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A Regular Guy: Growing up with Autism Paperback – July 7, 2008
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Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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In Laura Shumaker's thoughtful portrait of her families struggle with autism, we explore the journey that anyone touched by disability must navigate. Her writing is elegant. Her lessons are invaluable --Mark Trautwein, NPR Perspectives, KQED San Francisco
A must read for all families affected by autism, professionals who care for children and adults on the autism spectrum, and for those who wish to get a better understanding of what it is like to wear the shoes of a mother striving to do the best for her special needs son. --Ricki G. Robinson, M.D., M.P.H.Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Southern California School of Medicine; Scientific Advisory Board Member, Autism Speaks.
Laura Shumaker has written a book with sensitivity, warmth, and intelligence. On one level its theme is autism; on another it is about tragedy, hope, resilience, and above all, loving. --Clinical Professor of Medicine; Chair, Editorial Board, UC Berkeley Wellness Letter
About the Author
Laura Shumaker is a regular contributor to NPR Perspectives. Her essays have appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, the Contra Costa Times, the East Bay Monthly, Hallmark Magazine, Exceptional Parent Magazine and in several anthologies, including Voices of Autism (LaChance 2008). She lives in northern California with her husband and three sons.
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People with Asperger's are normal, everyday people...they just see the world from 'inside the looking glass', much like in "Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass" when she steps through the mirror and begins to have misadventure after misadventure. She struggles with finding new ways to accomplish getting back through the mirror to her family and "regular" life. For "Alice" it was only a series of stories told to her by a close family friend; for someone with Asperger's or autism, it's not a 'story' but their every day life. They struggle everyday to accomplish the simplest activity....looking a person face to face, talking to them without turning away or closing their eyes. People with Asperger's or high functioning autism are not being RUDE when they speak with their eyes closed, there is a true social disconnect and they actually struggle a great deal to giving the appearance of being "normal", which causes mild to full blown panic attacks...stuttering or gulping for air, perspiring, flapping of hands, walking away quickly or just rocking back and forth on a chair after the "social interaction". I see this almost every day in my own home with James after he gets home from school. He's in a regular high school program with an Individual Educational Program (IEP) set up for certain educational and social goals he is given to a accomplish. James will graduate high school next month, May 2011. Although the school system has said he's met and accomplished all of the IEP goals over the past 4 years, he feels differently but is truly ready to move on and out of high school. Some of his peers still continue their 'non-acceptance' and ridiculing of him; he's carried this weight from kindergarten up through to the 12th grade. It's still sickens me and makes me sad knowing this happens. We are encouraging James to take classes at the local community college, telling him that is a place where everyone is concerned about focusing on accomplishing their assignments, not leaving them much time for immature tactics, as in the elementary and secondary school levels. James is also seeing a psychologist who works with Asperger Adults, giving us some much needed professional support. This psychologist is also providing James with a forum to talk through his struggles and working on socializing as 'an adult with Asperger's' in a very 'a skewed' adult world.
Laura Shumaker's book, "A Regular Guy: Growing up with Autism", is a wealth of personal assurances, experiences and wonderful tips filled with information. A person living with Asaperger's see life from the inside looking out; we, who consider ourselves as "normal", see life from the outside looking in...a mirror image and worlds apart. This book is a non-clinical book, not filled with a lot of medical jargin or medical references. It is designed to give a connection to both worlds. This book is written from the personal view of a loving parent, which is easy to follow. I highly recommend this book!!! It is worth having on your shelf!
I cannot recommend this book enough!