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A Real Person
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In this often depressing memoir of living with Asperger's Syndrome, an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Gerland (Finding Out About Asperger Syndrome; High-Functioning Autism and PDD) writes with candor about growing up in an abusive household in Sweden in the 1970s without receiving care or even recognition of her condition. Although she knew from an early age that she was different from friends and family members, it would take years of affliction before she would finally gain control of her identity-she wasn't diagnosed with ASD until after she reached her twenties and experienced bouts with alcohol and drug abuse. While the family situations are very different, this poignant account bears some similarity to Barbara LaSalle's Finding Ben but offers a different perspective. Unlike Finding Ben, told primarily from a mother's viewpoint, A Real Person is based on events experienced firsthand. This allows us to understand better the actions of autistic people. Gerland also provides descriptions of common issues with ASD children, including literal interpretations of what people say, tactile issues with food and other objects, and great difficulty as a child interacting with others. Recommended for academic and public libraries with disability and ASD collections.-Corey Seeman, Univ. of Toledo Libs., OH Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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