I don’t know anyone on the autism spectrum, but I picked up this book out of interest in the condition. I’ve always been interested in how the human brain works. Therefore I couldn’t approach this book the way I think many of its readers probably are: as parents, or caregivers, or family members of a person with autism, looking for answers or maybe just another perspective. I can’t say how useful the book would be to someone in that situation, though I’m inclined to say that I would have found information and a bit of comfort in the pages if I were.
Charlotte Moore is the single mother of three boys, two of which are autistic. Her youngest son is “neurotypical,” ie, not autistic, and normally functioning. As a writer, she’s able to spend her days at home, and she provides her perspective on her sons growing up. She compares her eldest, George, to her middle child, Sam, who’s arguably the most limited of the pair, and she compares the both of them to her youngest, Jake. She provides a chronicle of their lives from birth to diagnosis all the way up to their current ages, with George poised on the brink of puberty.
The author does jump around a bit, which can be slightly confusing as we are introduced to the three children and their lives. It’s not so much a chronological journey as it is a topical one. She jumps from the boys’ food habits to their verbalization (they all say very funny things, and it made me laugh out loud once or twice, providing part of the humor of the book), to their schooling to the various methods she and the father of the boys attempted to bring words and emotions to their daily lives. The jumping around also leads to a slight repetitiveness which becomes the most pervasive during the middle of the book.
She’s very positive, and you can tell she adores her three sons. It seems she is in a relatively unique position to provide them a lot of one-on-one care and be very involved in their lives. Moore also has the capability to step back and distance herself so that she never seems too biased in any direction.
The book definitely provided me with a new perspective on autism, and a new understanding of the mindset of people who are autistic.