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A Regular Guy: Growing Up with Autism
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A Regular Guy: Growing Up with Autism

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  139 ratings  ·  30 reviews
A memoir about life with an autistic son, Matthew, written from his mother's perspective. It answers the many questions that people have about autism through the story of Matthew's life spanning from babyhood to young adulthood. A Regular Guy illustrates the many ways in which family, friends and strangers are touched by Matthew's desperate desire to be a regular guy, and ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published July 7th 2008 by Landscape Press
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Average rating 4.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  139 ratings  ·  30 reviews

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Aug 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
Truthful, realistic - if you happen to be wealthy and have a son with autism. From my perspective of a mother of a 12 year old with autism (whose birthday is the same as the son in this book, only 11 years later), it's apparent that money greases things. These folks are able to afford to send their son to an idyllic farm community school when his behavior becomes disruptive. Most people cannot even dream of being able to do this and must manage without the hired help and special schools, the abi ...more
Lenny Husen
May 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars--rounding up because they raised their sons in the city where I live. I feel like Laura is a neighbor and someone I would love to meet.
Who should read this: any educator, physician, caregiver for people with Autism or anyone who has an autistic family member or friend, anyone who simply wants to learn more so that he/she does not act like a total cunt when confronted with someone with any kind of Developmental Delay or Mental Disorder or Brain Disorder.

I loved Laura's writing--I liter
Cindy Hudson
Feb 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Laura Shumaker brings us inside the world of a parent who is raising a son with autism in her heartfelt memoir, A Regular Guy: Growing Up With Autism. When Matthew was born, Shumaker and her husband marveled over their perfect baby and looked forward to watching him grow. But as he grew into a toddler, the Shumakers became concerned about developmental delays they noticed, and they questioned his pediatrician.

It took many frustrating visits to many physicians before Matthew was diagnosed with au
Sep 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Great read...I couldn't put this book down! The author's writing style is conversational and mirrors many of my own thoughts, fears, emotions. She accurately portrays how autism impacts the WHOLE family, in wonderful and heartbreaking ways. She empathetically characterizes the exhaustive effort, confusion and disappointments for a mother, father, siblings, and extended family of a special needs child.

This book is an excellent choice for a special needs teacher, therapist, family member or famil
Morninglight Mama
Jan 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Although I don't have any first-hand experience with autism as a parent, I found myself connecting with this book from my perspective as the mom of a child with ADHD. Ms. Shumaker has shared her family's story with us, and we get a personal account of the challenges and rewards she has experienced as the parent of Matthew, her oldest child whose autism was diagnosed in early childhood. The author really puts it all out there-- her frustrations, her fears, her challenges connecting with other par ...more
Jul 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoirs
A very tender, honest, sensitive memoir. Local (Northern Cal) author Shumaker tells sad, sweet, heartwarming stories about raising her autistic son in her loving family. Someone below mentioned that this is a great book for those who have NO experience with autism, and I heartily agree! Reading about her struggles as a mother, but mostly reading about Matthew's struggles as a developmentally challenged young adult - and the reactions of the world around him - made me cry and laugh out loud and b ...more
Sep 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone interested in autism, memoirs or family love stories
I absolutely recommend this book, not only to those who are living with an autistic family member, but to those who have no experience with autism whatsoever. Laura's warm and sensitive stories will open your heart to the special challenges and rewards of raising a regular guy with autism. A very engaging and informative read for neighbors, schoolmates, teachers, coworkers, and anyone wanting to better understand autism. And a heck of a good love story.
Andrea Loucks
Jan 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Mrs. Shumaker the author of this book should be commended for putting a light on the daily life of living with a child with autism. This was a wonderfully heartfelt book. I found it sad at times as Matthew wanted to be a "Regular Guy", but due to his autism didn't understand certain socially acceptable ways. It shed new light on what a person with moderate autism goes through.

Thank you again Laura for sharing your story.
Valeen N
Feb 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! I completey empathized with the author and recognized so many of those emotions with my son. Please read this book if you know someone with autism (or a similar disorder). You'll gain a deeper understanding of the family dynamics and of the disorder itself. Thank you Laura for sharing your life with us! ...more
May 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I laughed and cried - honestly cried a lot. As the mom of two boys on the autism spectrum this hit home hard and I loved reading the story of a woman, wife & mom who "gets it" and truly knows the roller coaster ride life is with extraordinary kids like ours. Lara is honest, heart wrenching, and you feel like she's become a close friend by the time you finish this book! ...more
Laura De
Mar 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! I read it shortly after my son was diagnosed with autism, and I felt her story really helped give me some insight into how life can be for the parents and siblings of a family affected by autism. I found her story to be deeply moving, honest, funny, and sad as I read it. It was one of those books that I was sad to finish as I wanted to keep reading more.
Adele Falk
Jun 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
An amazing read for anyone who has been affected by Autism. So many similarities to our grandson, so many differences!!!! The difficulties, concerns, frustrations, hearbream and impact on the siblings.... Incredible. The strength to deal everyday with the challenges ......Unbelievable and so well told in this book, all told with love. Get your box of tissues!!!!
Jun 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
Met the author, not heavy. Very down to earth, good perspective on what it is like to raise an autistic child and how you are pereceived by society, the challenges faced and how to deal with an adult autistic child.
Sep 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Easy to read book. I think everyone should read this book so that they can better understand what parents of autistic children go through. Hopefully, she will write a follow-up book on her son's adult life. ...more
Jun 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Really made me think about things my family will have to worry about in the future with my nephew. Some parts I just couldn't help but laugh although I know his family may not have been laughing at the time. Very relatable for families with special members. ...more
Jul 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
I thought this was a really wonderful reflection on raising a child with autism. Not sugar-coating the difficult parts nor making things more dire than they are, Laura really does an excellent job just telling it like it is.
Oct 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
"You don't know you have patience until it is tested." - Laura Shumaker

This is very true especially in Laura's case. This was a wonderful memoir about Laura and her family dealing with Autism everyday and learning to accept it.
Sep 12, 2013 rated it liked it
This is a tough, but engaging story of a family learning to accept and guide their autistic son through the world. Some very hard parts offset by moments of hope and laughter for Matthew, his parents, and his brothers.
Feb 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Linda by: Elizabeth Fishel
Shelves: completed
This book will be publshed and available on September 1, 2008. My review is of the Galley.
for more information and excerpts go to:
Apr 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
Well done, basically targeted at those with any interest in conditions of autism/ the autism spectrum. A fine personal testimony in a mom's first person account about her son. ...more
Aug 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Laura Shumaker is a local author, who raised her family in the same town I grew up in. Her story is easy to relate to, heartbreaking, and hopeful. I appreciate her sharing it with the rest of us.
Sep 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
funny, real, heart-breaking. a good intro to the autism experience.
Mar 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
This was a real page turner. Read it in almost one day. I had only briefly been introduced to autism before. You will fall in love with this family.
I was really interesting and a quick read
A rather terrible book focused on a selfish parent who sees her autistic son as a tragedy for her own life and wishes he would just be "normal" already. ...more
Aug 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
If you want to know what it's like to raise a child with autism on a very real and practical level this book will enlighten you. ...more
Jun 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Great to read about the adult side of autism. More focus is needed on employmrnt for adults. My main focus is to use network marketing to create income. With the right mentors it'll work. ...more
Oct 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Well-written and authentic. It will warm your heart.
Teri Erickson
May 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Really gives great insight into what it is like being parents and siblings of a person with Autism! Very good read.
Jamie Cormier
awesome book to see what parents of autistic children have to go through.
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