What are the Critic's saying?

bullet Book Review - A Father’s Memoir about raising a Gifted Child Autism - While reading, A Different Kind of Boy: A Father’s Memoir About Raising a Gifted Child with Autism, I found myself stopping early on to recall how my two children were as babies and toddlers before the diagnosis of autism arrived. The author, Daniel Mont, shares his frustrations along with observations as the primary caregiver to Alex, his first born son. While his wife Nannette was working outside the home the first few years, Daniel was spending hours reading books to Alex. By Bonnie Sayers
bullet Glad Monster, Sad Monster - Book Review -  "If your happy and you know it clap your hands, if your happy and you know it, than your face will really show it..." This book entitled, Glad Monster Sad Monster is a great way to teach a child the above lyrics and use the pictures inside this interactive hardcover book.   I picked it out because Nicholas has social skills deficits due to being on the Autism Spectrum, and I wanted to help him learn to express his feelings. This has turned into one of his favorite non-animal books. Although the pictures are cartoon like animals, he prefers the life-like pictures of animals. Some of his quotes from looking through this book are: Next is a really funny guy; He’s kind of different; He looks mad; He looks kinda scared; A scary ghost; He looks happy; Look Mom I’m a ghost; See the small spider web on the page; He’s a pink one...  By Bonnie Sayers
bullet Autism, Now What? The Primer For Parents - Book Review - Although autism has been a part of my life for eight years I still found Autism: Now What? The Primer For Parents helpful to me as a parent. I related to family issues in Chapter 6 when it mentioned, "Grandparents have a particularly difficult time with the diagnosis. Grandparents also have the distinct disadvantage of having lived at a time when autism was essentially a taboo subject. In their day, such a disability was a scourge of sorts on the family and, as such, some grandparents may be tempted to “assign blame” on the in-law’s genes and/or the in-law’s parenting skills." This is part of the reason why I have not been in touch with my own family. Many just do not.orgprehend autism. Some of the chapters within Autism: Now What? The Primer For Parents are only two pages in length. There are some black & white photographs and stick figure drawings within the pages. The authors of this book have a 14-year old son with autism, they have been there, they get it and want to help the newly diagnosed families through the first steps when acquiring the diagnosis.
bullet Literature's love affair with the mind / The latest novel from Sebastian Faulks leaves behind his traditional themes of love and war to tackle schizophrenia - or madness as it was then called - at the end of the Victorian era. - Human Traces follows the lives of two psychiatrist friends at a time when scientists had just started to unravel the workings of the mind.  Literary reviews have described it as Faulks' most ambitious novel, pointing out the painstaking research that must have gone into the 600-page book. And the conclusion - another best-seller to match the success of his earlier novels Birdsong and Charlotte Gray. Faulks himself had admitted it was a "big project". BBC News
bullet Winning the Big Fight / In their weaker bodies lie stronger desires. In their limitations lies their greatest strength. L Subramani profiles the success stories of some 'disabled' people who broke their shackles by sheer determination and the power of their dreams. - Dr Sushama Agrewal offers an awkward smile, when someone mentions her success. “I don’t have anything more than my love for maths,” says the visually challenged lecturer (mathematics) in her 40s. Working with the Ramanujan Institute of Advanced Mathematics (University of Madras), Dr Agrewal’s eyesight started declining when she was just nine. Her interest for math and science made her choose the subjects in her higher secondary school (at Bhusawal, Maharashtra). Needless to mention the huge challenges: right from reading textbooks to doing lab experiments. By the Deccan Herald
bullet Searching for a way to help her son, she found a new career - Dee Bonnick has spent a lot of time trying to find help for her child. So much time, and so much time wasted, that she's determined to do what she can to help others avoid the same experience. Bonnick's son, 14-year-old Shaquan Lennox, is now starting to get the help he needs. He just started the 9th grade at Platt High School, where he's a special education student. He no longer lives at the family home in Meriden, but at Community Residences Inc., in East Hartford. It was a difficult decision, one that Bonnick made for the sake of her family "after a lot of soul-searching." By Jeffery Kurz
