The Jumbled Jigsaw by Donna Williams

What makes each person with autism so different from each other?  How do you learn to 'speak autistic'?  What are the low cost and no cost strategies to help people with autism manage their own particular collection of challenges?

Published in 2005, The Jumbled Jigsaw is an easy to read, 'quick dip' self help manual on the 'Fruit Salad' model of and approach to the navigation and management of autism.  It exposes autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) not as single entities but as a combination of a whole range of often untreated, sometimes easily treatable, underlying conditions. Exploring everything from mood, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive and tic disorders to information processing and sensory perceptual difficulties, including dependency issues, identity problems and much more, it demonstrates how a number of such conditions can combine to form a 'cluster condition' and underpin the label 'autism spectrum disorder.  Most importantly it gives case study examples and clear strategies for management of each piece of autism spectrum 'fruit salad'.


* Anyone wanting to understand what is involved any particular person's 'autism fruit salad'
* Parents, case managers, behaviour intervention staff, troubleshooters and people with autism looking to gain a clearer sense of what it actually presenting as 'the autism'


  • Part I: Getting Oriented   
  • Part 2: Into the Depths   
  • 1.    Fuel System and Electrical Problems: Health & Autism   
  • 2.    Different Ways of Navigating: Sensing vs Interpretation   
  • 3.    Issues of Overload: Being Mono & Delayed Processing  
  • 4.    Experiencing Differently: Sensory-Perceptual Issues 
  • 5.    Losing Control of One's Body: Impulse-Control Problems  
  • 6.    Strange Emotional Spaces: Mood-Regulation Problems   
  • 7.    Invisible Cages: Anxiety Issues   
  • 8.    Being Joined at the Hip: Dependency Issues  
  • 9.    Bad Parenting or Bad Match? Boundary Issues   
  • 10.  Matters of Perspective: Trauma, Neglect, Abuse & Grief  
  • 11.    Who Am I and Which Side Am I On? Identity Issues   
  • Part 3: The Fallout   
  • Appendix 1: Sources of Help: Professionals, Places and Services   
  • Appendix 2: Autism Spectrum Cluster Checklist   
  • Appendix 3: Referral List Based on Checklist   
  • Index

What readers said:

It took me well over a year to read Jumbled Jigsaw, not because there is anything wrong with the book, but because there is so much right with it. Williams is original in her perspective (I've read shelves full of books on autism, none like this) and incredibly insightful. If you have a child on the autism spectrum with one or more co-occurring diagnosis, you are likely to find each page dense with provocative information and ideas. - HomeschoolingASDmom


This fascinating and insightful book can only be described as a guide and "wake up call" for everyone.  Despite the "experts" imposing severity labels on Autism that are then used by the education community to direct intervention and expectation as well as outcomes, their lack of understanding of the "jumbled jigsaw" and the personality and individuality of the Autistic person has doomed their system to failure.  Ms. Williams took the time to write down what worked and what did not so many mistakes can be avoided : With appropriate assistance, the autistic person has the best chance to become all they would have been if the symptoms of what others call the persons "autism" were minimized.  - Monica


The Jumbled Jigsaw = autism unravelled. This book is the bible, thesaurus and dictionary of the autism spectrum and its add-ons all bound into one brilliant and informative reference book. An absolute must for anyone connected to this modern diffability and wanting to know more. This book empowers with state-of-the-art insider knowledge.  It has helped me enormously. - Sarah Howard


You can order this book from the publishers

The current publishers for The Jumbled Jigsaw are listed here

If in Australia you can order this book from the distributor, Footprint Books here

If you're a publisher looking to acquire other foreign language rights, please contact JKP to discuss acquisition.