Book Review -Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism by Barry M. Prizant.

Uniquely Human

5 out of 5 stars.

I would like to thank Simon & Schuster for providing me with a free ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an open and honest review.

If you haven’t guessed from my rating – this is a fantastic book! Everyone – and I do mean EVERYONE – who interacts with children and teens on the spectrum should have a copy of (and read) this book.

How wonderful to see such an excellent mind set about how to approach and interact with those on the spectrum. As a mum to a newly diagnosed HFASD son I have approached reading books on the subject with trepidation. Mostly due to feedback from adult friends on the spectrum as to how WRONG books on ASD can be. Some of that trepidation is due to me reading books that treat ASD as a traumatic loss to you, the parent, and other stupid mindsets that go against my grain and concepts of how I want to help raise my son.

‘Uniquely Human’, on the other hand, is brilliant. The author Mr Prizant shares very similar outlooks on how to interact with those on the spectrum and I have gained a lot of positive information and insight from his book.

It allows the reader to learn more about ‘the spectrum’ without pigeonholing our children to specifics. Not all ON the spectrum will act in a text book fashion, and ‘Uniquely Human’ explains this, embraces this and tries to help you realise that it’s perfectly fine. Who needs text book children? Either on the spectrum or off! I just want happy and healthy children who I can help learn to grow, function and achieve their own goals in life. And I really do feel this book will help me find some of the best methods to use to help aide my son on his journey.

A really insightful and helpful book.

Would I recommend this book to others? Yes I would. In fact, as I’ve been reading it I’ve already been talking about it with my son’s teachers and other ‘helpers’. As I’ve said already, anyone who interacts regularly with children on the spectrum should read this book. It’s not a manual to ‘Autistic children’ – it’s a guide to help you be a better person when working with those on the spectrum. The book is there to help you, the reader, understand the spectrum better, rather than try and manipulate a child on the spectrum away from their natural behaviour to something you would prefer.

Would I buy this book for myself? Yes I would. And by the time you read this review it will probably be on my book buying wish list! I want to own a copy I can to turn when needed to help me remember there might be a better way to approach certain situations. I want my husband to read it so that when I send him a text saying ‘dysregulation moment’ he knows what I mean and is as prepared to help as I am! I want my whole family and friends to read it to realise I’m not teaching my son weird and quirky habits… I’m simply working along and encouraging his own growth and self-worth through his own naturally quirky habits. Weird is good in our house. We embrace weird and are proud of it.

In summary: Not a manual on how to raise a child or teen on the spectrum. ‘Uniquely Human’ is more a helpful guide for you (the non-spectrum person) to get a glimpse onto the spectrum and to learn to adapt to and respect your child’s outlook on life. I cannot sing praises high enough for this book!

Until next time,

Janis. XXOO


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