Posted on April 06, 2014 in Autism
So, if you follow my work at all, you know about my belief in teaching to student fascinations and supporting strengths (see Just Give Him the Whale). I think I enjoyed this memoir by Dawn Prince-Hughes so much because it validates this practice. Above all, Songs of the Gorilla Nation is a story of a life lived in pursuit of a passion.
Prince-Hughes not only found a life’s purpose with gorillas, but shares that she learned to understand Asperger’s syndrome, by connecting with animals. Though she dropped out of school at the age of 16, her love of gorillas motivated her, gave her a focus, and eventually led to a Ph.D. in anthropology.
This is simply a lovely book that I would recommend to those who enjoy memoirs. Specifically, however, I have used this book to teach teachers and students about the why and how of teaching to fascinations, passions, “loves” and areas of expertise. I highly recommend Songs of the Gorilla Nation.
**Idea for using this book: Share with the animal lovers in your life! This book is not just about autism, it is a lovely story about the gorillas and about what we can all learn from animals.