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nansnick
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17 May 2010, 8:34 am

I'm planning on bringing my parents into the spectrum loop and am looking for materials that are good introductions.

They have a very pop culture idea of autism and aspergers and view it very much from the extreme and stereotyped cases they see in the media. It feels like all the academic "What is Aspergers" documentation very much follows along the same clinical and exaggerated approach.

Are there sources out there that are more subtle and true to life? ie. Documentation written by Aspies, Literature that discusses the nuances of what goes on rather than lumping behaviors into black/white categories?


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Janissy
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17 May 2010, 1:35 pm

The book that I found most helpful (as an NT parent of an AS child) was "Unstrange Minds" by Roy Richard Grinker. He is an NT parent of an AS child, which is the perspective your parents will most be able to understand. But unlike other books written by NT parents of AS children, it isn't a memoir. It has a few things about his daughter but they aren't of the "our horrible life with our damaged child" type like Jenny McCarthy or so many other memoirs. It isn't a memoir at all. Instead it's a broad overview of autism that touches on history, sociology, psychology and anthropology. It covers a lot of ground and is written from the perspective of genuine NT curiosity (which they will relate to) rather than despair (a common theme in many NT parent books). It tells them much they will need to know and does it in a way that won't make you feel weird when they bring up things to talk about, because a lot of the things in the book are very broad and not very pathologizing.