A great resource for a parent wading into the ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) world. The books touches on basics that we unwillingly omit, and puts you into the perspective of a child with ASD.
It breaks down misconceptions and stereotypes of what it means to live with autism, and everything that entails for the parents and families involved, but even more importantly the child living with it.
The book revolves heavily on the authors own experience with her son, and what she and her family have done, who they’ve talked to, and what they’ve learned to convey the main points of the book. Although it does rely on studies when it needs to, the book is more of a showcase of the love and the care that they took to provide their son the best opportunities for him, and the fight that went along those opportunities.
The book is broken down into 10 concepts:
1. I am a whole child
2. My senses are out of sync
3. Distinguish between won’t and can’t
4. I am a concrete thinker. I interpret language literally
5. Listen to all the ways I’m trying to communicate
6. Picture this! I am visually oriented
7. Focus and build on what I can do rather than what I can’t do
8. Help me with social interactions
9. Identify what triggers my meltdowns
10. Love me unconditionally
It then goes onto give an update on how her son has normalize most of the aspects on his life, as well as all of their support and love supporting his own path as he figures out life, and the in and outs of adulthood.
My greatest takeaway from this book, aside from understanding how I should behave and react to my child based on a new perspective knowing what I know now, is this; Your view and your outlook for your child will determine how your child blossoms. To quote the author: As Marcus Aurelius observed “Your life is what your thoughts make of it”. For the child with autism, we must extend that: “your child’s life is what your thoughts make of it. More than any treatment, diet, or therapy, the perspectives from which we view a child’s autism have the greatest impact on whether he will learn to grow, thrive, and be a happy person.
I will definitively be recommending this book to whomever has a child living with autism in their life. The most powerful line from the book: “Autism is a tragedy for families only if they allow it to be. The greatest tragedy that can befall a child with autism is to be surrounded by adults who think it’s a tragedy”