bullet Who Let the Cat Out of the Bag? - Book Review - Back when Nicholas was eight I would search for books on social skills for him at ebay. This is how I stumbled upon Who Let The Cat Out Of The Bag? andw as drawn to the book by the appealing cover artwork. The book consists of thirty pages, each written and illustrated by a student who was in the fourth grade atNewcastle Avenue Elementary School in Reseda, California. The first page along with the back cover profiles the students in three rows along with their teacher, Ms. Lizette Madruga and Ms. Carlyn Taggart. The very last page is a.orgpilation of three photographs showing groups of the children in aprons adorning paintbrushes putting the touches on the book, Who Let The Cat Out Of The Bag? By Bonnie Sayers
bullet Author highlights history of skullcaps - "...No Duty to Retreat” highlights knowledge gained during his own skirmishes with Tourette’s and Asperger’s and history of both conditions. People affected by Asperger’s, for example, may lead normal lives and have high intelligence levels."  By Mary Louise Speer
bullet No Duty To Retreat:  The Stories of Tourette's Disease and Asperger's Autism The Tourette's Disease and Asperger's Autism ISBN # 159-286-9262, trade-size paperback, 248 pages, $19.95  - Long ago, a deep desperation was threatening to engulf my life, and ultimately end it. A dozen psychiatrists in as many years had no idea what was wrong with me, and the medicos were even worse. The ignorance I had to face was unendurable. No one helped. When I spotted an article in the early 1990s about Mozart and a thing called Tourette's Syndrome (TS), which is really Tourette's Disease, my interest was tremendous.
bullet Tell-all books are a dose of poison in Harvard's Ivy  University: The president and his institution are on the defensive, even as Harvard's hold on the U.S. psyche endures. -  "...While some faculty have called for Summers' resignation, many believe he will ride out the difficulties. But his cause is not helped by the new Harvard Rules, the expose of Summers by Richard Bradley, the John F. Kennedy Jr. biographer who then went by the name Richard Blow. The book posits, without scientific evidence, that Summers could suffer from Asperger's syndrome, a condition marked by a kind of social autism. Summers did not cooperate with the book, which includes unflattering anecdotes, and aides have said he will not.orgment on its contents. Not surprisingly, Bradley's book is absent from the Harvard section of the campus bookstore, where a giant history of the Harvard library sits next to tomes like Harvard Observed and Harvard A to Z."  By Ellen Gamerman
bullet HARVARD RULES: THE STRUGGLE FOR THE SOUL OF THE WORLD'S MOST POWERFUL UNIVERSITY by Richard Bradley.  HarperCollins, $25.95, 375 pages REVIEWED BY BRENDAN CONWAY - "... The book has many flaws, not least of which are a flatteringly biased portrait of Cornel West, fawning passages on Mr. Summers's enemies on the faculty and a surfeit of gossip and innuendo. For a sense of the latter, consider that Mr. Bradley can't avoid recounting episodes in which Mr. Summers gags on meat and requires the Heimlich maneuver to eject it and slops pizza on his shirt in front of apparently lily-fingered students. Without much basis, he asks whether Mr. Summers has Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism. Mr. Summers's press secretary has justifiably called this "sensationalist gossip."
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Rescuing a son - A Boy Beyond Reach.  Author: Cheri Florance.  Publisher: Pocket Books. - Author Cheri Florance is a renowned brain doctor and.orgmunication difficulties expert.  Her third child, Whitney, is a deaf mute, insensitive to pain and indifferent to other people. Whitney’s paediatrician diagnosed him as having the severest form of autism.  But Florance saw a glimmer of brilliance in Whitney and insisted that if she could only.orgmunicate with him, the boy would start to learn.  For the next decade, Florance struggled with her many roles: mother of a handicapped child, rational scientist, mother of two healthy children, unhappy wife, outcast scientist and overstressed single mother – in her battle to rescue her son, her career, marriage and reputation fell to pieces. 

