Why are there so many good books about autism? Sadly, maybe it’s because there are so many families dealing with this very difficult diagnosis. I love to read “my problem and how I solved it books” (think Ladies Home Journal’s long-running “Can This Marriage Be Saved?” series). Unfortunately many of the family members with autism in their lives do not have solvable problems. Nevertheless, the novels mentioned here show sensitivity, intelligence and often the dark humor needed to survive.
In Daniel Isn’t Talking by Marti Leimbach, Melanie Marsh, an American living in London, tries to keep her marriage going after she and her husband learn that their two-year-old son is autistic. Lots of humor and a white knight of a therapist.
Another mother, Rachel, battles fiercely for her young son’s emotional health and the health of the rest of her family in Ann Bauer’s Wild Ride Up the Cupboards. In the compelling mystery Eye Contact, by Cammie McGovern, an autistic child is found next to the body of a murdered child. Curious Incident of the Dog in Night-Time by Mark Haddon is a gently humorous exemplary first novel in which a 15-year-old autistic boy, falsely accused of murdering a dog, sets out to find the real killer. Family Pictures by Sue Miller is a timeless saga by the master novelist about how an autistic son directly affects the whole family.
What’s Up with Autism? is the title of a free lecture tonight at the Central Library, as part of the Medical Series of lectures sponsored by The Seattle Public Library and the University of Washington School of Medicine. Topics covered will include the increase of autism diagnoses, current understanding of autism and approaches to treatment. ~ Susan