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Without Reason : A Family Copes with Two Generations of Autism Paperback – November 1, 1989


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Future Horizons Inc (November 1, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1885477694
  • ISBN-13: 978-1885477699
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,056,991 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Bonnie Sayers on August 18, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is the true story based on the author's family and their struggles with Autism. It is about being a sibling to an older brother and what life was like in his household. His father came and went and his Mother never pursued a diagnosis for his brother.
There are some very touching moments in the story about the author's two sisters and how they left the house and their marriages and how the older brother was perceived in the family unit.
Charles goes off to college and has a hard time leaving his brother behind with his mother. At this point in time there is no diagnosis for his brother. They did not send him to school. I believe this was around the 1950s. His brother is much older than he and Charles is more of a father figure to him.
Charles gets married and then has a son. It is around this time that he begins noticing similarities between his brother and his son. Once his son receives the diagnosis of Autism he approaches his Mother to have his brother tested.
learned many lessons from his experiences. In this book he explains how people with autism cannot understand the words "before" and "after". The sequence that allows you to understand cause and effect. The sense of time can be radically impaired or absent. Other words we take for granted and not understood are then, sometime, did, will and so on. Autistic people have a hard time using a calendar and the concept of time as well as a lack in judgment.
One of the stories Charles retold is how when his son was about the age of thirteen and in a residential home, he broke either a window or a mirror. At the hospital, he asked Doctors and nurses not to give signs of sympathy or offer any kindness that an autistic person might misinterpret as reinforcement for their actions.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 5, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The author's brother and his son are both autistic, born 50 years apart. The comparing and contrasting of attitudes, teaching and therapies are very interesting. The hopes for his son and brother are very compelling. The examples he gives of the autistic person not understanding cause and effect are very clear.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 15, 2003
Format: Paperback
A friend of the author lent me this book out of curiousity. I applaud Charlie for sharing such an honest and personal account: the '"embarrassment" of Sumner when he was growing up, the thought of killing himself and his son after discovering there was a problem, and then realizing that things can be different for his son. The memory I will carry away from this book is that of two devoted parents who took the initiative to learn all they could about their son's condition and became advocates for his care in a society that did not know how to address/treat autism. Of course, they encountered many frustrations, but never gave up. If parents were half as devoted to their children as Charlie and Sara, there would be a lot less troubled kids in the world today. I've seen Ted on public transportation in the city (before I knew who he was) and the first time I saw him, I did think he was odd with his insistent questioning to a person on the bus. Now that I realize his background and know who he is, I commend his parents once again, and Ted, of course.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 7, 2002
Format: Paperback
I've worked with people withe disabilities, including autism, for over 20 years. This book was strongly recommended by a family member,and gave new insights on autism, and on sibling and parents' needs and perspectives. But.. the person who recommended it seemed to mainly gain support for anti-med. feelings he already had, and became absolutely opposed to any use of medication for the autistic person. I am strongly opposed to any idea of drugging a person to make them easier to deal with, and that is illegal anyway. But sometimes (as with those of us who aren't autistic) medication used correctly, can greatly improve function and life-quality. This autistic person was wonderful and bright, though very challenging. Soon after the family member forbid medication, the person began "bouncing off the walls". He was unable to be maintained in a group home where he was loved and doing well. He had just gotten his dream job in a place related to one of his great interests in life. He had to lose the job also, because he was so wild and unable to function. The last I heard this autistic person was living with the family member,and at home all day doing little or nothing. The idea the family member drew from this book was that nearly everything about the minds of autistic people is fundamentally different; it's difficult if not impossible for us to understand their world. I got this from the book too, but this person also felt that it "proved" that they are so different, they can't help how they are and medication cannot help or change them, therefore it is wrong to give them medication. This attitude I find can sometimes be harmful
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By Mily on August 2, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Without Reason", is not a book for newly diagnosed families. I read it when my son was first diagnosed and it put me in a state of depression I could not get out of, I actually had to stop reading before the end. Maybe I missed the enlightening or helpful part. What I read was how his autistic brother was beaten and put in a institution, with no chance of hope.
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