The authors of the blog, Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism (TPGA), announced the release of the book under the same title 19 December 2011. From what I can garner by reviewing the list of contributors provided on the blog (I’ve not had a chance to review the book), the collected essays in TPGA will be informative, honest, and evidence-based observations and commentaries written in clear and heartfelt language. It’s a strong enough entry that Steve Silberman, who has the NeuroTribes blog for the PLoSBLOGs (Public Library of Sciences), called it the book of the year.
The editors’ names—Shannon Des Roches Rosa, Jennifer Byde Myers, Liz Ditz, Emily Willingham, and Carol Greenburg—will be familiar to many readers, as I have mentioned their work and they have left comments here on EBDBlog or on sibling projects. They harvested what they considered to be top-notch material about Autism from around the Internet (the list of contributors includes many familiar names), and organized it into this collection so that people searching for the good stuff would have a lot of it in one place.
That’s the point that captured Mr. Silverman’s attention. After setting the stage by providing a capsule history of many of the mistaken paths and some of the productive steps that Autism has taken, in “Book of the Year: Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism,” he points to TPGA and writes,
With this sea-change in mind, my favorite book of the year on autism was curated and self-published by a group of parent-warriors with the express purpose of sparing other parents the grief, isolation, and confusion that followed their own kids’ diagnoses. Called the Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism, it offers helpful, positive, pragmatic, evidence-based advice for making the life of your kid and your family more rewarding and more joyful, starting today. I can’t think of a better holiday gift for someone with a loved one on the spectrum. With current estimates of autism prevalence running at 1 in 110 people in the US, the book deserves a wide readership.
Mr. Silverman’s extensive review echoes much of what the editors wrote about their book. On release of the book, they blogged:
For all today’s smiles and pride, the truth is Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism’s inspiration was our persistent frustration with the negative autism stereotypes and misinformation we faced in parenting our children with autism, or advocating with/amplifying the signal of the amazing Autistic communities. As stated in our Mission, this book is the resource we wish we’d had when autism first became part of our lives: a one-stop source for carefully curated, evidence-based information from autism parents, autistics, and autism professionals.
You can read the complete content of that entry on their blog. Also, here’s a link to the press page about the book and, if you’re already convinced, here’s a link for those who’re looking to go directly to Amazon.
Given the relationship I noted between the editors and me, as minor as it may be, I should also explain that there is no financial relationship among us. I’m not being paid to shill for the book.