Raising awarness – get information from the right source
As the World Autism Awarness Week is now commenced, I thought my way of taking part will be sharing my recent reads on the subject. Since Bobcat is being under assessment for possible spectrum disorder, I’ve been reading a lot about it. Well, to be honest I’ve been reading about it ever since I realised that he might have autism. Since he was around 15 month old. At first, like every other suspicious parent, I have spent long hours searching on the internet for answers. Then loosing sleep over what I’ve found. Braced with everything I know about it now, I can safely say, that this was rather harmful then helpful. However, it did lead me to chase up our health professionals and get him under assessment. Luckily, in our borough, we don’t have to have a formal diagnosis to have access to all the support services. Like speech and occupational therapy, attention training and other courses for both myself and Bobcat. The National Autistic Society’s page is always a good place to start. They have reliable and up-to-date information for you. I would generally advise against reading online forums and chats initially.
One of these courses was the EarlyBird Programme. It’s a three-month parent support programme for families of young children with an autism spectrum disorder. I will post about this later, but I found this programme incredibly useful and supporting. I have not only picked up some new techniques how to deal with certain issues or overcome difficulties, but I’ve met some fellow parents. It was great for sharing our experiences together, talking openly. It helped me not to feel so isolated.
3 Really Good Books On Autism
Each month I picked up some books to read, provided by the course. Now I’m going to share my favourites with you. These three books on autism are very useful. I feel like these books together can give you the best possible base of knowledge about autism spectrum disorder. I wish that someone would have given me these books to read the very moment I first started to Google red flags, milestones and symptoms. My gorgeous boy is still waiting for a formal diagnosis and he might never receive any. But we have applied some techniques and we use them successfully. Over the past two years I have learnt so much about autism that it is now a subject I find absolutely fascinating.
So the books are:
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
This fiction novel gave me lots of “snap, that’s so true!” moments. The author portrays the fifteen-year-old Christopher through a story. The a neighbour’s dog is killed and Christopher decides to find the murderer. As the touching, sometimes funny adventure of Christopher’s begins to solve the mystery and find his mother, we learn a lot about his personality. Being brilliant with numbers, attention to the smallest details and understanding only the literal meaning of this world are very common with people on the spectrum. Yet, the book does not stick to these only, it’s peppered with details we can all relate to. It offers an insight into high-functioning autism.
Isabel’s World: Autism And The Making Of A Modern Epidemic
The title is actually the very thing the author argues against in the book. It’s not a modern epidemic in the literal sense of the word. The first part of the book is very factual. It’s fascinating to anyone who is interested to know how the modern psychiatry has developed over the past hundred years. Also tells us about how diagnosing autism and spectrum disorders advanced. The author -being an anthropologist- draws interesting connections on how autism was and is being perceived in the different corners of the world. The second part is dedicated to the writer’s daughter, who has autism. She was diagnosed in the early 90’s, when autism diagnosis was still very rare. This part is about the author’s understanding, accepting and living with his daughter’s disorder.
Once in August Long Ago: A Week in the Life of an Autistic Boy
Because this is a very emotional piece on autism, if you can handle this, you can then look at ASD with some objectivism in my view. Some might find it too honest, but this is the reality to people caring for people with severe form of autism. It definitely puts things into perspective. The book is a diary about a week of happenings when the author’s six-year-old autistic son came home for his holidays from the institution where he was placed in full-time care. It is sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes funny. It’s carrying elements of confusion, joy, anger and relief. Definitely an eye-opening and soul-awakening story.
Do you have any favourite book on autism? We have also reviewed a book for children illustrated by an artist with autism: Children’s Book Review: The Wiggle Woshers And Their Stolen Hearts