No one cares about crazy people - unless they are your family or friends. Then you care a lot. Then you care not only about crazy people, but about how society is letting them down, and has let them down since the beginning of history. As hard as racial and gender reform is, reform for mental health is harder - because no one cares about crazy people, even other marginalized groups.
There are a lot of books being released about autism, and even some about bipolar and other mood disorders. Yet, talking about Schizophrenia is still too scary for most people. So, thank you Ron Powers for writing the book that need to be written and for doing it in a way that captured the reality of schizophrenia without overwhelming readers who do not live with this disorder everyday. Thank you for showing the history of the treatment of people with mental health issues, and the current problem that our families face in trying to treat this disorder. Thank you also for showing the positive side of schizophrenia, the dynamic people and their creative genius.
I have never known my daughter pre-illness. She was diagnosed when she was just three years old. It has been, and continues to be, a long journey. As a parent there are many fears, and one such fear is that this illness will take my daughter's life. This is a fear that Ron has had to live through. Thank you for taking this and telling others, helping others to understand.
This book is powerful, it is one of only a few books that really go into depth about schizophrenia. It was also evident that Powers is a journalist and not a neuropsychologist. There are a few conclusions that he made that I do not specifically agree with. Specifically, I am not sure if his assessment that schizoaffective disorder is worse then schizophrenia. Research shows that individuals with schizoaffective are able to more integrate into society, although there is not really good resources for this to happen and many end up in jail. You also have the mood disorder symptoms on top of the psychotic symptoms. I am not sure that there is a better illness to have, but I also would not say that schizoaffective is worse than schizophrenia.
As a mother of a 16 year old daughter, thank you for speaking out. Thank you for telling your story, parts of my story, and the story of how we as a society continue to fail people who have mental health issues. It is neurologically impossible to have genius without having deviance from societal norm. It is time that everyone starts to care about crazy people.
Gather 'Round the Sound is an audio book production that was released by Audible for the 2017 holiday season. It is a short book at about 36 "pages" and contains four sections.
The first section is an audio interview with the GE office that handles letters from Santa Clause. It was an interesting piece that tried to capture a little bit about what happens to letters that go to the 12345 zip code. It was a little off putting that letters of a more serious nature are shoved in a box labeled adoption and seemingly forgotten. While answering letters is a great service it was not very in the spirit of the holiday to hear how the letters dampened the festivity of the office.
The second section was an Australian version of The Night Before Christmas. I found it short, and humorous. It put a Australian twist on the favorite classic.
The third section was a short story by Charles Dickens. Dickens is one of my favorite authors and it was a delight to hear one of his stories that I had not experienced before. The story was amazing, even if it was probably more appropriate for a Halloween production then a Christmas one.
Lastly, there is an improve caroling skit about a party that was not doing so well. I am not a huge fan of improve, but I think I would have enjoyed seeing the production much more than listening to it. It seemed forced and fake more then spontaneous. I do not feel like it translated well.
Overall, it was an interesting collection that I enjoyed listening to. It was worth the hour of time that I invested. Also, it is free.
When it comes to Autism I have a unique perspective. I am a mother raising both a boy and girl on the spectrum. I am Autistic. I have a M.S. in Dev Psychology where I studied ASD. Coming from all three perspectives I understand that they are very different ways of approaching Autism. As an Aspie I would approach the same situation differently then I would as a parent of an aspie.
I think this is an important point to make when reviewing this book.
This book was written by a mother to a son with autism.
This mother may also, potentially, be a bit disordered. If nothing else she has a perspective and approach to life that is very different. I think that it was very brave and refreshing that she shared this part of her life with the world.
As a parent of autistic children you understand that you world is anything but normal. You share an "everyday" story about your children and you realize that your everyday is so far out of everyone else's understanding. The only people that get it are other parents of autistic children. Even adults who are autistic do not understand what it is like raising an autistic child. It is two very different perspectives. Coming from both I understand this.
The author's lamenting on her son reproducing, his ability to live independently, his over friendliness with strangers are all very legitimate concerns. As she said in her book the internet is filled with autistic individuals who would never wish for a cure, and parents who hope for one.
I think she was very fair in her representation of both "sides". I also think that she was very fair in representing autism as a spectrum disorder. However, in the end this is her story. I think the author must be a unique individual.
The writing is great. This should not be unexpected since she makes her living as a journalist. However, the structure of the book is extremely scattered. It goes from one topic to another without much reason. There is some connection with her son's ages, and some themes that seem to run through a few chapters. Mostly it seems to be more of a stream of conscious. She wrote whatever was in her head when she sat down to the computer. Overall, it still made for an interesting read. Although, some of the autism history rants could have been best be left out. She did not approach them in a very good manner. I understand why some readers would be upset. I also think that they did not read or understand that her point was about not following the dark path of the past.
This book will not teach you about autism. It will teach you about the author's personal experience with autism. This experience has value, I wish more people would tell their story - the uncensored truth.
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