Friday, August 21, 2009

Anything but Typical

Anything But Typical
by Nora Raleigh Baskin

Jason is not your average, everyday, twelve-year-old boy.

Jason has autism.

He has been given labels like ASD, NLD, and PDD-NOS. He has IEPs.

He has been ostracized and ignored by the students around him.

He has confounded and confused his parents because of his problems.

But what else is he to do? Who else can he be?

He can only be who he is when he's around people. He can only get upset by loud noises. He can only feel stress when asked a question that he does not know how to answer in a way that will please people. He can't tell people that he loves them (because you feel feelings, you don't tell them). He can't stop the hand movements, the hair pulling, the sounds.

He is lost in the world of the "neurotypicals" and is just trying to get by. The only person who understands him is his younger brother (who also adores him) even if he can't appear to return the feelings.

And that's how it is for him until he meets PhoenixBird online in a forum for aspiring writers.

Jason has so many stories to tell and PhoenixBird seems to honestly like them. She also seems to honestly like him... but, of course, she hasn't really met him yet, so she doesn't know about his autism.

Can Jason take the risk to meet her in person? Will she be able to accept him for who and what he is?

For those people who are working with children with autism, this is an amazing read. You get right into Jason's head and you learn to empathize with his plight to fit in. If you know someone with autism and want to understand him/her better, you must try this book.

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