Shh...Mum is Thinking

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Different Like Me

I bought a bookcase today, tra la la…no more books stacked on top of books and two rows deep on each shelf of my old book case, no sir. Not to mention the box stuffed full of books in the garage, the old stacking toy bin with all three shelves stacked high with educational books, the closets full childrens of books, my sons dresser piled high with books, the books under the coffee table, the books in the magazine rack in the hall, the books stacked next to my bed (and did I see a few under the bed as well? Hm…)

Crikey, I just realised I should’ve bought TWO new bookshelves. There’s no way they’ll all fit. Bummer.

Speaking of books, I recently bought one I’m very pleased with. It’s “Different Like Me: My Book of Autism Heroes”—I found this the day before Autistic Pride Day. It’s proved spot-on-perfect for my 7 year old son. It starts with an introduction by a boy (fictional? I dunno...) diagnosed with autism, and then short biographies of people like Einstein, Warhol, Hans Christen Anderson, Temple Grandin, etc.

I know many people are uncomfortable about ‘diagnosis after the fact’ of famous people, but this book seems to put less emphasis on these famous figures ‘having autism’, and more emphasis on their being ‘different’ in ways my son can relate to. So perhaps if you feel uncomfortable with calling Einstein autistic (I don’t, but whatever…) this book would still be useful simply because it shows that being DIFFERENT can be a useful and good thing.

We’ve working our way through the book during home schooling, reading a couple of biographies each day. When my son shows any interest in learning more we’ve searched the internet for additional information. So far we’ve searched for info on Warhol, Benjamin Banneker, Kandinsky and Alan Turing. I like that my son is relating to many of these people, seeing bits of himself in their struggles and strengths.

Warhol has been his favourite so far; he copied some examples of work during his free time, soup cans and such. Funny, he pointed out the Campbells soup at the grocery this week—“Look, mum, it’s Warhol’s soup.” The design and text are so different, I suppose it must have been the colour red and the name on the front that clued him in.

I find it amusing that Warhol started out as a newspaper and magazine illustrator, and early on was mainly known for his drawings of women’s shoes. :-)

Amazing what a parent will learn while home schooling. Hmm.


At 4:36 AM, June 26, 2006, Blogger Sharon said...

That book sounds great. I'd love to read it with my daughter who is far more interested in the real world and real people than I ever was at 7. I'm amazed at how much I'm learning with this home education lark too. Lady is always asking questions, and when I don't know the answer, she says that we need to 'Google or Wikipedia it'!

We didn't have those verbs when I was little!


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