Customer Review

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent & Inspiring Stories, January 18, 2008
This review is from: Fire in the Heart: A Spiritual Guide for Teens (Chopra, Deepak) (Hardcover)
This is an excellent book replete with spiritually uplifting stories. Dr. Chopra is one of the leading experts on Eastern-Western medical treatments and is a gifted philosopher and writer as well.

With regard to the references to autism in this book, Portia Iversen's son Dov, the boy featured in "Strange Son" and Tito Mukhopadhyay are included in this book. Dov was the young man who was actively listening although he was nonverbal during his early years and Tito Mukhopadhyay was the gifted poet/author who has severe autism.

I want to add that the claim made in this book that people with autism "go inside of themselves" and "don't respond to the outside world" simply isn't true. Dov himself said he was listening at all times and Tito Mukhopadhyay was acutely aware of his environment.

Autism is a sensori-neurobiological condition that affects sensory processing and communication. For individuals with severe autism as these two young men have, communication is severely impacted. People with autism are generally acutely aware of their environments; however, the sensory processing issues can create false impressions. For people on the autism spectrum (and it IS a continuum), sensory input can be confusing and hard to separate into discrete units. When a person is on overload, it is not uncommon for them to appear non/unresponsive. That is when the person is "coming even," trying to tone out the overload and the feeling of being overwhelmed.

Communication is an inherent part of all individuals; it is listening to people on the spectrum that hopefully will create a more tolerant world and put false claims about autism permanently to rest.
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