The Autism Experience
April 27, 2011
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The Autism Experience - Valerie Foley
No matter how big the rest of the world is, the Autism world seems increasingly small. No sooner had somebody mentioned all the good work Sue Larkey does, then she popped right into my sons school to assess all the new starters there.
Then Valerie mentions she’s putting out a book. Oh, it’s about to be published. So Felicity Moore asks me to review it! Well, apparently we’re all connected, somehow.
When I started reading this book the first thing I noticed was: written by a mother, about mothers, for mothers. So it was a bit like watching TV on SBS: I knew what all the characters were going through, because I could see it in front of me, but they were all speaking a different language to me. Because the language of a mother is very different to the language of a father.
I also had to persevere a little: because the person this book is most suited for would be very early in their journey of supporting a person coming to terms with autism. My wife and I passed through this point two years ago.
Having said that, I very quickly became comfortable following along with each of their experiences. The book really does read as though I’m reading six, eight, or ten personal journals, all at once, with some nice work by Valerie opening each topic. With the range of nationalities represented – from Australia, Asia, North America, Europe & the UK – it’s facinating to see how in different places the same mistakes are being made but they are being responded to in a range of ways which make sense on a local level.
If it was paired with the Australian Autism Handbook, these two books should be highly recommended – if not “essential reading*” for any parent trying to discover just what it is that’s different about their child.
*along with the hundred or so other books on that list