Weather Reports from the Autism Front: A Father's Memoir of His Autistic Son

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Based on detailed research and a lifetime of personal experience, James Wilson recounts his personal journey as the primary companion of his now twenty-six-year-old autistic son, Sam. This realistic, irreverent account of an autistic young man and his misadventures while transitioning to adulthood provides enlightening truths as well as sardonic humor. Formally seen as a neurological disorder, autism is increasingly being looked upon as simply a form of neurodiversity. Rejecting mainstream attitudes, Wilson explores this modern view of autism through his own experience as well as quotes from autistic people and bloggers, some of whom are the most vocal proponents of this viewpoint. A detailed bibliography accompanies this engaging memoir of a father and son's experience negotiating the slippery slopes of normality.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786437054
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/5/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 223
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

James C. Wilson is a professor of English and journalism at the University of Cincinnati. This is his fifth book. He lives in West Chester, Ohio.

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Table of Contents

Preface     1
The Family Gangsta     5
Contesting Autism     12
Testing Neurodiversity     26
Why Is He Barking?     35
Sensory Overload     44
Meltdown     53
Friends and Lovers     61
Self-Injury     70
Weatherweenie     78
To Cure or Not to Cure     87
Things We Do     97
Family Relations     105
Communication Corporeal and Electronic     113
Cognition     122
Agoraphobia, or Don't Call Us...     130
Too Crazy for the Psych Ward?     138
Medicalization     147
Institutionalization     157
Surf's Up     163
Representation Politics     171
Resentment     182
Community     188
Looking for Autism Pride Day     196
Sources     203
Bibliography     209
Index     211
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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2008

    Refreshing insights into life with an autistic loved one

    Sentimentality can run amok in father-son memoirs, but Jim Wilson's 'Weather Reports from the Autism Front' is a remarkably well-written, honest and insightful narrative that peels back the psychic skin of a loving relationship that just happens to be complicated by the son's autism. Incorporating personal anecdotes--often laugh-out-loud funny, sometimes poignantly sad, but always enlightening--the author blends meticulous, current research with the refreshingly unfettered insight of autistic bloggers, shucking mainstream ideologies of this increasingly analyzed form of neurodiversity. I thoroughly enjoyed this narrative journey that explores the multi-faceted dimensions of living with an autistic loved one. Sam, the author's son, comes to life in these pages. From his fascination with weather and rap music to his chatty socializing with new people and his spontaneous barking in lines at fast-food restaurants, Sam is presented here as the real and complex self that he is, with no apologies or lamentations from his father, who has learned--and who is still learning, in fact--how to cope with the unpredictable 'slippery slope' of raising an autistic child. I highly recommend this book to parents, families and professionals who feel that the existing literature on autism may fall short of the full story.

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