Where do I begin? Maybe first tell about the controversy. If you have lived under a rock, you might be unaware of the fact that autistics can be very vocal when needed, and boy, did we need to be vocal.
A mother of an autistic, also a writer for the New York Times, decided to write a book about her autistic son, Gus. Normally, I would be fine with that. Carly’s voice was also written by her dad and by Carly herself. The problem with this book is that she didn’t ask consent of her little boy. That’s problem number one. Problem number two is that the book is full, and I mean full of ableistic stuff, not only about Gus but also about other autistics. Darius Mccollum, the autistic that is fascinated by the trains and metros, is also publicly humiliated by this book.
I am going to list all the things that I found wrong with this book, so you know that I am not making this up. It took me several days, and a lot of venting sessions with my girlfriend (yes, Judith, I have a girlfriend. Autistics can love! A miracle!)
I will list them per chapter, so you know how much is wrong with this book. Also, I saw a lot of 5 star reviews of autism parents and grandparents… do they really not know how much is wrong with this book? Or don’t they wanna know? I really wonder.
There are clinical psychologists commenting on the book that the book is wonderfull… I think they really should reread the book…
Let’s begin the journey, shall we? (I will put in parentheses my commentary. so you know what I was thinking while I wrote it) disclaimer: I read the dutch version of this book. We, Belgians and dutchies, can speak english as if it’s our second language, so I think that nothing will be lost in translation. If so, send me an first edition english copy and I will find the same problems in that one. (I have translated senteces again from Dutch to english, but would love the exact quotations from the book, so if someone could give me the English versions of these sentences, that would be awesome.
ps: I will probably have forgotten to put a few into this list, but as you can see, there are alot of things that makes this book ableistic enough to be banned forever. . . .