By Renata Jurkevythz, Maura Campbell and Lisa Morgan
Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers
You may have noticed that we have not reviewed any books for a considerably long time. It is almost impossible to keep up with the number of books that are published on a regular basis. However, an area where very little is written about is in relation to autistic mothers or indeed autistic parents. For this reason, I purchased the book called Spectrum Women – Autism and Parenting by Renata Jurkevythz, Maura Campbell and Lisa Morgan.
People reviewing the book include Tony Attwood, who feels the book will be of great benefit to women on the spectrum, their families and professionals and I totally agree with him – this is a superb book.
It is written in the following parts:
The first part looks at the effects of being autistic on parenting style, and does offer some tips, but is very clearly not offering solutions and is reinforcing that parents are the experts on their own children.
In the next part, the three mothers share their experiences of raising their biological and adopted children. This is somewhat different from many other publications that are out there, which usually come from a perspective of the non-autistic parent raising an autistic child. These autistic women also describe their experiences of raising neurotypical children.
I particularly liked the expression ‘I know a lot of people have the idea that autistic people lack empathy, so let’s just briefly address it. Empathy is a people problem before we even start discussing autistics. It is extremely rare to see anyone really trying to put themselves in other peoples’ shoes. Everybody loves to judge and measure other peoples’ lives with their own personal rulers which is the absolute opposite of empathy.’ This really resonated with me and is reflected in the impromptu Post Diagnostic Support Group where Sarah and I discussed empathy (available here).
The last part conveys their view of the autism community as it stands now. This is a brilliant description of the strengths and challenges of the autistic movement as it currently stands today.
As the authors say, ‘this is a book from mothers, to mothers’. This will be invaluable.
Consultant Clinical Psychologist
& Director of Axia ASD Ltd.
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