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10 Reasons to Read Not Even Wrong: Adventures in Autism by Paul Collins

Updated on December 10, 2010

Not Even Wrong: Adventures in Autism is a highly interesting read by Paul Collins. I don't have any particular investment in the topic of autism nor have I read about it extensively although I've come across the topic in various readings and social situations over the years. Even without a strong background in the topic, this book was compelling for me.

Here are ten reasons I'd recommend reading Not Even Wrong: Adventures in Autism.

  1. It's a well-written memoir about raising autistic children. At its very core this is a memoir by a father who has a son diagnosed with autism at the age of three. It is not self-pitying nor excessively emotionally. Nevertheless, it can't help but tug on the heartstrings a little bit as the joys and distresses of parenting a "different" child are discussed.
  2. It provides a really terrific overview of the history of autism. For example, it concisely explains the way that the topic was initially researched by different groups of people including Asperger whose name has been given to a condition that many people associate as being a form of autism.
  3. It also gives a great overview of what autism is. Through stories about his own child's experiences in life as well as general information about autism it becomes clear to the reader what the experience of autism may be like (across the vast spectrum that the condition encompasses, of course).
  4. The book tells the tales of many different unique characters all throughout time. The author doesn't come right out and say that this person or that person was autistic. Instead, he draws parallels between the lives of very fascinating eccentric people and the lives of people who have been diagnosed as autistic. Separate from the issue of autism itself, the profiles of these different people are really intriguing to read.
  5. This book is very smart without being academic. It is the kind of book that would appeal to readers who are comfortable with more academic or technical reading but who are looking for reading that is a bit "lighter". It's easy enough to read but it also presents some challenging ideas that definitely stimulate the mind.
  6. It pulls together many different interesting topics. This book isn't just about autism. It's about many different topics including music and color and psychology and parenting and many, many other things. Readers who enjoy following lots of different trains of thoughts will find this book appealing.
  7. It presents a very positive view of autistic children and their lives. This father has certainly struggled with what it means to have a child who is different from the "norm" and who faces challenges in society as a result. Nevertheless, it is clear that this parent has a positive view of what his child's assets are. This doesn't come across in a sappy way but in a very matter-of-fact way that is pleasant and enjoyable to experience as a reader.
  8. There is a great list of autism resources at the end of the book. It is clear that the author has done his research into all different areas of autism. He provides a long list of the resources that he has studied in order for readers who are interested in the topic to delve further with their own research.
  9. This book poses questions instead of providing answers. People who have a reason to study autism surely do wish that they could read a book to get answers about what this condition means for their lives as individuals or parents. However, there are no easy answers. What is great about this book is that it provides facts and information but doesn't attempt to provide a quick one-size-fits-all "solution" for dealing with autism. It provides thought-provoking questions and supports possible answers to those questions with musings and facts. It may not be the cleanest method of presenting information but it's the most honest and probably the most helpful method of discussing this type of topic.
  10. The author is a strong author. He has written other books and is particularly well known for Sixpence House, a book about books.

Have you read Not Even Wrong: Adventures in Autism by Paul Collins? What was your opinion of the book? Share your answer in the comments!


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  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

    A great review and help for people who have autistic children. It must be so hard to reach them

  • CassidyS profile image

    CassidyS 7 years ago from OK

    I'll check this book out, it sounds very good. Our son has been diagnosed with PDD-NOS, which is in the autism spectrum, but is doing very well.

  • kathryn1000 profile image

    kathryn1000 7 years ago from London

    That sounds really interesting.Understanding autism would help those of us whose friends have autistic children.