Posted on April 15, 2014 in Autism
I have every book Donna Williams has ever written, but Nobody Nowhere remains my favorite simply because it is the first book I ever read about autism. I was twenty-two, new to teaching, and knew next to nothing about autism. The social worker at my school recommended this book and I read it in one sitting. I highlighted content on nearly every page and bookmarked dozens of passages to share with others. I still have this copy and continue to reference it regularly.
Williams story is not an easy one to read. It is filled with accounts of abuse, pain, and challenges, but it is also beautifully written. I am particularly drawn to the many stories about …
Posted on April 14, 2014 in Autism
Jasmine Lee O’Neill’s book, Through the Eyes of Aliens, is more about explaining the experience of autism than it is about exploring her own life, so while it is in many ways autobiographical, it is a book that does as much teaching as it does revealing.
O’Neill uses her book not to illustrate how autism has shaped her life, but to describe what it is to live on the autism spectrum. She also uses her platform to encourage friends, family and professionals become more sensitive. She has many practical suggestions for reframing behavior, building from strengths, and supporting communication differences.
Above all, this book is about …
Posted on April 13, 2014 in Autism
This lovely book is Peyton Goddard’s journey from silence to communication, from segregation to inclusion, and from isolation to connection. After years of struggle, Peyton is finally is able to access her voice via computer keyboard; this book is the story of that experience told in her own words and in the words of her mother, Dianne.
I am Intelligent details the Goddard family’s experiences through joys and sorrows. One of those joys is seeing Peyton graduate from college as valedictorian after she has experienced years of being seen as incapable of learning.
I love so many different things about this book, but her focus on …
Posted on April 12, 2014 in Autism
A Real Person by Gunilla Gerland was not published in the US, it is not well known by many readers of this genre. In my opinion, however, it should not be missed. Gerland has a real knack for storytelling and I have shared many of her anecdotes with teachers over the years. Readers of this book with learn a lot about teaching, learning, communication, and connection.
Here is a story I share often when teachers report that their students are …
Posted on April 11, 2014 in Autism
Filled with wit, honesty, and heart, The Journal of Best Practices by David Finch is a glimpse into life on the autism spectrum and into the author’s marriage. Finch’s story is unique because there are several great autobiographies that feature stories about marriage, but not many that let us see into a union where a diagnosis comes a few years after the couple ties the knot.
This book focuses on a romantic relationship, but I liked it because it can help any reader better understand some of the challenges that any social relationship can present for some people. In this way, it may help those who love someone on the spectrum and it may help those on the spectrum as well. Readers may be especially interested in the little adaptations Finch puts into place to become a better friend and partner (e.g., writing short notes to himself) as these could be adopted by anyone seeking a better connection with …