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There are books out right now that speak of the Autism perspective but none from someone as well known and vocal as Jenny McCarthy. Her book, as well as her celebrity status, will reach a significant portion of the population who may not know what autism really is. They might know a friend or family member who has a child with autism but does not have enough first hand experience to know what that caregiver is going through on a daily basis, let alone know how a child with autism processes information. It will also bring light to the many many books out there by parents who have been through the same struggles (older books like Judy/Sean Barron, Mary Callahan, etc).
I suppose it goes without saying these types of reviews also become a sounding board for many parents, myself included to let others know they are not alone... the average person in public cannot identify a seemingly quiet child (i.e. flat affect) as having autism because of the short period of time they are in contact. It does not mean this child is the same way all the time. People have actually asserted that they could handle our child if it were in their hands since they spent all of an hour with them! The first time my neighbors knew the extent of my child's behavior was when I had to physically remove my child from the house and outside so he would not slam into furniture during a full blown tantrum and hurt himself. He screamed so loudly that grown men came running out of their homes a block away to see if my child was in danger. Trust me, Jenny is not exaggerating any part of her story when I tell you we have experienced rages in our son, especially when something has been introduced into his gut, be it food or medicine; he seems to be unable to remove from his system and can stay for days, even weeks causing anguish for him.
This book isn't about answers or easy cures that worked for Evan McCarthy; every child with autism is different. For us, we knew we had to figure out a dietary balance for his brain, gut and severe multiple allergies and a proper early intervention program. He no longer looks blankly at a wall, stim for hours or sleeps 4-5 hours at a time. We still have a long way to go with education and diet, but we have a little boy who has shown improvement in socialization with his family and teachers because he is feeling so much better.
As Jenny says in the end, this is a book about FAITH, having faith in yourself as a parent to do the best of your ability in seeking help for your child's health and well being. Some male readers (i.e. fathers) may be put off by the disheartening tone she has towards the father of her son for most of the book but we have to remember it is not directed at fathers in general. This is a telling of her life experience so it is rather autobiographical. I highly recommend for people, who are getting this book for parents of children with autism, to read it first before passing it along... so many parents already know what needs to be done, but they need their friends and family to understand too.