Finding out about Asperger Syndrome, High Functioning Autism and PDD – Gunilla Gerland
An easy-read introduction to (high-functioning) Autism Spectrum Disorders for newly diagnosed children and young people, and as a quick-start guide for others.
This is a collection of biographical snippets from a wide range of families with autistic family members. Alongside these snippets and recounts are photographs of the families.
Sometimes people just need clear, straightforward advice on what they can try. This is the case for almost everyone. So it’s little surprise that it is regularly the case for parents of children with autism. Many autism books are long and get quite heavy going with diagnostic information and details.
There are not many games which contain canonically autistic characters, and this is the only game I have come across with autism as both part of the storyline and part of the gameplay.
At the beginning of this blog, I wrote about how I would read all kinds of autism/SEND books regardless of my own biases towards the type of book. I am well aware of my bias against ABA, but another one I have is for books written by those self-diagnosed as autistic. I do not consider it possible to diagnose yourself. I consider it suspecting, and I believe that the distinction is important – especially as I have had self-diagnosed individuals tell me that I am not autistic because, as a female, I present with some very stereotypical autistic traits…. I am aware I have a bias against people who self-diagnose, and particularly those who then write about “Neurotypicals and Autistics” in some kind of dichotomous way…because these people could be Neurotypical themselves so I think it’s quite hypocritical. It is this aversion that has put a lot of books on my “I’ll read it later” pile – and this is the first one to come off the top.
This is an autobiography of OCD written by a teenage boy. In the book, Joe comments on how the media have contributed to this skewed view of what OCD is and – despite this book being over ten years old now – this is still too often the case today. In some ways, public understanding of OCD is worse now than it was when Wells wrote this book. People really over-generalised the idea of “everyone has a bit of OCD” and instead of it being a helpful way of showing that some parts of OCD are just everyday human traits intensified, now people are casually slapping the OCD label on people who like to put their CDs in order and keep their kitchens tidy.
For some reason, I thought I had got this book from somewhere other than Kindle Unlimited. Subsequently, I was quite surprised to see it load up as being 16 pages long on my tablet. I think I’ve read quite a lot of these self-published books recently and the quality is highly variable. Perhaps it’s time I returned to traditionally published books for a while.
Dogs and cats are not an uncommon feature in parent biographies for autistic children. Dogs especially are cited in both anecdotal and some more academic literature as being invaluable for a range of mental health conditions and developmental disorders. That’s not to say it’s a blanket benefit – obviously, every individual is different and being autistic or having anxiety does not mean you like dogs.