Tony Attwood

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Tony Attwood
Born (1952-02-09) 9 February 1952 (age 71)
Academic background
ThesisGestures of Autistic Children (1983)
Doctoral advisorUta Frith
Academic work
InstitutionsGriffith University
Main interestsAsperger syndrome

Anthony John Attwood (born 9 February 1952) is a British psychologist notable for his work on Asperger syndrome. He resides in Queensland, Australia, where he is an Associate Professor at Griffith University.[1][2][3]


He received an honours degree in psychology from the University of Hull, an M.A. in clinical psychology from the University of Surrey and a Ph.D. from University College London[4] supervised by Uta Frith.

Research and career[edit]

His books include Asperger's Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals, which has been translated into 20 languages and provides information on diagnosis, problems of social relations, sensory issues, motor control and other typical issues which face people with Asperger's and their support networks. His other books include The Complete Guide to Aspergers Syndrome, Exploring Feelings for Young Children with High-Functioning Autism or Aspergers Disorder,[5] and From Like to Love for Young People with Aspergers Syndrome (Autism Spectrum Disorder): Learning How to Express and Enjoy Affection with Family and Friends.

Attwood has a clinical practice at his diagnostic and treatment clinic for children and adults with Asperger's Syndrome, in Brisbane, begun in 1992.

Attwood expressed support for facilitated communication in Lucy's Story: Autism and Other Adventures.[6]

It took Attwood thirty years to notice that his own son, Will Attwood, was autistic. Will became addicted to drugs in the meantime and ended up in jail.[7] He later wrote a book on his experience, Asperger’s Syndrome and Jail.[8]


  • Attwood, Tony (2003). Why Does Chris Do That?. AAPC Publishing. ISBN 9781931282505.
  • Tony Attwood (1 January 1998). Asperger's syndrome. Jessica Kingsley Pub. ISBN 978-1-85302-577-8.
  • Tony Attwood (1 November 2006). The complete guide to Asperger's syndrome. Jessica Kingsley Pub. ISBN 978-1-84310-495-7.
  • Tony Attwood (1 November 2004). Exploring Feelings. Future Horizons Inc. ISBN 978-1-932565-21-8.
  • Tony Attwood (1 November 2004). Exploring Feelings: Anxiety. Future Horizons Inc. ISBN 978-1-932565-22-5.
  • Tony Attwood (15 September 2004). Asperger's Diagnostic Assessment. ISBN 978-1-932565-17-1.
  • Attwood, Tony. "Exploring Feelings DVD Cognitive Behaviour Therapy to Manage Anxiety, Sadness, and Anger" ISBN 978-1-932565-61-4
  • Tony Attwood (2013). From Like to Love for Young People with Aspergers Syndrome (Autism Spectrum Disorder): Learning How to Express and Enjoy Affection with Family and Friends. Jessica Kingsley Pub. ISBN 978-0-857007-77-3.
  • Pike, Joanna; Attwood, Tony (18 July 2019). Neurodiverse Relationships: Autistic and Neurotypical Partners Share Their Experiences. London, UK. ISBN 978-1-78775-028-9. OCLC 1083182372.

Selected papers[edit]

  • Sofronoff K, Attwood T, Hinton S, Levin I. "A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Cognitive Behavioural Intervention for Anger Management in Children Diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome." Autism Dev Disord. 2006 Nov 3. PMID 17082978
  • Sofronoff K, Attwood T, Hinton S. "A randomised controlled trial of a CBT intervention for anxiety in children with Asperger syndrome. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2005 Nov;46(11):1152-60. PMID 16238662
  • Attwood T. "Frameworks for behavioral interventions." Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 2003 Jan;12(1):65-86. doi:10.1016/S1056-4993(02)00054-8 PMID 12512399 (A review article)
  • Foreword and Afterword for Lucy Blackman's autobiographic account Lucy's Story: Autism and Other Adventures (2001)
  • Foreword for Robin and the White Rabbit by Åse Brunnström and Emma Lindström ISBN 978-1-932565-61-4.

Other works[edit]

Some of Attwood's books are mentioned in the game To the Moon.[9]


In 2019, Karla Fisher, another autism advocate, said many of Attwood's jokes about autism were a mockery of autistic people.[10] Other autism advocates also claimed that many of Attwood's descriptions of autistic people in his lectures are based on false stereotypes and claimed he makes sweeping generalisations that are not based on evidence.[citation needed] In May 2019, there was a protest in Sheffield which was critical of his views.[11][12][citation needed]

Further, he continually refers to "the Aspie" despite this being discouraged by the National Autistic Society[13] due to the Nazi links with Hans Asperger.[14]


  1. ^ Tony Attwood's web site. Includes autobiographical information (requires Java).
  2. ^ "About Asperger's" by Stephen Fay, Ellsworth (Maine) American, 29 July 2004, retrieved 23 December 2005.
  3. ^ "Workshop for Partners of People with Asperger's Syndrome" Archived February 24, 2006, at the Wayback Machine by Tony Attwood, 2 May 2000, retrieved 12 January 2006.
  4. ^ Attwood, Anthony John. (1983). Gestures of autistic children (PhD thesis). University College London (University of London). OCLC 50675342.
  5. ^ "Meet Tony Attwood". Autism Asperger's Digest Magazine. Future Horizons, Inc.
  6. ^ Attwood, Tony (2001). Lucy's Story: Autism and Other Adventures. Jessica Kingsley Publishers. pp. vii, 283–288. ISBN 9781843100423. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  7. ^ Davey, Melissa (25 September 2017). "Why the world expert on Asperger's took 30 years to notice condition in his own son". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  8. ^ Attwood, Will (3 March 2018). Asperger's Syndrome and Jail A Survival Guide. Jessica Kingsley Publishers. ISBN 978-1785923715. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  9. ^ Meszaros, E.L. (7 September 2020). "To the Moon: Asperger's Representation Done Right". CBR. Retrieved 10 May 2022.
  10. ^ Fisher, Karla. "The Last Place to Take Your Autistic Children". Thinking Person's Guide to Autism. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  11. ^ Davison, Shona. "Tony Attwood is coming to Sheffield". Shona Davison Website. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  12. ^ "Tony Attwood's disparagement humour. Good-natured fun, or bullying, exploitative and offensive?". Spectra Blog. 3 May 2019. Retrieved 4 July 2019.
  13. ^ "Language - National Autistic Society". Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  14. ^ Baron-Cohen, Simon (14 June 2018). "The Truth about Hans Asperger's Nazi Collusion". Scientific American Mind. 29 (4): 38–40. Bibcode:2018Natur.557..305B. doi:10.1038/d41586-018-05112-1. ISSN 1555-2284. S2CID 13700224.