I don’t obsessively check the stats over at Amazon on my book, Children with High Functioning Autism: A Parents’ Guide (I used to when it first came out- and oh, let’s say for a while longer), but I’ve moved on… I hope it sells well and I’m planning the next one. But every now and then I have to refer to it and link to it. And today, I found this… the first negative comment. Ever.
This book is fun to read for first coming parents, but not for parents who already try many therapies for their children. Half of this book says how smart her daughter is-everything is above average, no developmental delay, and gifted. Half of this book says so many superficial information without conclusion.
I bought this book because I wanted to know how to educate my son in the public school, not Montessori or private school. No informative at all.
I’m ashamed to admit that my first reaction was defensive- What does she mean- “no(t?) informative at all”? Did she READ the section on how to have a good IEP? Did she READ the part about trying the “gold standards” of ABA and speech therapy first and then, if there is left over money and time, trying other things? Did she READ the part about how my daughter’s language and social skills were delayed?
Until I realized, her review wasn’t about the book at all. Her review was her frustration…
- Her frustration that having tried it all, everything, followed all the books, there are still no good answers.
- Her frustration that autism is so highly individual- that one person’s story doesn’t capture HER autism, her reality, her needs. One person’s story can never capture that.
- Her frustration at a school system that is probably unprepared, undertrained and even, at time, oppositional. But oppositional and unprepared in their own way that one book cannot answer how to deal with HER teachers, HER IEP needs, and HER school system.
- Her frustration at how the needs of her child continue and morph, and what were answers before are no longer sufficient.
- Her frustration at this amorphous thing we call “autism” that has no absolutes and no recipes to follow and no clear sense of direction.
Every mother of a child with autism realizes, after a while, that they are walking their own road. There may be others, and books, and communities who walk alongside with you for a while and then diverge, but in the end, it is your own path. There is support, there is love and there is help. But it is your path. And while you are not alone in your fights, your battles are as highly individual as you and your child and your family and your school are.
I am truly sorry my book was not the help she was needing at that moment. I don’t know her, but if she read this blog (although probably not, given her reaction to the book!) Ms. Lee, somewhere out there, there are many people and many books who can help. Truly help. But you have to remember that the most important resource you have is you. YOU know your child. YOU know your school and YOU know yourself. No one knows your story better than you. And while you may not find THE answer, there are lots of resources to help you find ideas- ideas to help you moving forward and to know that you are not alone.
And did you READ the Resource Guide at the back?
A quick list of some AMAZING Resources:
- Autism Speaks- www.autismspeaks.org
- Book- Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism
- Autism Society www.autism-society.org
- Families for Early Autism Treatments www.feat.org
- International Society for Autism Research http://www.autism-insar.org/
- Treatment and Education of Autistic and related Communication-handicapped Children (TEACCH) www.teacch.com
- National Association for Gifted Children www.nagc.org
- Council for Exceptional Children www.cec.sped.org
- University of California- Davis Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmenal Disorders (UC-Davis MIND) Institute http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/MINDInstitute/
- And if you happen to be in Southeast Georgia, The Triumph Foundation http://www.thetriumphfoundation.com/
Author’s note: Personally, I MUCH prefer reading these comments: But I want to emphasize to everyone to just keep reading and reaching out…
This book is great. I felt it was written for me. I feel the same way she does and I highly recommend this book for all those moms who feel they are alone. I have learned so much.
Very informative and eye opening book. It has helped me not feel so alone in this world & gave me some more insight on my son who has high functioning autism.