Melissa Ruiz 's Reviews > What Color is Monday? How Autism Changed One Family for the Better

What Color is Monday? How Autism Changed One Family for the B... by Carrie Cariello
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's review
May 08, 2013

liked it

Did I enjoy it?

I did! I laughed out loud once or twice (and teared up a few times, too). Cariello tells her story with confidence and class.

I found the first part of the book a bit tedious (mostly because I felt like I was getting briefed on a new case – I'm a behavior analyst and I've worked with people on the spectrum for years), but for people new to ASD, Cariello's book is a great way to get a glimpse of life with autism. She describes the endless doctor visits and therapy sessions with strength and humor, and although her writing sometimes feels a bit over-stylized, it's hard not to fall in love with the entire Cariello family.

Several things will stick with me – Joe's whispered counting during fireworks, Jack's drawing of “Toilet” and “Underwear,” the disastrous family swim lessons, and Cariello's poignant letters to her children each year on their birthdays. I'm impressed with her cognizance of the quiet, happy moments many of us rush right over, and I had to stop reading several times to go attack my ten month old with snuggles.

Blame it on my career choice if you like, but I cringed a bit each time Cariello tried to explain Jack's behavior to strangers by labeling it as autism. After more than ten years in the field I've come to understand that people who stare are going to stare whether you shout “autism” or not, and the people for whom it would make a difference don't really care about labels.

I've certainly had my share of cringe-worthy moments (highlights include chasing a buck naked six year old as he sprinted down the street and helping a mother carry her preschooler away from a museum train exhibit as he shouted, “Help! No! Help! Help Me!” at the top of his tiny voice). Now that I'm a mother I'm beginning to understand that it's a bit more personal when it's not just your client but your son making the scene, but I guess I wished that the Carrie who yelled at a blind man's service dog would have made an appearance more often.

Would I recommend it?

Sure. Even if you're not interested in learning about autism, this is a great little book about a mother's love for her family. It's a quick read, but a good one.

Will I read it again?

Probably not. I rarely read books more than once, and I even stopped reading Ghandi's biography halfway through because I wasn't really enjoying it. There are so many books in the universe I'll never get to read due to sheer time constraints, so books that get a second read out of me really have to make my socks roll up and down.

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Reading Progress

05/08/2013 marked as: read

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