PattyMacDotComma's Reviews > Human: Finding myself in the autism spectrum

Human by Warren Mayocchi
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it was amazing
bookshelves: non-fiction, bio-memoir, australian-author, arc-done, kindle, aa, brain-mental-autism

Required reading for anyone interested in autism.

Astounding, unusual, unique, extremely personal view from the inside out. Completely coincidentally, I had only just read Graeme Simsion’s The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect, the funny, touching fictional autobiography of a professor with autism who marries a bright, spirited girl. In those, Don has learned how to modify his behaviour and why he needs to.

But nobody had any idea why Warren seemed so different from other kids. Strange, quiet, passionate about some things, distant, impolite, temperamental – all characteristics which in 2015 are pretty well-recognised by most Australian schools, parents and the medical profession as possible autistic traits. Early intervention is the name of the game.

But Warren didn’t know, his parents didn’t know, and the girl he fell in love with and married didn’t know. Nor did his bosses, his co-workers, his co-competitors in the sports he competed in. Nobody seemed to twig that there was a reason for his behaviour. So there was no early intervention for him, and help seems to be lacking for adults.

Hence, Warren had a difficult childhood in Queensland which went on to be a difficult life. Only recently has he found the right scientific research himself to delve into to show he is not alone. The book contains a reference list, and he cites many studies throughout. This is far more than a diary.

His biggest problem was himself. He was so good at pretending to be ‘normal’ and realising when people would expect an apology for his apparent rudeness that he got away with it. Well, not really, because everyone thought he was very different. And it exhausted him to the point of meltdown when he got home. But now he’s ready to share his story and tells the reader:

“I learnt during my life that to survive, it is better to be invisible, but not anymore. Take a deep breath, for the first time in the history of the world, you have been granted access. Take at tour, but don’t touch my music collection or move my stuff around.”

The virtual tour through his world is fascinating. He’s a talented writer and tells his own story very well without holding back. He also includes some of his poetry and drawings – both of which also show talent. But he kept convincing himself he was no good. Pity.

He understands humour and sees it in the same places thos of us do who take things literally. A cartoon shows a door with a sign saying “Disabled Toilet” on it and a guy walking away in a huff saying “Damn thing never works!”

He and Cyndella met when they were very young and married young. Their wedding photo is just gorgeous. They were very much in love but really only knew each other during breaks from school and on holidays, when he was relaxed and less stressed. Once they married, pressure built up, and when they moved to England, things escalated again.

Many jobs, family crises, and a couple of kids later, and he’s FINALLY getting some answers! He fooled all the psychologists he went to see and had to do the research himself.

Fortunately, he’s based in Brisbane, as is the clinic of Tony Attwood, a renowned expert in Asperger’s Syndrome. Also fortunately, this time Cyndella was included in the discussions and gave a truer picture of Warren’s behaviour as seen from the outside, which I think made an enormous difference.

This is a fantastic resource for anyone even remotely interested in autism, Asperger’s or anything along those behavioural lines.

Highly recommended and enormous thanks to Booklover Catlady Publicity and Warren Mayocchi for allowing me to review a copy of his terrific book.
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Reading Progress

April 9, 2016 – Shelved
April 15, 2016 – Started Reading
April 17, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

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Maxine (Booklover Catlady) Great review!

message 2: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn Excellent review Patty! Sounds really interesting.

PattyMacDotComma Carolyn wrote: "Excellent review Patty! Sounds really interesting."

Thanks Maxine and Carolyn. It is interesting indeed to feel what it's like inside someone who had to learn to trust his wife's opinion about what is and isn't acceptable to other people.

Can you imagine being an adult and being reminded of your manners? (Actually, I can - it happens to me when I take off without saying all the necessary good-byes. )

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