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Ex Machina, Vol. 1: The First Hundred Days
Brian K. Vaughan, Tony Harris
The World Without Us
Alan Weisman

The Best Kind of Different: Our Family's Journey with Asperger's Syndrome

The Best Kind of Different: Our Family's Journey with Asperger's Syndrome - Shonda Schilling,  Curt Schilling,  Foreword by Peter B. Rosenberger If you're a parent with a kid recently diagnosed with Asperger's, this is probably a great place to start. The story she tells about trying to wrap your head around why your kid is different, and then getting the diagnose, and struggling with what it means, is front and center here, and it really closely mirrored ours in places. The sort of primary takeaways and coping mechanisms she lists in Chapter 10 or so are great. This is very much a book about her family's journey, so it does go into detail about baseball and little league and being a baseball wife and things most families might not relate to, but still, she tells a good story.

Things to bear in mind: this is a wealthy family, living in an upper-class town, and the resources available to them are not going to be accessible to most of people. She goes on at length about how important the YouthCare camp was for her son, and I don't doubt it. Tuition for YouthCare is in the neighborhood of $5000 for a 5-6 week program. She also hires one of the counselors as a part-time aide, and talks about what a turning point that was, what a valuable resource that person became. Great for her, not an option for 99% of us.

She talks a little bit about IEPs and 504 plans, which is great, it might even have been nice to get more details, since this is a huge component of the scholastic success (or failure) of any Asperger's kid. She describes 504s as "less extreme" than IEPs, which struck me as odd. I'd describe IEPS as "offering more resources" than 504s. Semantics, maybe? (We have an IEP.) Again, the way she views the differences might be filtered by the public school resources in a wealthy community. The 504 plans in her town might offer more than the 504s in a city. The point is, look at both, different kids need different things, and to a very scary degree, it's up to the parents alone to navigate this stuff and advocate for their kids. She mentions the AANE as a great resource and I agree. Also books like this! People telling stories, you know? Good.