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Dark Eye - Dark Eye : A Novel By WILLIAM BERNHARDT.  Book from Ballantine Books. "...It is into this tense cauldron that Bernhardt introduces another intriguing character in Darcy, the twenty-something autistic son of the local police chief. Unlike the autistic characters seen in many cinematic portrayals (such as Dustin Hoffman's character in Rain Man), Darcy is a much more fully established person. His autism separates him from the rest of humanity and precludes some levels of normal interaction, even as his incredible recall of details and his ability to decipher codes allows him insights that most people miss. Unintentionally, Darcy b.orges a sort of autistic Sherlock Holmes, using his talents to assist the police in their efforts to understand – and capture – "Edgar."

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Native talent for mischief - MARGOT LIVESEY MAY VERY WELL BE Scotland’s best-kept literary secret. The Perth-born author of four perfectly crafted, mischievously mysterious novels, is about to publish her fifth - and, fingers crossed, this will surely be the one that brings her the fame and best-sellerdom she deserves. Banishing Verona, an elegantly written, sparkling novel, is a pleasurable, delicious read that leaves you bereft when you reach the final page. Already published in the States - Livesey lives in Boston, where she teaches creative writing at Emerson College - it has been praised for its original take on life, deft use of perspective and lovely prose. One reviewer wrote of "an off-beat romance that takes its tantalising time"; another spoke of "an extended romantic tease done with art and charm ... as plot twist after plot twist conspires to thwart love". By Jackie McGlone

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Best-selling author tells students bullying is 'not just joking around - For a 14-year-old, Judge Memorial Catholic High freshman Malcolm Colbert is pretty self-aware. He worries that he is a bully - so much so that when Jodee Blanco, a national expert on bullying, came to speak at his school on Monday morning, he sought her out afterward for a one-on-one session. "I feel like I'm a little overprotective of my little brother," who's 12 and autistic, Malcolm said Monday night, at the conclusion of Blanco's evening talk to more than 100 people. "[Blanco] told me I was being overprotective because I loved him. But a better way might be to get the principal and parents to talk to kids about autism, to make autism get noticed."  Blanco's journey to the present day is akin to a fairy tale. The ugly duckling at her middle and high schools, she was bullied mercilessly by all the popular kids. They shunned her, told her to go to another school because everyone hated her, swore at her, tackled her and forced snow into her lungs as she gasped for air, and threw glue into her hair. She went on to b.orge one of the top entertainment publicists in the country, regularly rubbing elbows with the likes of Mel Gibson and Jim Carrey. By Mike Cronin

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A Dog's Best Friend / Inspirational guide 'written' by Koontz's pooch penned to help Canine Companions - The latest Koontz to b.orge a published author likes to chew squeaky toys and tends to drool when she eats peanut butter.  Her writing — though edited by mega-author Dean Koontz — is a bit rough. You might say the book's a real dog.  "Playing games is fun, makes life good," advises one passage."Bacon is good. Bacon is very good," reads another."Life Is Good: Lessons in Joyful Living" is an inspirational guide credited to Trixie Koontz, the beloved and photogenic golden retriever of Dean Koontz and his wife, Gerda, by Ben Fox

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Readers make 'Curious' selection - Wake County readers have chosen British writer Mark Haddon's "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" for the third edition of Wake Reads Together, which kicks off Jan. 11.  Between now and mid-February, people can read the international best seller before a series of readings, discussions and other events begins at various bookstores and libraries. The program is sponsored by Wake County Public Libraries and the Friends of the Library, by

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She talks to the animals / Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior By Temple Grandin  and Catherine Johnson Scribner, 356 pages, $36 - What sort of person can be the foremost consultant to America's vast slaughterhouse industry -- including suppliers to McDonald's and KFC -- and also an authority invoked by the animal rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)?  The answer is Temple Grandin, the animal sciences professor and writer who has demystified autism (Thinking in Pictures: And Other Reports from My Life with Autism; and Emergence: Labeled Autistic), and uses her different experience of life to study animals and apply her knowledge to their well-being.

