That's how the book came across to me. In the preface, Lasalle explains that even though the book was about her, her journey and discovery, she wasn't sure if it was OK for her to write the story so she had to ask for permission from her son, Benjamin. Her hesitation became clear when reading more of the book.
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It tells of one mother's experience of discovering her child not behaving like other kids his age, and not quite knowing what exactly was the problem because medical science had yet to give a proper diagnosis and name to the problem.
While much of the story is from the mother's point of view -- of trying to find a school for a son who couldn't quite fit in (none of the teachers understood his condition either); of her strained relationship with her ex-husband and even the second one; of her frustrations of her son's behaviour and weight problem.
Her story is also interspersed with the Ben's personal account of certain specific episodes of his life. Like the part where he was arrested and jailed, being humiliated by the police and prisoners alike. It's especially poignant when told by Ben himself.
Lasalle does not gloss over her disappointment, shame, guilt and bitterness of having a son with Asperger's. It was this brutal honesty that kept me turning the pages.
What's interesting is also Lasalle's account (near the end of the book) of her meeting Jack -- a man who spoke in riddles and in non-linear and logical ways due to an aneurysm. Yet Jack's utterances sometimes made the most sense, in a strange way.
The reader learns that there is no cure for Asperger's. One has to just deal with it as best as one can. That's the medical reality and it is this factual acceptance that enables both Barbara and Ben to cope.
P. 273 has a list of recommended resources:
- Books and articles on Asperger's Syndrome
- Books on dealing with Issues of Loss and Disappointment
- Mother's Accounts
- Support Groups
Benjamin has an official website at http://aspergerjourney.com/