In a Different Key: The Story of Autism by John Donvan and Caren Zucker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I enjoy good writing about science topics, and I'm especially interested in books that explore the scientific and social history of medical conditions. This book hit all the right notes with me. It explored the topic of autism from the first modern diagnosis onward, then went back and looked at what could be historical examples of individuals with undiagnosed autism.
Lest you think this book is nothing but dry scientific facts, however, please note that the authors have done an excellent job of humanizing the condition of autism. In the final analysis, this is the story of people, from young Donald Triplett (actually he's going to turn 84 this year, but when we meet him in the book, his mother is pregnant with him) to the famous Temple Grandin.
We meet parents of children with autism, the good, the bad, and the ugly. (And I do mean ugly - there's a case of a parent who murdered his autistic child in a misguided act of "mercy killing.")
This is a fascinating read, and more importantly, it's a reminder that autistic and "neurotypical" people alike can work together to improve education and quality of life for children and adults with autism.
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I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.