Hans Asperger was born in 1906 in Austria-Hungary, and died in 1980. It was only after his death that his work began to be better known. He worked with – especially – children who would now attract the diagnosis that bears his name.
One of our therapists is currently reading Steve’s book, Neurotribes (which she strongly recommends), and shared this brief passage with the writer. Both of us were struck by how resonant Hans’ words are with the person-centred approach…. Which takes us to Carl Rogers, who was describing what he noticed to have beneficial effect in relationship and in therapy – and his observation in ‘On Becoming a Person’ that ‘..what is most personal is most universal’.
‘Asperger would often just sit with the children, reading poetry and stories to them from his favourite books. “I don’t want to simply “push from outside” and give instructions, observing coolly and with detachment,” he said. “Rather, I want to play and talk with the child, all the while looking with open eyes both into the child and into myself, observing the emotions that arise in reaction to everything that occurs in the conversation between the two of us.”‘
Steve Silberman: Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and How to Think Smarter About People Who Think Differently
Here’s the book link:-
And here’s an intelligent review by Jennifer Senior in the New York Times (the book’s U.S. title differs slightly):-
Palace Gate Counselling Service, Exeter
Counselling Exeter since 1994