Today I will be reviewing the book ‘Children and Teenagers with Aspergers. The Journey of Parenting from Birth to Teens’ by Anna Van Der Post et al.
This is not a book written by professionals or those with aspergers. It is not technically written or theoretically based. Instead it comprises different accounts written by parents or carers about their lives with their autistic children spanning birth to adolescence and beyond. Each account is well written and accessible, telling a different experience of raising an aspergers child. Nevertheless all write about their lives in a very frank and honest way covering issues such as behaviour, school, diagnosis and mental health as well as the impact on other family members. Consequently their narratives are deeply emotional, sometimes tragic, yet always inspirational as they endeavour to find the support their children need yet so often do not get.
It is one of the most powerful books I have read and identified with a lot that was written. At times, it was simply harrowing and I found myself in tears. However, I also found comfort in knowing that I was not alone in feeling the way I do as I battle my way through a society that has insufficient understanding of aspergers. I therefore believe this book offers a welcome source of emotional support for parents and carers that can help alleviate some of the loneliness we may experience as we bring up our children.
However, this book is not just for parents. The in-depth nature of the case studies also provides an essential source of information for relatives, friends, teachers and other professionals that may help them to develop their understanding of aspergers and its impact on family life.
A truly unique read that challenges the view that aspergers is a mild and easily manageable condition.