Anne Carpenter’s April Book Review

TITLE: Connecting with the Autism Spectrum: How to Talk, How to Listen, And Why You Shouldn’t call it High-Functioning (Kindle Edition) AUTHOR: Vormer, Casey “Remrov” SUBJECT AREA:  Autism-General PUBLISHER: Rockridge Press (for Paperback Edition) PUBLICATION DATE:  2020 NUMBER OF PAGES (for Paperback Edition) 144 There are a ton of books written by adults with ASD, all describing their experiences and the ways that they perceive the world, but Casey Vormer has written one of the best. Born in the Netherlands, he describes his first-hand experience with autism starting out with a definition of autism and the ways that it affects the individual including communication, sensory processing, and navigating the complex world we live in. Subsequent chapters describe how ASD affects his education, the workplace, relationships and making and keeping friends. He details his own experiences with his difficulties in school though managing to finish with enough education to work in a histology lab due to his strong interest in medicine and physiology. His difficulties with communication and sensory processing made school more difficult than it needed to be and he describes his experiences in enough detail to help the reader gain a better understanding of the many roadblocks that autism can present. The author then describes how autism can negatively affect the educational experience and devotes the rest of the chapter to how autism can positively affect that experience. The other chapters including one on employment, relationships and friendships follow that same great formula and the reader has a more balanced understanding of the autism experience. For example, in the chapter on friendship, he states that one of the positive aspects of autism is that one can have a vivid imagination which can really enhance a friendship and enrich it. Casey is honest about the difficulties in his life; he emigrated to Montreal, Canada from the Netherlands and found a much more tolerant atmosphere and has been living there ever since and is now a freelance artist where he makes detailed drawings of animals. This helps him to stay focused and calm and he describes this in his book. I just love the format as it adds touches of color-something you don’t often see in a book that isn’t a children’s book and I found this to be a delight. Vormer writes in a straightforward style making the book easy to understand. I was especially pleased by the sections in each chapter geared toward teachers, employers, and others not on the autism spectrum but who work and live with individuals with ASD. This book is a real winner and I found it to be a fascinating and engaging read.
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