Friday, August 28, 2009

Book Review: "Reasonable People" by Ralph Savarese

I checked this book out from the local college library and boy am I glad I did!

The book is long (400+ pages) but fascinating. It's recommended by both Temple Grandin and Donna Williams.

It follows the life of Ralph Savarese and his adopted son, D.J. D.J. is a non-verbal autistic who learns to use facilitated communication. I have to admit, before I read this book I was very skeptical of facilitated communication. I figured it was a case of parents acting for the kids. Well, now I can see it isn't that in most cases. Facilitated communication isn't just somebody moving a kid's hand; it could be a simple finger on the shoulder. I really was rooting for D.J. as I read the book and was pleased that by the end he wrote a whole chapter of the book! D.J. was thought to be profoundly mentally retarded and by the end of the book he is making great grades in a regular school. I always wonder how many autistics who are labeled retarded are really just unable to communicate well enough to assess their I.Q. properly.

The other important part of the book is dealing with the abuse D.J. had from both his biological mom and while in foster care. It made me quite sad to read about this and also the attitude of the biological father. The biological father rejected D.J. because of his autism but took his "normal" sister. How sad!

I do need to warn potential readers there are parts that talk about D.J.'s abuse so if you are unable to handle stories of that it may disturb you.

Overall, I'd highly recommend this book. Perhaps it is in your local library!


JL said...

Very nice review, thanks for sharing this. I have a gift card to Borders and know now what I am getting.

Your views are really interesting and from such a unique perspective.

Really, thanks!


Frugal Vicki said...

Thanks for the suggestion! I will have to check it out!

Anonymous said...

Now that's something like it!