Along with the monthly round up, this is a new monthly post that will look at some of the books about autism (or other disabilities) that have come out that month. Essentially, it will be me rambling on about first impressions of these books. So while I won’t quite be judging books by their covers, I will be judging them by their descriptions and preview extracts.
Looking over the list of books released in January, it becomes very apparent that there are a lot of self-published kindle books on autism, there’s also some odd books, and some really misleading books.
When you look at January 1st alone, there’s 10 or 11 books entitled either ‘Reversing Child Autism: As God intended’ or ‘Reversing ASD Naturally’ (or variations on that title). They’re clearly the same book being released under multiple names to try and “pop up” under different searches and I don’t really know what to say about them apart from they look like awful. I presume it’s some kind of attempt to cash in on desperate parents or other people who believe that “raw vegan and plant-based detoxification and regeneration” will somehow reverse autism. As I said, they don’t look good.
There are some books written by Travis Breeding. Breeding seems to publish a lot of books on autism and schizophrenia, but the vast majority either don’t have any reviews or have poor reviews. I might see if I can find one of them on Kindle Unlimited just to see if they are any good. There’s also multiple books by Tina J. Cox, all released on the same day. A quick look at her author page indicates that she is an autistic adult so it is possible that these books are semi-autobiographical or influenced by Cox’s experiences. They have some positive reviews but at least one reviewer seems to know the author personally.
There’s many parenting books such as ‘Parenting like a Ninja’ and the bizarrely titled ‘IF IT IS AUTISM, ARE YOU PREPARED?’ (yes, in Capslock), or parent autobiographies such as ‘A Brief Moment in Time: A Memoir’ and ‘Choices: One Mother’s Determined Search for the Supports to Meet the Needs of Managing her Autistic Son’. Perhaps they’re books that might appeal to some parents of autistic children but none appeal to me. Unsurprisingly there’s also a biomedical/holistic book called ‘The Parent’s Road-map to autism: a functional medicine approach’ which looks like it’s filled with things about autism being caused by toxicity and imbalances of something in the gut – not exactly a book I’m clamouring to read.
Annoyingly, in amongst the books released are a lot of notebooks which have front covers that have something to do with autism. I estimate these took up about 50% of the “releases” from January and being able to screen these out somehow from the search would be great.
‘Sleep in Children with Neuro-developmental Disabilities: an evidence based guide’ is one of the books that caught my attention just because it’s good to see a release looking at sleep. I know that sleep is being more frequently researched and a number of autistic adults have discussed how lack of sleep/disruptions to sleep impact on their lives. It’s just a pity it’s over £100 so probably won’t be reading it any time soon.
‘Scattered Minds: the origins and healing of Attention Deficit Disorder’s description states that the book “explodes the myth of attention deficit disorder of genetically based and offers real hope and advice for children and adults who live with the condition”, the reviews for it include one reviewer claiming to have contacted the author who told them that if they thought that they had ADD then they probably did. The reviewer also felt that 50% of the population had ADD which makes me wonder exactly what this book contains.
‘Life on the Autism Spectrum: Translating Myths and Misconceptions into Positive Futures’ definitely looks more like my sort of book. It seems to be exploring common myths about autism and how attitudes and beliefs about autism throughout history have had an impact on people’s quality of life, and what the steps are for moving forward and overcoming these myths and misconceptions. While at £45.00 it’s a bit too expensive for me at the moment, it did get added to my wishlist.
There were a few more books that interested me towards the end of the month. ‘OCD and Autism: a Clinicians guide to adapting CBT’ is one because there’s been increased talk recently about how CBT often isn’t helpful for autistic people so it would be interesting to see what their recommendations are. ‘Trauma, Stigma, and Autism: Developing Resilience and Loosening the grip of Shame’ seems to be a semi autobiographical book on how stigma impacts people from minority groups (particularly autism) in a variety of ways. Then there is ‘Gender Identity, Sexuality and Autism: Voices from across the Spectrum’ which I did have on pre-order and despite being due for release on the 21st of January has not arrived. Current despatch estimates say I should get it before April. While I’m still looking forward to the book, the frustration of such an inaccurate release timeframe provided at pre-order stage has frustrated me.
‘Be the Girl’ looks like a young adult novel with a female autistic secondary character. It’s probably not really my sort of thing but I may have a look at it anyway because autism representation in fiction is something I look out for. I read through the scene where Cassie (the autistic character) is introduced and it was okay. Then one of the most recent releases ‘Autism is the Future’ has exactly the sort of Aspie-Supremacy title that puts me right off even considering reading the book and the description did little to change that.
‘Autism: a new Introduction to Psychological Theory and Current Debate’ was a book I missed during my pre-ordering somehow (I have since pre-ordered after reading the opening pages of the book), Francesca Happé and Sue Fletcher-Watson are both researchers whose work I admire so I will be looking forward to the physical release of that book in February.
That’s the round-up of a whole bunch of the books on autism released in January 2019 – have you read any? What did you think? Feel free to comment here or on the Twitter thread for this month.