Laura Shumaker's A Regular Guy: Growing Up With Autism spans more than two decades and gives the reader a bird's eye view of a family coping with the challenges of life with autism. The writing is superb and Laura's compassion comes through on each page. She eloquently details the daunting task of balancing the needs of her autistic son, Matthew, along with those of her two typically developing sons.
You might think that a story that starts with a diagnosis of autism more than 20 years ago would be irrelevant today. I must say that I was stunned to see how very similar the diagnostic process (and subsequent "run around") was to what is happening today. My son was diagnosed less than 4 years ago and our experience was nearly identical to the Shumaker's.
The story of the diagnosis is only a small portion of the book. One of the great things about this memoir is that it covers Matthew's life up to his early twenties. I very much appreciated having a glimpse into life with autism during the teen and early adulthood years.
Matthew is greatly affected by autism, but has the language abilities to express what he wants. He frequently mentions his desire to be a "regular guy". And, his failed attempts to fit in were nothing short of heartbreaking. This is not a sob story, though. Somehow, Laura Shumaker managed to make me laugh and cry with her book.
The Shumakers are an exceptional family. Their unconditional love and support for one another is inspirational. I thoroughly enjoyed this memoir.
To read the first three chapters or to order A Regular Guy: Growing Up With Autism, please visit Laura Shumaker's website.
Disclaimer: Bloggers are required to disclose receipt of complimentary items to review. This was the case for the above mentioned product. Any review with my name on it will be my honest opinion.