After the disappointment of The Girl Who Thought In Pictures, I made sure my expectations of the often recommended Why Johnny Doesn’t Flap were not too high. I have followed the facebook page for this book for a while. They don’t post a lot but when they do it’s usually a script flip. Always in good humor and a great way to encourage people to look at the way they talk about autism.
When Early Bird first saw this book, he was amazed at the premise. Thanks to reading facebook over my shoulder, as well as asking about the meaning behind a chapter title in NeuroTribes, Early Bird knows that there are people in the world who think autism is a disease and that think he needs to be “cured” instead of accepting his differences. This left him for six weeks fearful and anxious of the people he met. Instead of brightly introducing himself with his usual script of “Hi, I’m Early Bird. I have autism level 1 and Sensory Processing Disorder. That means I have Super Senses! My brother is level 1, too, and my sister is level 3!” he instead either refused to talk to a person in case they were one of those people, or shyly shook hands and then hid. So the idea of turning that around and having to explain needing acceptance of a neurotypical to an autistic child blew his mind. And for that alone, I love it.
When I asked Builder Boy to read it, he didn’t have much to say. I’ll try talking to him about it again in a few days after he’s had some time to process and think about it. When I read it with Early Bird it prompted a lot of good discussions. We’ve never talked about eye contact before, but when the part about Johnny giving too much eye contact came up, Early Bird described what he usually does and how it makes him feel. I was really grateful for that insight.
Review for Autistic Children:
The satire is most likely going to be lost on them; and that’s okay! Using this as a jumping point for talking about neuro-differences is a great thing. Early Bird has this to say: “Before I read this book I thought that neurotypical people should know better about autistic people. But when I read this book, I discovered it could be the other way around. I want to support my friends and family who are neurotypical. Each living thing is unique and special; neurotypical or not.”
For Non-Autistic Children:
If you’re looking for a book to explain autism to your child, this isn’t it. But if there is someone in your child’s life who is autistic, this could be a good book to help them think and talk about what it’s like for that person, and get them in their shoes so to speak.
I very much enjoy the usual script of a neurotypical having to be understanding of an autistic being turned around. I personally found that humorous. I think this is a good book for starting discussions and I recommend it.
I like this book so much that I’m personally funding a giveaway of it! Since it’s my first giveaway and I’m still learning how this all works, I’m restricting it to United States addresses only. If you are selected I will purchase the book on Amazon.com and have it sent to you! No, I won’t send you the cash equivalent if you win. This is for sharing a neat book. Hopefully I will install the RaffleCopter correctly. Good luck!
Update: Giveway is now closed! Winner