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The Only Boy in the World: A Father Explores the Mysteries of Autism-Michael Blastland

  • Title: The Only Boy in the World: A Father Explores the Mysteries of Autism
  • Author: Michael Blastland
  • Released: 2006-08-18
  • Language:
  • Pages: 214
  • ISBN: 1569242917
  • ISBN13: 978-1569242919
  • ASIN: 1569242917

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From Publishers Weekly BBC Radio journalist Blastland offers the heartfelt and honest story of his 10-year-old autistic son, Joe. Unlike some memoirs, which tend to focus on diet changes and medication trials and caretaker failures, Blastland uses each chapter to raise broad philosophical issues that define what it means to be human—such as intention, innocence, self-consciousness—in order to evaluate where Joe stands. Does Joe consider himself the "only boy in the world," with everyone else—even his dad—more like some "universal vending machine" that he pokes repeatedly to get what he needs? How does Joe think about himself, if he has so little awareness of others, and no capacity for imaginary play? What is it like to live completely in the literal world—with no fantasy, no jokes, no lies? At times, Blastland comes to profoundly sad conclusions. With Joe craving the familiar to the point of obsession, it's difficult for him to learn anything, since learning involves novelty. In the end, though the big philosophical issues remain unclear, Blastland knows he's learned a lot from trying to understand his son. (Sept.)
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Review "A remarkably readable and compelling book, offering much of value. . . Read it. Enjoy it. Learn from it. It will haunt you." -- Bernard Rimland, PhD, director of the Autism Research Institute, founder of the Autism Society of America

"Blastland's love for his son, though unstated, shines through every page of the book." -- Bookseller

"No less than a voyage to the deep places of the human spirit and a vision of what lies beneath conventional notions of sanity and aberration." -- Ruth Rendell, award-winning crime novelist

"One of the best books on autism ever written . . . If you want to know what autism is like, close-up--and how autism can provide insights about your consciousness--then read this book." -- Uta Frith, PhD, author of Autism: Explaining the Enigma

"This is a sad, happy, harrowing, hopeful story, in which Blastland--a father understanding his son's autism--speaks with objectivity, but never sacrifices passion." -- Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, author of So You Think You're Human pdf
 
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