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This Library Branch: Autistic Children and Autism Spectrum Disorders

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Books on Autism: Literature by Authors with Autism     support this alternative medicine website for children with autism

Nobody Nowhere: The Extraordinary Autobiography of an Autistic Nobody Nowhere : The Extraordinary Autobiography of an Autistic

by Donna Williams

A young Australian woman once trapped inside autism's nightmarish prison takes readers into this little-understood world in her searing, lyrical autobiography, offering unique insight into the workings of an autistic mind and shedding new light on what autism is - and is not. She inhabits a place of chaos, cacophony, and dancing light - where physical contact is painful and sights and sounds have no meaning. Although labeled, at times, deaf, retarded, or disturbed, Donna Williams is autistic -afflicted by a baffling condition of heightened sensory perception that imprisons the sufferer in a private, almost hallucinatory universe of patterns and colors. Nobody Nowhere is Donna's story in her own words - a haunting, courageous memoir of the titanic struggles she has endured in her quest to merge "my world" with "the world."

Thinking in Pictures : And Other Reports from My Life With Autism Thinking in Pictures : And Other Reports from My Life With Autism

by Temple Grandin

Dr. Oliver Sacks calls Temple Grandin's first book, Emergence: Labeled Autistic - and the first picture of autism from the inside - "quite extraordinary, unprecedented and, in a way, unthinkable." Sacks told part of her story in his An Anthropologist on Mars, and in this book, Grandin returns to tell her life history with great depth, insight, and feeling. Grandin told Sacks, "I don't want my thoughts to die with me. I want to have done something ... I want to know that my life has meaning ... I'm talking about things at the very core of my existence." Grandin's clear exposition of what it is like to "think in pictures" is immensely mind-broadening and basically destroys a whole school of philosophy (the one that declares language necessary for thought). Instead of ending up locked in her own internal world, as autistic children often are, she was able to overcome many of her difficulties and gain a Ph.D.

Discovering My Autism : Apologia Pro Vita Sua (With Apologies to Cardinal Newman) Discovering My Autism : Apologia Pro Vita Sua (With Apologies to Cardinal Newman)

by Edgar Schneider

Edgar Schneider is a highly articulate former mathematician and computer programmer. He discovered his autism in middle age, after being misdiagnosed as schizophrenic for many years. Schneider's detailed and dispassionate account of his autism deserves a wide audience. He explains his life as an emotional loner, his need to intellectualize feelings such as love in order to experience them, and his use of his self-knowledge to help others in a way which will inform and enlighten those concerned with high-functioning autism and Asperger Syndrome.

He describes the implications of his emotional deficit, comparing it to a missing faculty such as blindness. It is a moving and inspiring book. By the end, one understands a great deal more about this disorder. This is an autobiographical account of high- functioning autism, by someone who was quite late in discovering that about himself. The author spent the better part of his life looking for the right size round hole for himself. Since that discovery, he has been digging his own square hole. If you liked Temple Grandin's books, you will love this one.

Pretending to be Normal: Living with Asperger's Syndrome Pretending to be Normal: Living with Asperger's Syndrome

by Liane Holliday Willey

Asperger's Syndrome is one of the constellation of conditions known as autism. As both Willey and her young daughter have AS, her life story provides a startling look at how those with the syndrome experience the world. Willey grew up knowing only that she was somehow different, extremely intelligent, and extremely quirky. Her inability to find her way in unfamiliar places, and extreme aversion to people coming too close to her, to noise and confusion, became a devastating issue when she left home for the unfamiliar environment of college. From then on, Willey struggled mightily until she reached the safe haven of marriage to an outstandingly sympathetic partner, a fulfilling job teaching college, and motherhood.

When her own daughter, one of twins, was diagnosed as an infant with Asperger's Syndrome, Willey immediately recognized herself: "social action impairments, narrow interests, an insistence on repetitive routines, speech and language peculiarities,non-verbal communication problems and motor clumsiness... each of these symptoms is manifested in a variety of unique and diverse ways." Willey here compares her own experiences with her daughter's, her daughter's with her twin sister, who doesn't have AS, and the childhood peak in intensity of her daughter's symptoms with her own waning symptoms in middle age. In her appendices Willey offers extensive practical help and resources to AS sufferers. But even those not directly affected by AS will find this an eye-opening view into a parallel world.


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