I knew the author Brenda way back… gosh it’s probably about 15 years! In Feb this year, she gave a book she published, titled “Come Into My World” as my birthday gift. I knew that she had published this book a while ago but I didn’t have time to check it out. Receiving this book gave me a potpourri of feelings – ashamed, that I didn’t check it out earlier; and honoured, to have the chance to have a glimpse into not only her world, but 30 others, on autism.
I have to admit that despite being a psychology graduate, i find every single story fascinating, frustrating, touching and…special. I think that any textbook would not be able to match the level of emotions felt by the families, the details and the spectrum of symptoms possibly displayed, and most importantly, the unconditional love and hopes of the parents.
You’ll be drawn into Brenda’s personal experiences with her autistic son, and 30 other bite-size stories (including MP Denise Phua’s) that also provide deep insight into the various methods adopted by the families. Personally, it blew my mind to read experiences written by autistic people themselves. The book provided them with a voice that is rarely heard, read or known, and I think that the book fulfilled its utmost mission by that alone.
Brenda asked if I knew of anyone autistic when she passed the book to me. I only knew of a friend whose son has recently been diagnosed. But i went home and realised that I may know of someone in my primary school days. He was the ‘oddball’ in the class, as indeed, he acted weirdly and spoke incoherently most of the times, and was at times even violent to the teachers when he was scolded. I didn’t understand what was going on with him at all. But I did feel sorry for him that the boys around him teased him endlessly. I vividly remember the day we were supposed to have the BCG injection – he was so frightened of having the jab (probably fed scary lies by the boys) that he had a ‘meltdown’ and had to be removed from the class (‘meltdown’ – a term i learnt from the book). For years, I could not understand why he was behaving the way he did; the teachers did not explain anything, everybody was clueless. In fact, he resurfaced in my mind only when I was reading the book; it was almost like a loud ‘click’ went off in my mind. After graduation and even till today, I still think about how he’s doing, and with this new-found ‘answer’, I have high hopes that he is doing really well 🙂
If you know of anyone whose child has been diagnosed, please do share the book with them. It will definitely be a great mobile ‘support group’ and allow better and faster understanding of autism. Buy or order the book here!