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Autism By Hand [Kindle Edition]

Lorca Damon
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $6.99
Kindle Price: $0.99
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Book Description

"I never wanted to write this book. I can’t write this book, it hurts too much. But I have to because this book wasn’t there when I needed it. It’s not a human-interest story or a self-help book or an instruction manual on how to raise an autistic child. It’s simply a well-thought out laundry list of everything I did to help my daughter be the best person she could become and I did it in the dark because this book wasn’t there for me." from the Introduction

Be sure to check out the author's follow-up to this title: Knowing Autism. Written as a chapter-by-chapter guidebook for anyone who simply knows an individual on the spectrum, Knowing Autism equips people to be ready to interact with an autistic person based on the type of relationship they will have with that person, such as a relative, a neighbor, a teacher, and more.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Lorca Damon is an author, teacher, and mother of an autistic child. She teaches in a juvenile correctional facility.

Product Details

  • File Size: 173 KB
  • Print Length: 148 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005H7UE5C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #361,700 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring and real August 30, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm not a mother. I'm the father of two wonderfully "normal" young men. I cannot begin to imagine what the mother of an autistic child, or any special needs child, endures 24/7/365 for life. But I am eternally grateful to Lorca Damon for sharing her life. Autism By Hand offers an honest, sometimes harsh, look at how one mother learned to care for her autistic child. The author warns her readers there will be no sugar coating, just real and raw strategies that work with her daughter.

The author likens her role to being on the edge of a cliff, holding tight to her daughters hand as the child hangs precariously over the abyss. There is no time for sugar coating or self pity, only positive action. She offers that positive action in a beautifully written narrative that inspires both laughter and tears. I read over half the book at one sitting, unable to put it down.

Though the book is written as a guide to mothers of autistic children, or any caregiver for that matter, it is a wealth of knowledge for any parent. I recognized many of the same struggles we had with our own children, yet multiplied a hundred fold. Where the parent of a developmentally "normal" child may struggle across a hurdle once, or over the course of days or weeks, the struggles continue for years or even a lifetime for the autistic parent and child. The most mundane social skills that our children learned by simply being kids are major milestones to be overcome day after day.

I couldn't help but fall in love with Carrie, the author's autistic daughter, through the selfless unconditional love her mother reveals in every line of Autism by Hand. I was introduced to the most beautiful, sweet, funny, and gifted little girl I can imagine.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read October 30, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The Saturday before my birthday, I spent lying on my sofa reading, Autism by the Hand by Lorca Damon. Since honestly is an important component of it the follow needs to be stated before I go any further: this review is going to be completely and totally biased. I am the sister and extremely proud auntie of people living on the spectrum.

Like the author of this book, I have read a lot on autism that left me with way too much technical information and not enough practical advice. Like the author, I am also an educator. Theories are great, but give me something I can use in my classroom or with my family. Something that you have tried and seen results from. It may not work for me, but it certainly feels a lot better than taking blind stabs in the dark. Or worse, reinventing the wheel, only to discover that someone else did it better.

Since I began teaching, I have always worked with at risk populations. My first job was in a mental hospital educating sexual abuse victims. While there, I knew more than a few kids who would have benefited from their caretakers reading this book. Not because they were necessarily on spectrum, but because the advice it offers cuts through the BS of their labels and seeks ways to help them deal with the world. A world that isn't going to understand them not matter how much education we shove down its throat.

One of my favorite parts of this book was when Damon described her daughter getting upset when she share her Autism diagnosis with women in a store to explain the child's actions. Often times, we use the label of Autism as an excuse as to why someone with it can't do this or that, but how often do we consider that they may not want the world to know. Maybe the world doesn't need to know.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Harsh, but a valuable perspective May 7, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Autism by Hand, written by Lorca Damon, provides an interesting perspective from the mother of an autistic child. Autism varies so much from child to child that it is difficult to say that one method of therapy that works well for one child will be of any benefit for another. For this reason it is valuable to hear from as many parents as possible to know what they have done to help their child and their entire family live with autism. Although I disagree with much of Damon's perspective, I recommend this book to anyone interested in understanding autism or working with autistic individuals or their families.

