Teacher Professor

April 27, 2012

Negative Review

Filed under: Autism,Book- Parent's Guide — Teacher Professor @ 5:41 pm

I don’t obsessively check the stats over at Amazon on my book, Children with High Functioning Autism: A Parents’ Guide  (I used to when it first came out- and oh, let’s say for a while longer), but I’ve moved on… I hope it sells well and I’m planning the next one.  But every now and then I have to refer to it and link to it.  And today, I found this… the first negative comment.  Ever. 

This book is fun to read for first coming parents, but not for parents who already try many therapies for their children. Half of this book says how smart her daughter is-everything is above average, no developmental delay, and gifted. Half of this book says so many superficial information without conclusion.
I bought this book because I wanted to know how to educate my son in the public school, not Montessori or private school. No informative at all.

I’m ashamed to admit that my first reaction was defensive- What does she mean- “no(t?) informative at all”?  Did she READ the section on how to have a good IEP?  Did she READ the part about trying the “gold standards” of ABA and speech therapy first and then, if there is left over money and time, trying other things?  Did she READ the part about how my daughter’s language and social skills were delayed?   

Until I realized, her review wasn’t about the book at all.  Her review was her frustration…

  • Her frustration that having tried it all, everything, followed all the books, there are still no good answers.
  • Her frustration that autism is so highly individual- that one person’s story doesn’t capture HER autism, her reality, her needs.  One person’s story can never capture that. 
  • Her frustration at a school system that is probably unprepared, undertrained and even, at time, oppositional.  But oppositional and unprepared in their own way that one book cannot answer how to deal with HER teachers, HER IEP needs, and HER school system. 
  • Her frustration at how the needs of her child continue and morph, and what were answers before are no longer sufficient. 
  • Her frustration at this amorphous thing we call “autism” that has no absolutes and no recipes to follow and no clear sense of direction.

Every mother of a child with autism realizes, after a while, that they are walking their own road.  There may be others, and books, and communities who walk alongside with you for a while and then diverge, but in the end, it is your own path.  There is support, there is love and there is help.  But it is your path.  And while you are not alone in your fights, your battles are as highly individual as you and your child and your family and your school are. 

I am truly sorry my book was not the help she was needing at that moment.  I don’t know her, but if she read this blog (although probably not, given  her reaction to the book!) Ms. Lee, somewhere out there, there are many people and many books who can help.  Truly help.  But you have to remember that the most important resource you have is you.  YOU know your child.  YOU know your school and YOU know yourself.  No one knows your story better than you. And while you may not find THE answer, there are lots of resources to help you find ideas- ideas to help you moving forward and to know that you are not alone. 

And did you READ the Resource Guide at the back?   

A quick list of some AMAZING Resources:


Author’s note: Personally, I MUCH prefer reading these comments: 🙂 But I want to emphasize to everyone to just keep reading and reaching out…

This book is great. I felt it was written for me. I feel the same way she does and I highly recommend this book for all those moms who feel they are alone. I have learned so much.

Very informative and eye opening book. It has helped me not feel so alone in this world & gave me some more insight on my son who has high functioning autism.


  1. Oh Claire, that is so not TRUE!! Your book was 1 of the first I used to start researching and using to get to know my child with autism because it was so inclusive AND concise at the same time. Your book is what I use as a barometer for all other books that I reference. It was both informative and personal!!! At the same time! We all know how indivual each of our children can be. I was new and lost and SCARED!! Your book broke so much technical information into such (BOTH) personal and technical information that it gave me a sense of knowledge and security that I can now be confident in perusing other information and KNOW the difference in what applies to me and my child and what is so much hyperbole or fascinaton with the current trend of information. THANK YOU!!!

    Comment by Erin Hollis — April 27, 2012 @ 7:27 pm | Reply

  2. Thanks, Erin! I appreciate the feedback! 🙂 I think it’s so tough to realize that this is something that has NO definite answers, but lots of directions- and lots of roadblocks…

    Comment by profmother — April 27, 2012 @ 7:57 pm | Reply

  3. Ditto what Erin said. Your book was one of the first books I read last year, after my 8-year-old son was diagnosed. You helped me through a really rough time, and helped me feel that I wasn’t alone after feeling very alone for a very long time. I will always be grateful for that.

    Comment by Megan — April 27, 2012 @ 10:03 pm | Reply

  4. You nailed it, this reader was most likely at the frustrating point when she is still seeking and failing to find answers that satisfy her questions about her child or her situation. There’s a big difference between those seeking wisdom and/or sage advise and those seeking answers. Perhaps this suggests a preface for the 2nd Edition?

    Comment by Elizabeth — April 28, 2012 @ 8:52 am | Reply

  5. So happy to hear your book is out! Although I’ve been on the autism path almost nine years (with two boys), I am certain I’ll find many wonderful tools to include in my arsenal. Can’t wait to read it!

    Comment by autismmommytherapist — May 1, 2012 @ 1:31 pm | Reply

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