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A Dog's Best Friend / Inspirational guide 'written' by Koontz's pooch penned to help Canine Companions - The latest Koontz to b.orge a published author likes to chew squeaky toys and tends to drool when she eats peanut butter.  Her writing — though edited by mega-author Dean Koontz — is a bit rough. You might say the book's a real dog.  "Playing games is fun, makes life good," advises one passage. "Bacon is good. Bacon is very good," reads another."Life Is Good: Lessons in Joyful Living" is an inspirational guide credited to Trixie Koontz, the beloved and photogenic golden retriever of Dean Koontz and his wife, Gerda, by Ben Fox

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Author publishes book on 'decoding' mental illness - After nearly 20 years of writing and research, John LaMuth has published a book that creates a system to decode the vagaries of vices and virtues.  The 275-page softbound study, "Communication Breakdown: Decoding the Riddle of Mental Illness,' pinpoints a wide range of ethical and unethical practices. It examines conflicting personalities.orgplicated by anxiety, obsession, suspicion,.orgpulsion and depression by Chuck Mueller

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Comedy works well on surface - Unanswered voice messages, missed cues, false identity, journeys, banishment and the opposing needs of two gentlemen -- one, the heroine's brother, the other, her lover ... the course of true love is anything but smooth in Margot Livesey's fifth novel, Banishing Verona, by Diane Scharper

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Desperately seeking succour - "...The novel's best character is Zeke, who maintains his delicate grip on reality by.orgpulsively synchronizing clocks, counting pavement cracks and enumerating the branches on neighbourhood trees. He proves a true innocent abroad during his impulsive trip to Boston, buffeted but never sunk by the American tempest. What keeps him above water, of course, is love: "He understood that his longing for Verona had carried him to a new place, still at sea but with a rock to cling to." Sufferers of Asperger's syndrome have particular trouble with social and.orgmunication skills, and therefore tend to focus obsessively on one thing at a time. While this might be a problem if the sufferer wants to teach Kindergarten or sparkle at a cocktail party, it also makes him uniquely suited to be a doting lover. Livesey's triumph here is to show how disease can be turned into strength under love's curative hand by Stephen Amidon

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Dog’s best friend - "...“Life Is Good: Lessons in Joyful Living” is an inspirational guide credited to Trixie Koontz, the beloved and photogenic golden retriever of Dean Koontz and his wife, Gerda. A short, lavishly illustrated work, it was created to benefit an organization that provides canine assistance to people with disabilities. The book chronicles the pampered and contented life of Trixie, a retired service dog, as she pads about the palatial Koontz home overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Southern California, by Ben Fox

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Forked tongue - "...For those who have not read any of the 36 translations - “which only leaves Rockall and Mars to go”, Haddon notes wryly - the medical condition at the book’s core is related to autism. Sufferers inhabit a rigorously literal world, one experienced without emotion or guile. This is rich with explored.orgic potential and is probably why the book has appealed to all ages. The pleasure.orges from a genuine puzzle, but also from a touching main character simply unable to lie in a world full of dissembling adults," by Toby Moore

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Harvard tell-all book tells little - "...In passing, Bradley lets slip that some colleagues think Summers has Asperger's Syndrome, a form of autism sometimes called ''geek syndrome" or ''little professor syndrome." ''It's not my supposition," Bradley says. ''It's something that people kept raising with me. It reflected a profound confusion about President Summers's behavior. How could a man attain a position of such power with such bad interpersonal skills?" by Alex Beam

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Koontz has b.orge a real dog of an author - The latest Koontz to b.orge a published author likes to chew squeaky toys and tends to drool when she eats peanut butter. Her writing - though edited by mega-author Dean Koontz - is a bit rough. You might say the book's a real dog.  "Playing games is fun, makes life good," advises one passage. "Bacon is good. Bacon is very good," reads another. "Life Is Good: Lessons in Joyful Living" is an inspirational guide credited to Trixie Koontz, the beloved and photogenic golden retriever of Dean Koontz and his wife, Gerda. A short, lavishly illustrated work, it was created to benefit an organization that provides canine assistance to people with disabilities. The book chronicles the pampered and contented life of Trixie, a retired service dog, as she pads about the palatial Koontz home overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Southern California, by Ben Fox

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Lawrence briefs - KU researchers start Asperger book club.  Kansas University researchers are forming a book club for boys with Asperger syndrome.  The club, for boys between 12 and 14, is being led by Jane Wegner, director of the speech-language-hearing clinic at the Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies. The eight-week group will focus on social language and reading.orgprehension.  Asperger syndrome is a neurobiological disorder named for a Viennese physician, Hans Asperger, who described behaviors in boys who had normal intelligence and language development, but who also had autisticlike behaviors.  For more information, contact Wegner by today at 864-0645 or jwegner@ku.edu.

