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

Human by Warren Mayocchi
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it was amazing
bookshelves: biography, autism

As soon as I started this memoir I knew I was in the process of a life-changing read. Like Warren Mayocchi, I too have just recently discovered I am autistic at the age of thirty-five and despite spending ten years working with autistic children in my early twenties, it is not until reading Warren’s story that I feel I am truly starting to understand this complex condition.

Warren begins the book with good solid information on what autism is and what it is not. He explains why labels like ‘high/low functioning’ are not appropriate (I totally agree) and attempts to explain the complexity of what he describes as the “effects and outcomes” of autism.

The book then introduces the reader to Warren’s personal experience of undiagnosed autism from early infancy, school life, work and marriage. Throughout the journey there are extracts from studies and books about autism that describe various elements of the disorder such as autistic burnout and gastrointestinal issues. These extracts not only give the reader a better understanding of Warren’s experience but also provide information for further personal research.

Warren is very candid in his discussion of depression, self-harm and suicidal thinking that plagued him throughout most of his life. This made the book difficult to read at times but only because it is hard to see someone else going through something so awful that I myself have experienced due to lack of diagnosis. Whilst this subject matter may be too difficult for some to read, I personally want to thank the author for including it in his story as it shows people just how difficult life can be without correct diagnosis and appropriate support. This area in particular is something that I hope adult services will improve on so that other adults with autism don’t have to suffer as Warren and so many others have.

The reason I enjoyed this book so much and why it affected me to such a degree is because it was like reading my own story. Warren talks about his passion for music and how he would play songs on repeat, catalogue them and spend hours just listening. I too found music at a very young age and I now understand that I used it as a means of coping with my undiagnosed autism throughout my childhood and even today. I also recognised some of my own social mistakes, the feelings of self-loathing and surprisingly the various masks worn depending on which doctor is being seen and what outcome is needed from the appointment.

This book will be one I go back to again and again in my on-going search for understanding and knowledge on my own autism. It is thought provoking without being too distracting and has provided me with a long list of research papers and books that I hadn’t even considered looking into.

I highly recommend Human:Finding myself in the autism spectrum, to anyone who is diagnosed, waiting for diagnosis or simply suspects they may be on the spectrum. I also strongly recommend spouses and parents of adults with autism to read this book if you want to understand autism from a non-text book source.

Finally I want to thank Warren and his wife for sharing his journey and the immense difficulties he has had along the way. I no longer feel I am the only person in the world who hates the feeling of wrong underpants.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Reading Progress

April 10, 2016 – Started Reading
April 16, 2016 – Shelved
April 16, 2016 – Shelved as: biography
April 16, 2016 – Shelved as: autism
April 16, 2016 – Finished Reading

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