Tuesday, July 2, 2013

What Color is Monday? - Carrie Cariello

Summary:  One day last fall Jack asked me, "What color do you see for Monday?"  "What?" I said distractedly.  "Do you see days as colors?"

Raising five children would be challenge enough for most parents, but when one of them has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, the adventures become even more fascinating.  In this moving--and often funny--memoir, author Carrie Cariello invites us to take a peek into exactly what it takes to get through each day with four boys and one girl, and shows us the beauty and wonder of a child who views the world through a different lens.  (Summary from back of the book, book given free for review, and image from carriecariello.com)

My Review:  I'm a teacher by trade and have had many students with Autism. While my students have all been older than Jack, I have seen these same behaviors and descriptions first hand.  Carrie's perspective was refreshing for me to read.  It's true: a child with Autism is quickly labeled, and acronyms start flying, and sadly we do start seeing the child in terms of folders, files, acronyms, and paperwork.  And because children with Autism are not verbal, it's easy to forget how there is so much more going on inside their brains, so much more to how they perceive and see the world.  As a secondary teacher, we only get an hour a day with this student, mix that with a class ranging from 30-40 students, add to that loud noises and you can see why a secondary teacher hardly has a chance to see into the mind of a child with Autism.  Reading this book I left with a better perspective from a different point of view.  I feel it made me a better person--how many books can you say do that?

Jack's circumstance is probably rare, especially in this day and age, in that most families aren't as large as 5 children.  In addition, most parents who have a child with Autism stop after only one or two.  I too believe, along with Cariello, that having his siblings has made Jack stronger, more flexible, and causes growth to come quicker.  This is an honest book, with realistic and soul-bearing examples of just what it really means to raise a child with Autism.  And gosh, it sound HARD.  I think raising my three children is hard--Cariello has it much harder.  And yet, I left the book with a love of Jack and I haven't even met him.  Cariello has a way of describing her experiences that paint a picture of beauty in Jack.  What a rare gift, and a beautiful person it takes to be able to parent so wisely this little boy.  I'm afraid I don't have that kind of patience.

If you're interested in seeing Autism through the eyes of a parent, or simply want to see how someone else is tackling this situation, do pick up this book.  I found it refreshing, a quick read, and endearing. 

For the sensitive reader:  Nothing offensive, but since this is adult non-fiction about parenting children, that shouldn't be too surprising.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Sum it up:  A parent's view of raising a child with Autism.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this review. As a grandparent with an Aspberger's grandson, I've been reading books lately that give more of an insider view of the many faces of Autism. I'm putting this on my TBR list, and I'm making sure any parents I know hear about it. Again, thanks!


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