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A Regular Guy: Growing up with Autism Paperback – July 7, 2008


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A Regular Guy: Growing up with Autism + Six-Word Lessons on Growing Up Autistic: 100 Lessons to Understand How Autistic People See Life + Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew: Updated and Expanded Edition
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 241 pages
  • Publisher: Landscape Press; 1st edition (July 7, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 098018360X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0980183603
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #773,356 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

In Laura Shumaker's thoughtful portrait of her families struggle with autism, we explore the journey that anyone touched by disability must navigate. Her writing is elegant. Her lessons are invaluable --Mark Trautwein, NPR Perspectives, KQED San Francisco

A must read for all families affected by autism, professionals who care for children and adults on the autism spectrum, and for those who wish to get a better understanding of what it is like to wear the shoes of a mother striving to do the best for her special needs son. --Ricki G. Robinson, M.D., M.P.H.Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Southern California School of Medicine; Scientific Advisory Board Member, Autism Speaks.

Laura Shumaker has written a book with sensitivity, warmth, and intelligence. On one level its theme is autism; on another it is about tragedy, hope, resilience, and above all, loving. --Clinical Professor of Medicine; Chair, Editorial Board, UC Berkeley Wellness Letter

About the Author

Laura Shumaker is a regular contributor to NPR Perspectives. Her essays have appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, the Contra Costa Times, the East Bay Monthly, Hallmark Magazine, Exceptional Parent Magazine and in several anthologies, including Voices of Autism (LaChance 2008). She lives in northern California with her husband and three sons.

More About the Author

I'm the mother of THREE terrific sons. The oldest, Matthew, is a young adult with autism. I'm an optimistic mother/autism advocate/writer, and parents like me because I tell them it gets easier and I mean it. I write an autism blog for the San Francisco Chronicle that is very popular.

I've contributed to several anthologies, including Voices of Autism, A Cup of Comfort for Parents of Children with Special Needs, Writin' on Empty, Gravity Pulls You In, Writin' on Empty, Easy to Love, Hard to Raise and the incredible Thinking Person's Guide to Autism. My essays have appeared in many places, including The New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Contra Costa Times, Literary Mama, the East Bay Monthly, The Autism Advocate, on NPR and CNN.COM.

Customer Reviews

Thanks for sharing your journey.
kiki1105
This is a wonderful book full of stories of how Laura and her family cope with and are living a full life with Matthew.
Ellen B. Callahan
In a quick, easy to read biographical story, this book does just that.
Susan Ashley, Ph.D.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By tom clements on December 11, 2008
Format: Paperback
Although the topic is autism, this book reads like a detective novel. The writing is so skillful, the narrative so well-composed that you'll find yourself captivated by the story line and fully immersed in the characters. Sentimental without being maudlin, Laura captures the heartache and challenges facing the family of an autistic child. And she does this with humor and psychological insight. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in the family dynamics of autism and the stuggles of a young kid yearing to be a "regular guy". Beautiful.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Linda Goldfarb on July 13, 2008
Format: Paperback
I loved this book. The story of the Shumaker family's journey with Matthew, their autistic son, was so fascinating and well written that I felt as if I was part of the Shumaker family as I read. I couldn't put it down and ended up finishing it in one sitting. Life with Matthew is not always easy, but Ms. Shumaker's descriptions kept a smile on my face as I traveled the journey of adapting to a full and rich life with a son who is very special. I highly recommend it.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Deborah Thompson on September 17, 2009
Format: Paperback
Well written, witty account of the experience of living with Autism. Her experience closely parallels my own. Recommended especially for everyone who thinks Autism is easy to deal with, but also for anyone who has any interest in Autism.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kathleen Gallegos on June 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
I am the parent of a 10 year old boy that has Aspergers. I thought this book was brilliant. From one Mom to another, I could totally relate to the author and her joys and trials and tribulations. It also gave me a glimpse into my sons upcoming teenage years and things to watch for-which I am always trying to learn more about. I think it is a must read for anyone who has someone with autism in their life.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J. Boyle on July 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
I couldn't put down "A Regular Guy." I was very moved, I laughed, I cried, and I was educated. Having a disability or being with someone you love who has one is not easy to understand for those of us who aren't in that situation. I thought Laura's book brought that experience to light with all the joy and pain. While it's apparent that it has been a tremendous struggle for the family, it's obvious that the love the family shares has made them so much stronger and a tighter unit.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lynn A. Hannigan on August 16, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have a grandson with Autism and heard about this book on Facebook. I could NOT put this book down. It was an amazing peak into the life of this family and I absolutely appreciated her honesty and giving people the opportunity of sharing their trials and successes in their life.

I cannot recommend this book enough!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. Drugay on August 20, 2009
Format: Paperback
A very tender, honest, sensitive memoir. Shumaker tells sad, sweet, heartwarming stories about raising her autistic son in her loving family. A few have 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 basically just feel like my heart split open for him and the whole Shumaker family. A very quick and engaging read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Karen Garber on June 30, 2009
Format: Paperback
I first read Ms. Shumaker's account of her son Matthew in the San Francisco Chronicle Magazine. It moved me to tears. Her writing is clear, accessible, and personal. This is no self-indulgent or sentimentalized memoir. Its characters are well-drawn, the family relationships realistic in both their closeness and their challenges. I read the book in one sitting, and enjoyed every page. You must meet Matthew, and the mother who helped him to be a regular guy.
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