The Jumbled Jigsaw: An Insider’s Approach to the Treatment of Autistic Spectrum

Book Cover - Jumbled Jigsaw The Jumbled Jigsaw: An Insider’s Approach to the Treatment of Autistic Spectrum “Fruit Salads” 
 Donna Williams, Jessica Kingsley Publishers
 ISBN: 1843102811, £14.99


Pleasure and repeated cries of “eureka” were my reactions to reading this book in which Donna Williams explains the reality of difficulties I had witnessed in children on the autistic spectrum, writes Beth Billington.

Being far too dense and in-depth this is not an introduction to the autistic spectrum. For a reader with a fair grasp of autistic spectrum disorders (ASD), and experience of supporting people on the spectrum, however, it is a real gem. 

In addition to describing the difficulties experienced by people with ASD, Williams explains how these arise and suggests ways of overcoming or compensating for disability.

This book has the depth of a textbook and is, at times, difficult to navigate. At the same time it engages the reader as a novel would. Examples and metaphors bring the text alive and illustrate the author’s ideas clearly.

Williams emphasises the importance of recognising co-occurring conditions and working with the presenting difficulties, rather than a “one size fits all” approach. I particularly liked the description of autistic spectrum disorders as a fruit salad – containing a range of ingredients in varying quantities, giving a distinct taste each time.

Beth Billington is a trainee clinical psychologist at Lancaster University. She has several family members with diagnoses of ASD

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