Ok, I'm not sure what to do about the star system, but I loved this book so much that it's a five for me. It's non-fiction, and I wouldn't say exactly...moreOk, I'm not sure what to do about the star system, but I loved this book so much that it's a five for me. It's non-fiction, and I wouldn't say exactly that it's poetically written, or great literature, but I found it amazing. For one thing, forget the sexy title, the really interesting stuff in here is about this man's struggles, or may I even go so far as to be politically incorrect and say "deficits." How he copes with those differences is much more intriguing than his savant aptitudes.
I realize that people are getting more interested in hearing about autism currently, for which I am very thankful, but this book works for anyone who doesn't "fit in" or is going through the struggle of adolescence. How Daniel describes feeling like the odd one out in his family, being puzzled about how to make friends, being the proverbial square peg in a round hole are really universal themes. I don't downplay the autism aspect though, for anyone who wants to understand better what it's like to be in the shoes of someone who toils with the challenge of autism, either as an individual or a caretaker, this book really helps break it down very personally and clearly.
Frequently, one of the more difficult characteristics of autism is the strain to communicate, not only with speech but also in writing. Daniel is able to articulate so beautifully what goes on in his head and compare it with neuro typical experiences that I am doubly impressed. It really sheds a light for those of us who can't relate, and puts into words what other autistic individuals feel but can't express.
I think other parents of kids with aspergers or high functioning autism are going to find great hope in these pages. No, he still can't drive, and his life isn't easy, but it's definitely blessed; he lives independently, and by focusing on his strengths rather than problems he is financially independent with his own web business, has a healthy adult romantic relationship, and tries hard to advocate for others with autism by taking advantage of educational opportunities even though it's hard for him. It's a simple, quick read without a lot of scientific jargon to slow it down. I didn't just enjoy this book, I thank him for it.
By the way, I haven't taken the time to write a review, but another book that I really liked with similar themes is John Elder Robison's Look Me In the Eye.(less)
WOW, I didn't know this book existed. Ever since reading Running With Scissors, I was totally intrigued about the older brother, and lo he has his own...moreWOW, I didn't know this book existed. Ever since reading Running With Scissors, I was totally intrigued about the older brother, and lo he has his own book. I'm running to the library for this one. If it's not over his head, I'll pass it on to my almost 15 year old with Asperger's. So many people don't have a clue about this form of autism, I get a lot of negative judgments about my parenting, and I am thrilled to death that some of the people with the diagnosis are starting to speak for themselves.(less)