This book review details a parent’s struggle to raise an autistic child.
The book, “Autism Diagnosis! What now?” by Winnifred Walcott, tells the story of a mother’s journey in connecting, adapting and learning to understand her child with autism. Raising a child without autism is hard enough, but given a child with autism adds tremendous disturbances and hardship in a family’s lifestyle. Her chronicle provides an easy-to-read documentary delineating the struggles encountered in raising a child with autism spectrum disorder.
The book presents an insightful walk through a parent’s viewpoint on the trials, tribulations and understandings acquired during growth and development of her child with autism. Ms. Walcott imparts a captivating, narrative account and presents the information she uncovered in pursuit of providing a quality life for her son with autism. The book is not about the science of autism spectrum disorder, but a must read story to grasp the significance of the interactions between individuals coming in contact with the autistic child and the parent. The talk-story format makes the story vibrant and genuine. The book reads in part like a dramatic novel.
The book goes behind the scene in what a parent with an autistic child experiences with school, family, friends and society. The author shares her heart-wrenching feelings and emotions from the birth of her child, to the diagnosis of autism and to the difficulties encountered along the way as the child grows up.
Ms. Walcott weaves clips of her own personal story with such symptoms of her child as destructive behavior (referred to as meltdowns), inability to speak, high impulsivity, repetitive behavior, failing to make eye contact and sensitivity to being touched. Her lively, true to life reactions and behaviors provide the reader of the book with a heart-felt story of a parent raising a child who thinks and acts differently than other children. She discusses the problem solving and strategies she used to help her child.
The book outlines the barriers a parent experiences as a regular person trying to deal with the abnormal behavior of her autistic child, both the difficult and positive interactions with teachers, family, and friends and the discovery of solutions and capabilities to help the situation. The book is written with unfaltering resolve to share an authentic and unpretentious story. The author advocates for all parents of autistic children to share their stories with others as a way to cope and solve problems. Ms. Walcott’s book encapsulates many suggestions and tips for both the autistic child and for the parents taking care of the child. She explains how she integrates the tips into problem solving situations for herself and her autistic child.
The book is a must read for not just parents with autistic children, but for all adults to understand the depth of weariness and exasperation felt by a parent and to understand the behavior of an autistic child. The personal account details the real life events in a humanistic mode of expression.