Posted on April 25, 2014 in Autism
In my opinion, any review of autism autobiographies has to include the classics. Today, there are many new autobiographies on the market each year, but back in the 1980s and 1990s, these published stories were rare. Therefore, there are a few books that I consider important to the field because they gave us one of the first glimpses into autism; Soon Will Come the Light is one of those accounts. Published in 1994, Thomas McKean’s story takes us from childhood to life in a hospital to adulthood and finally to McKean’s “working truce” with the “normal world”.
The book is broken into three parts (as I see it). It begins with McKean’s life story and details his experience in a hospital. The second section relates more directly to his views on autism. The final section contains poetry and other writings.
If you have not read this important book, one of the first autobiographies on the market, and you collect and enjoy this genre as much as I do, you will want to get a copy and read it cover to cover. You will learn not only something new about autism, but about how times have changed in understanding life on the spectrum.
** Idea for using this book: Enjoy the poems in the final section of the book. They provide another window into the McKean’s experiences. Some of these might even be brought into a study of poetry in a classroom; I think one of the best ways to teach about cultural, ethnic, gender, physical, and learning differences is to bring diverse voices into the classroom via curriculum, instruction, and learning materials.