We are celebrating the inaugural Bartlett Reads community reading event by reading the New York Times bestselling book The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man’s Quest to Be a Better Husband by local author David Finch. This September, the community will come together to read the book, and attend events based on the themes in the book.
The titles in this week’s post focus on Asperger syndrome and Autism in kids.
Carly’s Voice: Breaking Through Autism by Arthur and Carly Fleischmann
At the age of two, Carly Fleischmann was diagnosed with severe autism and an oral motor condition that prevented her from speaking. Doctors predicted that she would never intellectually develop beyond the abilities of a small child. Although she made some progress after years of intensive behavioral and communication therapy, Carly remained largely unreachable. Then, at the age of ten, she had a breakthrough. While working with her devoted therapists Howie and Barb, Carly reached over to their laptop and typed in “HELP TEETH HURT,” much to everyone’s astonishment. This was the beginning of Carly’s journey toward self-realization. Although Carly still struggles with all the symptoms of autism, which she describes with uncanny accuracy and detail, she now has regular, witty, and profound conversations on the computer with her family, her therapists, and the many thousands of people who follow her via her blog, Facebook, and Twitter. In Carly’s Voice , her father, Arthur Fleischmann, blends Carly’s own words with his story of getting to know his remarkable daughter.
Raising Cubby by John Elder-Robison
The slyly funny, sweetly moving memoir of an unconventional dad’s relationship with his equally offbeat son–complete with fast cars, tall tales, homemade explosives, and a whole lot of fun and trouble. Misfit, truant, delinquent. John Robison was never a model child, and he wasn’t a model dad either. Diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome at the age of forty, he approached fatherhood as a series of logic puzzles and practical jokes. When his son, Cubby, asked, “Where did I come from?” John said he’d bought him at the Kid Store and that the salesman had cheated him by promising Cubby would “do all chores.” He read electrical engineering manuals to Cubby at bedtime. He told Cubby that wizards turned children into stone when they misbehaved. Still, John got the basics right. He made sure Cubby never drank diesel fuel at the automobile repair shop he owns. And he gave him a life of adventure: By the time Cubby was ten, he’d steered a Coast Guard cutter, driven a freight locomotive, and run an antique Rolls Royce into a fence. The one thing John couldn’t figure out was what to do when school authorities decided that Cubby was dumb and stubborn–the very same thing he had been told as a child. Did Cubby have Asperger’s too? The answer was unclear. One thing was clear, though: By the time he turned seventeen, Cubby had become a brilliant chemist–smart enough to make military-grade explosives and bring state and federal agents calling. Afterward, with Cubby facing up to sixty years in prison, both father and son were forced to take stock of their lives, finally coming to terms with being “on the spectrum” as both a challenge and a unique gift. By turns tender, suspenseful, and hilarious, this is more than just the story of raising Cubby. It’s the story of a father and son who grow up together.
With its 101 stories from other parents and experts, this book will comfort, encourage, and uplift parents of children with autism and Asperger s. If you are the parent of a child from newborn to college age with autism or Asperger s, you will find support, advice, and insight in these 101 stories from other parents and experts. Stories cover everything from the serious side and the challenges, to the lighter side and the positives, of having a special child on the autism spectrum.