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Not Even Wrong : Adventures in Autism Hardcover – Bargain Price, April 3, 2004
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Top Customer Reviews
The way that Collins blends a momentous year in the life of his family with a variety of stories about the history of autism and notable autists (including many whose conditions have been diagnosed posthumously, because autism wasn't understood at all until recently) works, too. We feel his pain and his growth, and laugh and cry with him, even as he gently gives us a textbook education in the development of society's understanding of the condition, from Peter the Wild Boy to Rainman and beyond.
Quietly, deftly, Collins also seeks to reshape the way we think about autism. For instance, he says, "Autists are described by others--and by themselves--as aliens among humans. But there's an irony to this, for precisely the opposite is true. They are us, and to understand them is to begin to understand what it means to be human. Think of it: a disability is usually defined in terms of what is missing. A child tugs at his or her parents and whispers, 'Where's that man's arm?' But autism is an ability and a disability: it is as much about what is abundant as what is missing, an overexpression of the very traits that make our species unique. Other animals are social, but only humans are capable of abstract logic. The autistic outhuman the humans, and we can scarcely recognize the result.Read more ›
For one thing, the total unconditional love Morgan's parents show shines through. It doesn't matter what he can or cannot do - he is a child first. Anything else is secondary. That is such an important view for parents, and teachers, to have.
They took the bull by the horns. The diagnosis was devastating, but it didn't stop them from jumping in to the interventions that were recommended. One of the biggest issues I have is trying to get parents beyond the intial shock and denial, and get them moving. TIme is of the essence. I also have trouble sometimes getting them to see that they indeed are partners in this process - what we do at school cannot be isolated, and must be followed through at home as well. His descriptions of how they experiemented, and how they took the ideas of therapists and adjusted them to fit Morgan was perfect. His description of the classrooms and the activities were right on target as well.
His explanation of how people with autism think can help me explain to parents why their child might be reacting the way that they do.
I was impressed by his experience as a father. Its a rare family where the father actually takes on an equal share of the work in raising a child with disabilities. His POV was enlightening and will give many other fathers encouragement to be involved.
I also appreciated the historical point of view. I think parents and professionals need that background to see where we have been and get a better idea of where we are going.Read more ›
Autitstics have been impacting human life and the course of history for hudreds of years. Paul Collins does a fantastic job of not only chronicling his experience with his young son and his being diagnosed as autistic, he also does a fantastic job of chronicling the existence of autistics who lived before there was such a word.
Way to go Paul Collins!
Thank you for exposing Bruno Bettleheim for the creep he was and for interviewing Simon Baron-Cohen (a nice man, as far as I can tell).
Thank you for sharing your fascination with Peter the Wild Boy.
I am an adult with an autism spectrum diagnosis, Asperger's syndrome.
I hope your little boy is always treated with respect by the world that so often demands conformism.
Morgan is certainly not a "stranger in the strange land of human emotions" as the official review claims (once again, the autistic as weird alien stereotype). He's *happy*. He has a great time. He's as enthusiastic as Mandy West in Paul West's old classic Words for a Deaf Daughter and just as oblivious to the fact that according to autism experts, he's actually living in a world of his own and that there must be a real child in there struggling to get out, etc., etc.
And his parents! They think he's simply a bright kid with many interests. Who the hell cares if he doesn't answer when you ask his name or play along with dumb "look at the funny monkey" games when there's a much more interesting talking computerized camera in the same room?
In short, the parents don't see anything wrong with the kid, because there isn't anything wrong with the kid. He isn't living in a world of his own. He's just more interested in music, math, reading, and audio equipment than people. A phalanx of experts try to convince Collins that Morgan's in need of vast amounts of therapy to bring him up to "normal", but Collins sensibly doesn't buy it even after he is made to understand that two-year-olds generally have more interest in the above social interactions.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a delightful read - not about how to fix or cure someone with autism, but about loving someone with autism and doing one's best to help them get along in a world filled... Read morePublished on May 14, 2009 by Sheila G. Ticen
This is my favorite book on autism, period. I adore it.
I am a 30-year-old mom with Asperger Syndrome, my 11-year-old daughter has Autism. Read more
You won't find the rage at autism that so many parents have experienced, or the accounts of scientific and medical detective work that other parents have undertaken. Read morePublished on July 9, 2007 by Douglas Bass
This book was difficult to put down so, even with a 4 year old to look after, I read it in 4 days. I haven't had that experience with a book in a long time! Read morePublished on February 19, 2007 by Sinead de Burca
This is not your typical book about autism, and I mean that as a compliment. As another reviewer said, it's difficult to characterize, but it's very interesting even for someone... Read morePublished on August 7, 2005 by A reader
After reading "Sixpence House" and finding it delightful, I looked up Paul Collins in the library catalog and saw this book. When I read "adventures in autism" I gasped. Read morePublished on January 14, 2005 by newtonscricket
My nephew had this book, and I picked up his copy to look at. I couldn't put it down! I read the whole book in 2 days, and found it very uplifting. Read morePublished on September 12, 2004 by K. Kettler
As the parent of a little girl with autism, I have read many, many books on the subject. This book is one of the most intriguing ones I have come across. Read morePublished on June 18, 2004
Paul's book is by far the most entertaining and interesting work of the numerous "autism from a parent's perspective" books that I've read. Read morePublished on June 16, 2004 by Amazon Customer