Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Book Review: George and Sam


I review many books on this blog, mostly because I love to read, and I want to share those books that I find compelling or interesting. There are many books written by parents, chronicling their personal journeys of raising autistic children, and I’ve read and enjoyed a lot of them. But, after so many examples, I’m now looking for these first person accounts that bring something a bit different to the reader.

George and Sam, Two Boys, One Family, and Autism , by Charlotte Moore, 2006, is just that book. The author discusses her life with her two autistic son, George and Sam. With two sons, there’s plenty of opportunity to explore how one diagnosis can be both the same and different in two individuals. With the addition of Moore’s youngest, neurotypical, son, Moore has even more room to consider just how autism and personality intersect.

One area where Moore excels is in examining how her autistic children play and deal with the world of imagination and fantasy. Her precise attention illuminates just how autistic play can differ from neurotypical play with the same toys. Moore was already an author and journalist before the publication of this book, which is based on her column about her sons. Because of this daily examination, Moore seems to write from a present tense noticing, rather than looking back and trying to remember just how her boys behaved.

Throughout the book, Moore maintains her humor and obvious affection for her sons. We don’t just hear about how she enjoys her children, she clearly demonstrates it on every page.

The GRASP newsletter, one of the best sources of information on any autism topic, recently published an excerpt from the the newest edition of this book, where Moore revisits her life with her now grown sons.