Growing Up With Asperger's... And Raising a Child With Autism
I rarely read fiction. My library is filled with historical and how-to books, and when I DO read fiction I'm usually less than impressed. This novel, however is an exception. I've never felt so close to a character as so many people refer to when describing their latest read. I've never quite understood the depth of connection possible between a reader and a fictional character. This book made me understand. This book has me on a roller coaster of emotions that both eerily and warmly bring me back to my childhood and many things I had forgotten about what it was like growing up. The good and the bad. Mostly the rejection of my friends when I was younger when my only concern was to make THEM happy. I still, to this day, don't understand it. What's clear to me is that there are foul, selfish people in the world... but what is unclear to me is WHY. A lot of people tell me that Riley looks just like his father. But if they knew the person I was as a child, they would tell me that he is just LIKE me. Quirky. Honest. Intrigued. Loyal. Literal. Misunderstood yet Understanding. And yes... sometimes just Loss-For-Words Awkward! He is a perfect reproduction of me. Reading this book with forgotten memories hitting me like a drink of fruit punch and a punch to the gut, I see a glimpse into the future as soon as I see a glimpse from the past: I don't want him to face the struggles I faced. I am more motivated than ever and just when I told myself I need to withdraw some of my protection, I feel justified and determined to do just the opposite. Thank God for my understanding of what he is to face. I will not let him feel alone like I often did. I can't get these pages and this 'fictional character' off my mind. 'Jacob'. I've had nightmares every night of trying to help 'Jacob'. Trying to get his peers to understand... And being unsuccessful at it. In fact, Ive had this nightmare my entire life. I wake up feeling terrible for him and my failure to help and I refuse to ever let that nightmare become a reality again. A perfect reproduction. Huh.