Thursday, July 31, 2008

New book looks at concepts of normality, autism

Thanks for the tip from Estee Klar-Wolfond, who runs The Autism Acceptance Project (TAAP) in Canada and a chapter in the new book by Wendy Lawson, Concepts of Normality, The Autistic and Typical Spectrum, focuses on the project. Lawson has autism has written several other books as well.

Press materials about the book say:

For those with autism, understanding 'normal' can be a difficult task. For those without autism, the perception of 'normal' can lead to unrealistic expectations of self and others. This book explores how individuals and society understand 'normal', in order to help demystify and make accessible a full range of human experience.

Wendy Lawson outlines the theory behind the current thinking and beliefs of Western society that have led to the building of a culture that fails to be inclusive. She describes what a wider concept of 'normal' means and how to access it, whether it's in social interaction, friendships, feelings, thoughts and desires or various other aspects of 'normality'. Practical advice is offered on a range of situations, including how to find your role within the family, how to integrate 'difference' into everyday society, and how to converse and connect with others.

Accessible and relevant to people both on and off the autism spectrum, this book offers a fresh look at what it means to be 'normal'.

Chapters: 1. Developing Images of Normal and Influence Upon Concepts of Normality. 2. Developing Concepts of the Autistic and Typical Spectrums. 3. The Individual, Family and Society: More on How Ideas of Normality have Changed. 4. A Typical Day and a Typical Conversation (Implications and Know-how for Conversing with Others). 5. Whose Mind Do We Have? Knowing One Another. 6. Autism, Sexuality and Normal. 7. Whose Normal is it Anyway? Dr Dinah Murray, The University of Birmingham, UK . 8. Inclusive and Accepting or Exclusive and Rejecting? Understanding Self and Other. 9. The Mismeasure of Autism: The Basis for Current Autism 'Advocacy'. Estee Klar-Wolfond, The Autism Acceptance Project, Canada. 10. Changing the Status Quo So That it Does Not Change Me but Allows Me to Develop My Fullest Potential.