Trish's Reviews > Understanding Death and Illness and What They Teach about Life: An Interactive Guide for Individuals with Autism or Asperger's and Their Loved Ones

Understanding Death and Illness and What They Teach about Life by Catherine Faherty
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's review
Dec 14, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: nonfiction, asd

This is an impressive book, both in its scope and its presentation of sensitive topics in a clear and direct manner. Even if you are not ready to delve into all of the topics in the book, just the first couple of chapters are great for teaching an individual how to tell if they might be sick or injured and why it is important to communicate with a trusted person about what is going on in your body. There is also a fantastic chapter about communication that can apply to many situations outside of the scenarios involving death or illness.

Several chapters of the book focus on what happens when someone is dying as well as providing detailed explanations of the actual events that may occur after someone has died, such as various types of services and how the body is dealt with. Faherty also spends a number of pages discussing ways that people may grieve after a loss and explaining many of the sayings that people have about death and grief.

From there, she moves into a chapter about emotions and then into a long chapter about things people may learn about life when facing death. Again, she helpfully highlights many common sayings and explains what people generally mean by them, which I found to be extremely fascinating. There really is so much in this book that is about how we live as much as about how we die, and I think it would be a fantastic resource for anyone wanting to discuss these topics with someone with an Autism Spectrum Disorder.

The book is written mostly in question and answer format, with communication forms after each topic. These forms are usually checklists with room to write in specific comments or questions about the topic at hand. While they may seem simplistic to some, I don’t believe you should underestimate the power of structured, written communication for a person anywhere on the spectrum, especially about a topic that can carry so much emotion.
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