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The Golden Hat: Talking Back to Autism Hardcover – March 27, 2012
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About the Author
Kate Winslet is one of the world’s best known and best-loved Academy Award-winning actresses. She made her film debut at the age of seventeen and is the youngest actress ever to have received six Academy Award nominations. Kate has two children, Mia and Joe, and divides her time between New York and the UK.
Top customer reviews
Listening to Margret talk about how autism makes you look at life in a different light...no truer words could be spoken. When you see the "veil of autism" begin to be lifted slightly...there are no words to describe your emotions...and I could "feel" Margret's emotions in her email exchanges, and Kate was so receptive and communicatively on point, that I was able to hear her voice and her passion and excitement as I was reading.
In closing, although my son was able to "find his voice" and, despite the pediatric neurologist telling us that he would never "develop any useful language" he is now in his second year at our Community College. I've posted The Golden Hat link on our Facebook Book Page and I hope to keep the momentum going for this passionate dream of Margret, Kate and - I'm sure I speak for - all parents of nonverbal children.
Sincerely, Linda Burns, Author of "Beating the Odds at Autism" One Family's Winning Hand.
Winslet not only became good friends with Margret but also got to know Keli. After her voice-over work wrapped, Kate and Margret continued their new friendship via email and phone calls, until one day Winslet, inspired by her time with Keli, shared her idea with Margret to start up an autism awareness foundation. The foundation would be called The Golden Hat foundation, in honor of a poem Keli wrote shortly after he was taught a way to get his words out via a dry-erase board.
Winslet's idea was to send her favorite trilby hat around the world to numerous celebrities, asking them to put on the hat, take a selfie, and share a quote that expressed something important to them -- a life motto, a mantra, something funny -- anything that they wanted to say that they thought expressed an important element of their personality, life, beliefs, etc. Winslet collected all the images and quotes, put them together in this coffee table style book and sent it out into the world with the idea that the proceeds would raise awareness and funds for the newly created Golden Hat Foundation. The foundation's goal would not only be to raise autism awareness alone, but also to help fund assisted living facilities for those with severe cases of autism, those who are unable to successfully function independently in society. Winslet's goal is to create funds for these facilities so that they might develop more extensive programs that would offer not only a sense of community but also specialized education and job training and opportunities for residents.
Also included in the early pages of this book is an essay written by Margret, in which she shares some of her observances and lessons learned from being mother to autistic Keli. She talks of how specialists told her how he would likely never mentally develop past the age of 2, yet over the years she discovers his refined likes and tastes -- his favorite food being sushi, his favorite authors J.R.R. Tolkien and Mark Twain. Her point illustrating that classic line, "If you've met one child with autism, you've met one child with autism." There's no one textbook way for this condition to manifest. And while she's quick to give examples of all the beautiful things she's learned from being Keli's mother, she also keeps it real, admitting her frustrations at times with Keli's inability to vocalize things, especially when it comes to serious medical issues. As she explains, some days a mother's intuition only goes so far when trying to read if your child is in pain.
Along with the celebrity photos and quotes, Winslet also includes the first words ever uttered by 10 autistic people who were primarily non-verbal for most of their lives. She also shows the emails between her and Margret as they slowly began putting this foundation together over the course of many months. There's even a section of the book dedicated to Keli's poems he crafted after he became familiar with working with a dry-erase board to form phrases long trapped in his mind.
The poems, essays and emails all help to illustrate just how important this cause is. The celebrity photos are fun too, though sometimes the quotes didn't always resonate with me and some photos seemed to have little effort put into them. But some though, some had that quiet power to them that really grabs the browser of this book. A good flip-through collection that helps fund a worthy cause. Give it a look!