Book Reviews · Books

From Another Planet


Autism from Within – Dominique Dumortier

Amongst the books about Autism the reader should be looking for those that help us understand the condition, anticipate the problems that arise and respond with flexibility and acceptance. This book explains the experience of an autistic person facing everyday events we easily manage.

When they read this book my friends and aquaintances may not immediately recognise it is about me. I have become an expert at hiding difficulties caused by my autism. If there is something I simply can’t do, or if I find it very difficult, people around me might not necessarily notice. I know lots of tricks to prevent me from making a poor show, or people noticing my inability to do certain things… Some people don’t believe me. My reply is try spending a week with me… you will soon find out!

My daughter Paige was diagnosed with autism when she was 5, she is now 8 which is the main reason I wanted to read this book. I’m still learning a lot about autism in general, specifically Paige’s traits, and of course I worry about what she will or will not be capable of doing as an adult. This book has helped me a lot, reading it from the perspective of an adult female with autism has also made me aware of some similar difficulties that I myself experience in life, if not as drastically. It has also made me feel more hope for Paige’s future and ways that I can hopefully help her to feel more confident and capable in this big scary world.

If you’re a UK resident and have a young person with autism or a condition similar, I’d recommend Cerebra postal lending library, it is a free service and they have loads of helpful books.

Bart loves me and accepts my autism. He doesn’t see it as an obstacle but loves me partly because of my autism. I often say that I wish I wasn’t autistic. Bart frequently replies that we might then never have been a couple. So to some extent he also loves my autism. Bart appreciates its positive aspects and there are only a few people who can manage that. There are not many people who look at me the way Bart does. He has found a girlfriend who is special. He refers not only to the autism but also to my character, behaviour, the understanding that I show. It pleases him that I enjoy the little things that other people ignore. I draw his attention to things that would otherwise have escaped him: colours, sounds, and smells. When walking through the park with me Bart always says that it’s not the same park anymore. He feels that I constantly give him precious gifts because of my autism.

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