductory book offers the reader a real window into the autistic mind and the very individual way in which it processes information. Honest and accessible, this book will be invaluable to anyone involved in the care of an autistic child.


The humour adds greatly to the text and results in a light-hearted and enjoyable read. This does not detract from either the seriousness of the condition or the information provided. Peter Vermeulen intends the book to counter the often negative view of autism. He does this admirably without presenting an idealised picture of the condition.
- Bulletin

We have no idea what it is to see the world through the eyes of autism. We offend the logic of the autistic mind, we confuse with indirect and non-literal language, we exasperate with our unpredictability and our social obsessions. Translation is vital and Peter Vermeulen makes a great contribution towards that increased understanding with this small book. Anyone who reads it, and reads between the lines of the many wonderful anecdotes and examples, must surely be left with a greater respect for the autistic view of the world, and a sense of the value (as well as the challenge) of these very special minds.
-- From the Foreword by Francesca Happé

This is a book that anyone who is even in the slightest measure involved in the lives of individuals with autism must keep on the shelves of his home library.
 -- Ina van Berckelaer-Onnes, Professor, Leiden University

This is an extremely practical book, very useful to all who have to deal directly with autism.
-- Eddy Daniels, Intermediair

Autimatically: AUTISM IN 61233 PICTURES - Det Dekeukeleire & Phil Steelandt

A visual demonstration about autism by people with autism…
The theme of this film is autism combined with normal intelligence. The co-existance of autism and normal intelligence in one person is not well known. This often leads to a lot of misunderstanding and incomprehension. The idea of making this video was conceived by the participants at a course run by Autisme Centraal. A centre that organises (amongst other things) specially adapted activities for this particular group.

They want to get rid of the classical image of autism, and so show what autism really means in their daily lives. The film illustrates the specific difficulties with they face.  It is not a coincidence that the group chose the medium of film: -a visual explanation - according to them – would have more impact, or, as they say: “it has the advantage that one can broaden the classical idea of autism by the use of images”.


Autism as context blindness - Peter Vermeulen

Despite years of study and advanced technologies, we still do not fully understand how the “typical” brain works, much less how an autistic brain works. And while we have become increasingly familiar with the term autistic thinking, people with autism are still misunderstood, leading to frustration, depression and missed opportunities to reach one’s potential. According to Peter Vermeulen, treatment of autism is still too focused on behaviour and minimally focused on observation or determining the way of thinking that leads to the behaviour.

In this ground-breaking book, inspired by the ideas of Uta Frith, the internationally known psychologist and a pioneer in theory of mind as it relates to autism, Vermeulen explains in everyday terms how the autistic brain functions with a particular emphasis on the apparent lack of sensitivity to and awareness of the context in which things happen. Full of examples, often humorous, the book goes on to examine “context” as it relates to observation, social interactions, communication and knowledge. The book concludes with a major section on how to reduce context blindness in these various areas, vital for successful functioning. Due to the far-reaching consequences of context blindness, this book is a must for those living and working with somebody with autism.

Winner of Mom’s Choice Award, 2013 (USA)

Silver award 2013 National Parenting Books (USA)



Best book on autistic brain. The author has taken lots of current research and made it easy to read and even entertaining. Fascinating. Recommended for anyone who has a person with ASD in their life.
- An SLP from California on

This fascinating and readily understandable book should be part of any library collection on the subject of autism. The author’s intention is “to help ensure that whoever is involved in autism, professionally or otherwise, has a better understanding of what is happening in the brains of those with autism.” 
- Barbara Bamberger Scott,


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