Top critical review
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One section was good, ten were frustrating
on February 13, 2008
When I started this book, I thought "what a breath of fresh air!" It seemed so light, focusing on the psychological aspect of autism, which in today's world, seems to go unnoticed. Years ago, autism was thought to be completely psychological. Now the pendulum has swung 180 degrees the other way, and all we ever focus on is the biological aspect of autism. I am extremely interested in the biological aspect, but there are also psychological aspects that warrant attention.
But then she goes into more detail on each of the ten items. This is where I felt like the book self-destructed. There were a couple of themes that I just got tired of hearing, One was a good occupational therapist will help you with x, y, z... All occupational therapists are not the same. And just because you see an occupational therapist, does not mean you child is going to improve. I felt like she was leaving out huge details. What was it that she thought was so great, and why isn't she telling us?
Her lack of details was just annoying. For instance, at one point she's talking about an instance where her son uses echolia (repeating something previously heard verbatim), to answer a question, in this case, she says it's a line directly out of the movie Toy Story. But she never tells us what he said, what was the line? It was an irritating loose end. She does make the point that she read an article written by an adult with ASD where he explained that much of his daily conversation is echolia, which brought her peace. My son still does it sometimes, possibly more than I realize, but it is invisible to 99 percent of the world, so I don't care.
She tells a story about an intervention that was popular in the 90's and how she said "If you do that to my child, I will kill you!" But she doesn't tell us what the intervention was. Again, why bring it up if you won't tell us the details. If it was that bad, why be silent on the subject?
Then there's the constant drumming of "don't try to fix your kid". Well, that's all well and good for her. Her son is verbal, goes to dances, stays at camp for a week, sort of "that's easy for you to say." And in some respects, she speaks out of both sides of her mouth on this subject. In the beginning she made it clear she wasn't going to accept what everyone said about how he wasn't going to ever be able to do numerous things. So she obviously wanted to help her son, possibly even fix him. Had she focused on simply adjusting your slant from fix to help, it would have been more tolerable. She does talk about looking at the good side of ASD, such as instead of lining things up, they are good organizers, but I really felt like she got stuck on semantics, and being politically correct, even though she said that wasn't her taste or style.
On several occasions she criticizes a parent's feelings. For instance, she brings up the vaccine issue while criticizing a parent for being angry that his child was made autistic by the shots. She thinks he's wrong to focus on the damage done to his child, and that he needs to focus on the future. She then says she's not going to get into the question as to whether or not the shots cause autism. Then why bring it up, just so you can criticize the poor man that is devastated his child is autistic? Anger is part of the mourning process; we've all been through it. And don't bring up lightening rod subjects like the vaccine debate then refuse to discuss it.
This book had a great start, but it left me feeling very frustrated. I don't recommend it.