This is different to my normal choices but autism is one of my interests coming from a neurodiverse household.
Our Autistic Lives by Alex Ratcliffe is a collection of accounts of people on the autistic spectrum throughout their lives, a snapshot from different people in their 20’s – 70’s. If you’re looking for a book that tells you about autism from a medical or profession point of view this isn’t the book for you. This is a book for those wanting to experience autism from the inside, how it feels to be autistic and the different experiences individuals have. It is a book that also helps people on the spectrum find common ground or understanding of their condition from reading what other people experience. It gives a wide variety of different genders, sexuality’s, ages and experiences of how the condition has impacted the individuals.
I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome last year. This came at the end of a breakdown and a number of mental health diagnosis’s like OCD, Body Dysmorphia, Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder, anxiety and depression. For me, it was a feeling of relief to gain an understanding into my quirks and issues. I now can give myself permission as it were to be autistic and to find ways to manage the difficulties that come with it. It can also be isolating as a 40 ish year old with a diagnosis like this. That is where this book comes in. I found it fascinating and helpful to gain an insight into other peoples lives, I guess people like me. It is comforting and in many ways gives hope that difficulties can be overcome. Obviously, not every bodies experience is positive but that’s important to, honesty is important.
5/5 for an honest view into autistic lives, a wide variety of people and their individual experiences. I would recommend this to newly or established diagnosed (and self diagnosed) individuals looking for understanding and reaching out to find others who experience the world in a similar way that they do. Also for family and friends wanting to understand a little more of the autistic experience.
Our Autistic Lives is due out on 21/01/2020.
Thank you to NetGalley and Jessica Kingsley Publishing for this e-Arc copy for an honest review.