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One Author's Life - Award Winning Author Seeks Public's Help - Amy Hillgren Peterson, whose first novel "The Swedish Lie" was submitted for the Pulitzer Prize and is an American Book Award recipient, is appealing to the public for help.  The 33 year old mother of 3 is leaving her emotionally abusive husband of 12 years. She's found a new house to rent, but lacks money to set up the utilities and pay other moving expenses, and refurnish the house for herself and the children.  When she isn't working on "Rock Candy," her second novel, Hillgren Peterson runs her own corporate writing and graphics enterprise. Business, however, has been slow, by PR Leap

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One chapter, twice a day / Books are replacing pills in a novel approach to treating depression, reports Christine Doyle - Just as local gyms increasingly devise programmes for people whose GPs have "prescribed" exercise, a new mental health scheme hopes that a "book prescription" will similarly help thousands who suffer mild to moderate depression, anxiety or other psychological illness by Health Telegraph - UK

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New Book Treats Dyslexia with a Smile and Innovation - The Other Side of Dyslexia Offers Successful Alternative Approaches to Ove.orging the Pain and Confusion that Can A.orgpany Dyslexia. Dyslexic Ann Farris shares her research and personal experience of ove.orging the pain and confusion of dyslexia in her new book, The Other Side of Dyslexia. ISBN # is 0-9758894-1-9. - Farris’ innovative approach, which she documents through words and illustrations, weaves a fascinating story of her own personal journey to managing dyslexia. The book presents positive ou.orges and provides tools for other dyslexics to a.orgplish a similar goal. Ken Follett, noted British Author and President of the British Dyslexia Institute, has praised the book: "Ann Farris is certainly an intellectual and knows how to present.orgplex ideas." / Press Release

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Readers conjecture on 'Easter Island' - "...The first of the women to go to the island, just prior to World War I, was Elsa, who married an anthropologist in order to provide for herself and her sister, Alice, who had what today we might call Asperger's syndrome. At the climax of the book, Elsa is in a cave, banging her head against the wall. Later, during Greer's time on the island in the 1970s, Elsa is still living in that cave," Book Review

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The Soul of a Butterfly - The Soul Of A Butterfly is not a book about boxing; it is a book about life.  Muhammad Ali reflection on his life co-written with his daughter Hana Yasmeen.  Ali deals with issues that go beyond boxing.  Ali details his own journey from the small skinny kid who started boxing to punish the thieves that stole his bike to one of the most recognizable men in the world today. While it was Ali who stood down the United States Government and invented the rope-a-dope to upset George Foreman, it was Cassius Clay who first dreamed of being heavyweight champ. We see the transformation from Clay to Ali.  ...There are some interesting tidbits. One example is Ali disclosing that he was dyslexia and this affected his learning as a child.  It was always curious to me that one of the quickest minds in sports and man who could adopt as quickly as any men in the ring would have trouble passing intelligence tests. Now we know. Ali suffered from a learning disability by Tom Donelson

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We.orge 'Banishing Verona' for its originality - "...Zeke, 29, is an angelically handsome house painter who lives in London and pieces life together slowly in small bits. He suffers from Asperger's syndrome, an affliction akin to autism," by Jackie Pray

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Will truth set him free? - New Book:  BANISHING VERONA By Margot Livesey Henry Holt, $24  / Zeke is a house painter in London who one day hopes to learn how to lie.  Asperger syndrome has certainly.orgplicated his life, but it has simplified it as well. Shadings of meaning may elude him, but there's strength in Zeke's literalness. Particularly in the swirl his life b.orges after Verona bursts into it.

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Write-minded - It's not easy being George. A mailman in his mid-30s who lives with his sister, he has just been fired from his job. George is autistic and the fictional subject of a play of the same name written by Kate Reynolds, 16, of Delray Beach, the top winner among three in the 2004 VSA arts Playwright Discovery Program, by Ivette M. Yee

 

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"We each have our own way of living in the world, together we are like a symphony.
Some are the melody, some are the rhythm, some are the harmony
It all blends together, we are like a symphony, and each part is crucial.
We all contribute to the song of life."
...Sondra Williams

We might not always agree; but TOGETHER we will make a difference.

 

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