Review by Greer Nicholson
Edited by Jane Johnson and Anne Van Rensselaer
Jessica Kingsley Publishers
In this book, 36 different family members tell their stories about living with relatives with autism. They do so with more passion and eloquence than any expert could.
Symptoms aren’t just seen as symptoms. They are part of people who are loved. People with autism do things differently and family members speak about their reactions and their relationships.
Most of the stories are American, but that does not take away from the universal theme of people loving their relatives despite problems. Parents worry about what will happen to their children later in life, and parents and siblings express their hopes and fears.
Big problems include obstacles to quality education and medical care along with he distances families have to travel to obtain basic services, which can be wearing on everyone. But these stories offer a triumph of hope and persistence over problems.
The message from the relatives is to learn about disability law and research what the state can provide – good strategies will help deal with the worst challenges.
Greer Nicholson is commissioning manager for transport and concessionary travel, London Borough of Newham