Dr. Rob Ring and What Went Wrong at Autism Speaks: Everything
Andrew Wakefield Speaks on Project TENDR Pediatric Health Risk Assessment

It's Not a Perfect World but I'll Take It: 50 Life Lessons for Teens Like Me -- Who are Kind of (You know) Autistic

Jennifer Rose book
CONTEST! We have a copy of this book to give away - just leave a comment with your email address! 

We are so happy to see this review of Jennifer Rose's book in the NJ Patriot Ledger!  Jennifer's Dad Jonathan has written for AofA, as has her Mother, Gayle DeLong.  Talented family!  Congrats, Jennifer!  You can buy a copy at Amazon now!

"It's Not a Perfect World But I'll Take It: 50 Life Lessons for Teens Like Me -- Who Are Kind of (You Know) Autistic" By Jennifer Rose

(Skyhorse Publishing, 116 pp, $12.99)

Jennifer Rose is a promising writer with a great eye and a keen sense of humor. She is not, though, simply a promising autistic writer with a great eye and a keen sense of humor.

Rose, of Morristown, has written this slim book of life lessons in the form of short essays. The essays are fine, albeit a tad repetitive. The repetition is the book's main problem, but the most obvious flaw is a 23-word title. It's ungainly and smacks of a certain cynicism on the publisher's part: Are they fearful people with autism and those who love them would not buy the book unless this never-ending title were on the cover?

Rose has a great point of view, an excellent sense of herself, which gives her what many writers search decades for --€“ a unique voice. Rather than guide her a little, this felt as if she were left too much on her own. How else to explain the repetition? Either Rose needed to live more then write more, or challenge herself with different pieces. Either way an editor needed to step in.

Still, her essays are heartbreakingly pure and if you can somehow dislike this young woman I definitely do not need to know you.

In Lesson 25, "Celebrate Autistic Kids Without Celebrating Autism" Rose writes:


"You should celebrate an autistic kid's accomplishments, but you shouldn't really celebrate a disability. When we celebrate the achievements of Franklin D. Roosevelt, we celebrate the things he did despite having polio. We don't celebrate polio itself. After all, when we celebrate a disability, we forget the burdens it imposes on people."

Rose was diagnosed with autism when she was 4. Her loving parents are tireless advocates for her and her younger sister, who also has autism.

When Rose writes about her dreams of show business, she very much sounds like every other girl drawn to the glittery life. The first person she quotes is Tyra Banks: "The road to success is not a straight line, it's a zigzag line." And that marks Rose as a very typical tween and teen.

Read more here!

Comments

Nancy

Sounds like a good read!

Dr. Eric Epstein

I treat autistic kids and it is always such a pleasure when they gain skills you don't expect to see! Many of my kids are teens that still don't speak, perhaps never will. Some are still not toilet trained. When a child is able to progress to the degree that they can be a voice for autism, we all benefit!

Trina

I would love to read this with my son!

Bill

I always like free stuff. And today, I feel like a *winner*....So please send my free book to P.O. Box 1860, Keene, NH, 03431. Thank-you!
Bill H. > medicinehorse_2000_1999@yahoo.com<
(...regardless of how "low", or "high functioning" a person with Autism might be, regardless of how much, or even *if* their life has been "ruined" - there's always some hope for a better future, and even a re-built life. Isn't it true that there is no definitive medical/physical diagnostic test for Autism? Isn't a diagnosis always done by observing behavior(s), and anecdotal reports of family, friends, and caregivers? Just curious....

Cait from Canada

This is for you Dan. I've been thinking for the past few days about your ruminations on the word "ruin", and whether or not it should be used in your one-page summary of the autism-vaccine link. I was of two minds about it. On the one hand, loving a child doesn't mean that their life hasn't been ruined by vaccination. Yet I understand the mother's objection. Saying a life has been ruined implies that it is not worth living.

The main title of this book – It's Not a Perfect World But I'll Take It – tells us that for this young girl with autism, life IS worth living. Of course, she is clearly high-functioning, but that doesn't mean we should just send her over to the neurotribes camp — she acknowledges that she has been damaged and asks that we celebrate her achievements despite her disability, rather than celebrating the disability (aka neurodiversity) itself.

To be as inclusive as possible, and to avoid alienating people who could be allies, I suggest we default to using words like injury, damage, and disability to describe the vaccine-autism connection.

Brian Countryman

Great book title. Life is not perfect for anyone.

Hans Litten

I think Joanna should win it too

Joanna

I'd love to win a copy :)

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