Book Review: Autism – The Invisible Cord

Last week, I wrote an essay challenging Time Magazine’s choice of a title for its story on siblings of kids with autism.  I believed calling the siblings “autism’s invisible victims” was inappropriate and offensive.
The disgust I felt over the title choice overshadowed the article itself, which made many good points if one could get past the demonization and victimization.
The author of the story – a psychologist named Barbara Cain – had previously written a book called Autism – The Invisible Cord: A Sibling’sDiary.  I decided to download her book and see how she described life as an autism sibling.  I wondered what I would find.
I read the book in an hour, and all I can say is, what a delight!  It’s a sweet and gentle account of Jenny and her life with Ezra, her autistic brother.  There’s not a trace of victimization in the book and indeed I recommend it highly to anyone who has a sibling living with autism in their life.
Barbara’s story – told in the form of short diary entries – really shows what is feels like to grow up with a brother who’s different – the joy, the hurt, the desire to protect him and the hope he will grow up and make a life on his own.
Reading her words, I thought of my own childhood, and that of my son, who also has autism.   If we’d had sisters, would they have been like the Jen of the book?  I hope so.
Kudos to Barbara for a wonderful story that any sibling or family could treasure.
You can order her book here and find her @BarbaraSCain on Twitter

(c) 2007-2011 John Elder Robison
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John Elder Robison
John grew up in the 1960s. He knew he was different, but didn’t know why. His early social and academic failures would be signs of disability today, but back then, they were dismissed as laziness or a bad attitude.
John Elder Robison

John Elder Robison

John grew up in the 1960s. He knew he was different, but didn’t know why. His early social and academic failures would be signs of disability today, but back then, they were dismissed as laziness or a bad attitude.

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