I think I've mentioned just a few times that our family loves to read. Well, recently I was excited when we were given several choices of books from Grace & Truth Books to choose from for a TOS Review Crew review. I looked through the list and listed a couple of books that I thought the boys would like as my first and second choices. I saw the book Too Wise to Be Mistaken, Too Good to Be Unkind: Christian Parents Contend With Autism by Cathy Steere and listed it as my third choice because two of our children are on the autism spectrum. I really didn't want to review it because we already have several books on autism and I really wasn't up to reviewing another, but, since it was on the list I decided to include it but really didn't expect (and deep down was hoping not) to be chosen to review it.
Well, lo and behold, wouldn't you know that my first and second choices were, indeed, passed over and I was notified that we would be reviewing Too Wise to Be Mistaken, Too Good to Be Unkind: Christian Parents Contend With Autism. I was a little disappointed, but, after all, I had included it as my third choice. It was really my fault. I'd have to put up with it.
God has a sense of humor. He always knows what is good for us even when we don't. This is actually an excellent book for our family. God knew what we needed.
So, what is it about Too Wise to Be Mistaken, Too Good to Be Unkind is so different than the other books on autism that we have? As I was thinking about that question I realized what it was. Just as any parent, parents of a disabled child love their child so much that they would do anything to fix their hurts. I know that when our oldest was diagnosed with cancer we ran out and researched every thing that we could about the type of tumor that John Allen was diagnosed with. That, again, happened when Joshua was diagnosed with aspergers syndrome. We bought book after book on autism and sensory difficulties. The only problem was, all of the books that we purchased were books on describing what an autistic child was like and how to help him. They were all good books, but they were all academic - "here's what they're like, here's how to help them" type books. Although I wanted to help my children, all of the advice and information just started to run together after a while.
As I read through Cathy Steere's book I realized that something was different. I couldn't put my finger on it at first, but finally I understood why. Cathy didn't write a book with a lot of information, she wrote a book that told her story. It was about herself; her husband, David; their youngest son, Elliot; and their autistic son, Drew. It was their story. It starts from the time Drew was born and continues through the time when they first realized something was wrong. It goes on to talk about the time Drew was diagnosed and continues talking about their life up to the time the book was finished. As I read through the book, though, I realized it wasn't just their story - it was also our story. At each stage in their journey I could see our family. I nodded my head in agreement when she was describing the things that her son did when he was younger. I cried with her when she realized that her son probably had autism. My heart wrenched with hers as she realized why her son had acted in different ways. I felt guilt when she felt guilt for the way she responded to things that her son did. I grieved, became frustrated, rejoiced with them through the different stages in their autism walk. Why did I have these emotions? Because I went through the same thing and it was like reliving our experience. At the same time, though, it was refreshing to realize that we aren't the only ones. There is someone else out there that understands. Someone that's been through the same thing we have.
Joshua - between me and Sarah and Jacob - in front. Our two awesome autism spectrum sons (along with their awesome older brother and cancer survivor John Allen).
The "this is what to look for and this is what to do" stuff is there, but it's there because it's part of the story. Someone can still learn about the do's and do not's of autism, however, instead of dry facts you learn from, it's living experience that you learn from. There are ways to help my boys that I even learned that I am going to do further research on.
This book is a heart wrenching but wonderful book all wrapped up into one. Heart wrenching because you actually see what a family with an autistic child goes through, but wonderful because it also shows that there is hope and there are people to help you. I would recommend this book to anyone. With statistics saying that 1 in 100 (or even less than 100) children being born today will be diagnosed with some form of autism, if you haven't been personally touched by someone on the autism spectrum chances are that someday you will be. This book gives a great perspective as to what living with an autistic child is like. If you have been blessed (and, yes, I consider it a blessing) with a child on the spectrum, then To Wise to Be Mistaken, Too Good to Be Unkind, I feel will be a very therapeutic book for you. I know it was (and still is) for me. As I mentioned before, I even learned some new things that I am going to further research.
Really there is nothing that I can think of that should hinder you from reading this book. The price of $9.75 for the physical glossy covered, paper back book or $5.50 for the ebook can't be beat. Just click here or on any one of the hi-lighted links above to get to the Grace & Truth Books website.
Oh, and do you remember those other books that I put down as my first and second choice? Well, other members of the TOS Review Crew reviewed those and other wonderful books published by Grace and Truth Books and you can find what they had to say by clicking here. Happy Homeschooling!
Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Review Crew I was sent a free copy of Too Wise to Be Mistaken, Too Good to be Unkind in order to read and give my honest review on this blog.