An Autistic’s Review: Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism

L to R: Corina Becker, Kerry Magro, Shannon Rosa,
Stephen Shore, Carol Greenburg, Jennifer Myers.
TPGA contributors all. At IMFAR 2012.
This review is by self-advocate Kerry Magro, whom I finally met in person at IMFAR last month. Thanks Kerry!

Kerry was diagnosed with Autism at 4 years old. Now as an adult Kerry has become a disability advocate who has been featured in television, radio, and film. Today Kerry works as a Motivational Speaker, Co-Host of Hope Saves The Day: Autism Radio, and Vlogger for his blog “My Autism My Voice.”

Kerry also taped a video review:

A community is defined as a group of people living together in one place where they are often intertwined with a common goal or purpose. Now, if you were trying to define an autism community, this book could certainly be one of your best examples of that. Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism, which was edited by Shannon Des Roches Rosa, Jennifer Byde Myers, Liz Ditz, Emily Willingham and Carol Greenburg gives us a look inside autism in today’s society from some of the people who know autism the best. It started off as a blog where they asked people within the autism community to send essays focused around autism related topics. It ended up book published by Deadwood City Publishing.

This is no ordinary book. After reading it I was astounded by the amount of information. There is a wide range of topics in essay’s that stay on point with a clear mission and purpose. It is something that any reader who cares about autism can get behind.

I had always been an avid reader of the Thinking Person’s Guide to Autsim blog and even wrote a blog post for them about Coming Out About Autism in College in August 2011, so I knew first hand that a collection of these blogs posts could be great.

The main areas of the book that stood out to me were done by the editors along with the essays by Laura Shumaker (SF Gate, A Regular Guy with Autism) and Jess (A Diary of a Mom). The book does a great job of balancing between informing the reader and also giving hope and inspiration to them as well. It’s a book that’s very well rounded overall.

Along with the essays comes a great deal of resources at the end of the book, which I found impressive. Between recommendations for books, movies, online resources, and blogs, there is a sense of further learning for readers of the book.

The next step I see for the autism community now is to continue to encourage young individuals on the autism spectrum to pursue literary work. There were several essays from autistic adults in the book and I’m optimistically hoping that we hear from one or more of these voices on a best-seller list in the near by future.

In the end I commend everyone at Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism for all their great work in this project and hope they come out with a sequel very soon to include more of the blog’s wonderful essays.

If you want to learn more about The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism please check out the blog here.

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