From the start Damon announces that she will not pull any punches, giving fair warning that her style of writing may be offensive. Several times during the course of reading I wanted to stop reading and forget about the book. At times I felt like I was being yelled at, which I don't particularly care for. I kept reading because even though I don't agree with a lot of it, I appreciate the different perspective on autism than my own.

Overall I think there are some helpful tips for parents to try out with their own children, but I feel that the author presents them in such a way as to make a parent feel belittled if they do not agree with her or find use in her suggested methods. Taken as a case study of one family's experience with autism I think this book is worth the read, but be prepared for the condescending tone and "television grade" profanity.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great book if you feel ready for "tough love" October 1, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is one of the first personal books I read after my son's autism diagnosis. To be honest, after I read it I felt deflated and depressed and that I could never live up to this author's idea of what an autism parent should be.
I also couldn't really agree with her sentiment that being nice to the teachers/education system helped get her daughter a better quality of care (to steal a healthcare phrase.) At least not in a way that could be applied universally. Yes, you should be nice to your child's teachers (obviously!). You should always go in assuming the best and treat them like the amazing professionals they are. But at least in my experience in my child's large urban school district, there is a tremendous turnover and the educators you created a relationship with one year will all be gone the next school year. Teachers, Aides, OTs, and SLPs, all different :-(
That doesn't mean you shouldn't do it b/c kindness is never a waste and having a connection with your child's team is always a good thing even if it is only a brief thing. I just don't think it is necessarily going to give you the same results that she writes about.

There is a lot to appreciate about this book.
-The author tells you in the very beginning that she is not going to sugarcoat anything and she is just conveying her experiences and what worked for her and her child. She is not trying to sell you anything or make you any promises or guarantees, just sharing her information.
-She is an excellent writer: funny, honest, clear and very compassionate at times and tries to see a lot of things from different points of view.

I found Susan Senator's "Making Peace with Autism" more my personal style, but I think "Autism By Hand" will resonate with people who want the tough love approach and lots of hands on advice.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful and Heartwarming!
I enjoyed reading Autism By Hand because the author was so down to earth. She gives practical insight to autism. She shares strategies that I am ready to try in my own classroom. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Julie Stockton
Published 2 months ago by Grumbles
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Author is very opinionated. The "hand" thing doesn't carry through as far as a "theme" after awhile.
Published 7 months ago by JanRDmom
5.0 out of 5 stars TREMENDOUS!
I am an autism consultant and special education teacher. This book was so honest and straight forward, it's was refreshing! Read more
Published 7 months ago by Beth Kindy
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Book, just be aware she does tell it like it is...
It's a good book, but she does tell it like it is. So if you get offended easily, I don't recommend it. I enjoyed the book. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Rosy Stefanich
4.0 out of 5 stars thought provoking
Very honest and blunt, and lots of useful tidbits thrown in. A nice mix of practical tips and personal outlook
Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Very candid!!!
I am a mom of 6 with one on the way. it has recently been brought to my attention that my youngest 2 kids as well as my husband may have aspergers. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars learn
Written by the obviously loving mother of an autistic daughter to provide the rest of us a peak into their world. The book does the job. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Wile E's Mom
5.0 out of 5 stars Real.
I needed this book immensely, I recommend it to anyone, anywhere in the ASD journey. very honest and inspiring. lighthouse
Published 13 months ago by Tiffany G
5.0 out of 5 stars No False Hopes
This book was well written. Ms. Damon doesn't pull any punches and gives good advice on dealing with things you might not think of like family objections. Read more
Published 14 months ago by BGW
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More About the Author

Lorca Damon is a teacher in a juvenile correctional facility and a YA author. Her non-fiction books are about her own autistic daughter and the strategies she used to help her, while her young adult fiction tries to be the kinds of books her reluctant readers would want to read.


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