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I Wish I Were Engulfed in Flames: My Insane Life Raising Two Boys with Autism Hardcover – January 17, 2012
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“This is not your mother’s autism book! Raw, honest with ‘she said what?!’ laughs on every page.” (Kim Stagliano, author of All I Can Handle: I’m No Mother Teresa)
About the Author
More About the Author
Jeni Decker lives on a farm in rural Michigan with a bunch of animals (human and canine), and her albino frog, Humbert Humbert. She is the author of:
I Wish I Were Engulfed in Flames
The Peacock Mirror
The Wisdom of Repugnance
Far From Happy
and the Dex Morneau series:
~with Kat Nove:
Waiting for Karl Rove
Waiting for Karl Rove, the sequel... sort of
Top Customer Reviews
Jeni, the mother of Jake, (born 1996) and Jaxson (born 2000) tells the travails of raising 2 boys with autism. Jake is not as severely affected; is quite bright and a number of his writings are included in the book. The inclusion of Jake's work makes the story even more effective.
Jake, the older son has meltdowns; cannot stand the touch and feel of paper and like most people on the autism spectrum detests surprises and loud noises. I felt Jake's pain in re his aversion for topics fecal; I hate feces and find fecal talk stomach turning. In fact, the only thing I DIDN'T like about this book were the graphic fecal tales. Jake's fecal issues included his asking Jeni to inspect him after he used the bathroom to make sure he had completely cleaned himself. Jake's related sensory issues included only using wet wipes instead of toilet paper. His social skills, while never his forte included asking for a cleanliness "inspection" even at age 12!
Jaxson, on the other has severe autism. He has severe meltdowns, sometimes resulting in injury to his brother. He is marginally verbal; partially toilet trained (there is a section devoted to how Jax would change his own Pull-Ups after each trip to the bathroom and a funny part about how he stashed the discarded soiled ones in a neighbor's yard until the irate neighbor demanded to know what was going on. Even though I hate fecal tales, that story about the stash and the neighbor was funny). He also is quite computer savvy and even films his own stools. I didn't like the part about the stool show or any of the graphic fecal tales.Read more ›
This book is a raw, unbelievably honest memoir, but most of all it is entertaining and very well written. My hat's off to you Jeni Decker.
The book doesn't have a beginning, middle, or end, but rather is a rambling compilation of incidents. Sometimes a story seems to begin in one direction, then goes in another direction, and I'm not quite sure if the author properly ends all of the paths she starts on. I wanted so much more backstory, and even a chronological order of events would have helped with the flow.
In addition, I did not appreciate all of the forays into political opinions of the author. She goes as far as implicating that those who disagree with her views are stupid. The book shouldn't have gone there.
So, did I enjoy the book? Yes. Was I also disappointed? Yes. I feel it could have easily been so much better.
While some parts of the book are OK, this book is less about autism and more about the author herself. She acts abhorrently to her husband (and acts surprised that he'd cheat on her after she gave him permission to because she was "done with him"), is beyond vulgar, and just isn't all that likable. Why is there an entire chapter about her film-making, which frankly, sounds stupid? How is filming your mom and a dildo in the shower interesting, artistic, or anything resembling what normal people would do? And then act all put out because a public school then fires you for it? Really? That's surprising? And I'm supposed to feel sorry or sad that kids are deprived of the project you were trying to do?
I honestly spent the majority of the book just saying "WTF?" and just being weirded out. The stories about her kids were interesting, but I wish it were more about them, autism, and raising them. This book really wasn't about that at all.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very relatable. Funny, and touching at the same time. Probably not the best for a choice for a read if you are a prim and proper conservative Christian, but if you are a real... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jennifer Francis
Great book, I have a son on the spectrum & reading this made me feel so much better. Good laugh!Published 13 months ago by mandipants
As a parent who has a child on the spectrum this book was a breath of fresh air. I loved how honest she was with her experiences.Published 14 months ago by mandapanda75
This is a funny memoir about what it is like to raise two autistic children. Anytime I think I've had a hard day, a read a chapter of this book and realize my life isn't so tough. Read morePublished 15 months ago by A. D. Hale
Due to the subject matter of a child with a developmental disability (which I've worked with very much) I thought this would be better than it was. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Zephyra D. Skousen
This book is amusing and has funny moments but in my opinion, it was mostly complaining about her own lifestyle with her autistic children. Read morePublished 19 months ago by kso88
This book helped me to realize that I am not alone in struggling to understand an unusual child. I have two that are dealing with hypersensitivity, anxiety disorders and... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Lorraine Rock
Found it an ok book, there are some very funny moments , but all in all found it an ok read.Published on January 21, 2014 by Jorge