Saturday, May 21, 2016

It's Not a Perfect World, but I'll Take It, by Jennifer Rose

Jennifer Rose is a college student who has high-functioning autism.  She has written a delightful book, It's Not a Perfect World, but I'll Take It: 50 Life Lessons for Teens Like Me Who Are Kind of (You Know) Autistic.  Rose, a bright, self-aware young lady, has much to offer for other teens who are living with autism.  I enjoyed her personal, practical insights.

A solid, fun-loving family gave her a strong foundation on which to grow.  She has confidence and self-assurance, and the ability to take life as it comes.  Her mom was a great advocate for her.  Rose's comment about her mother, after meeting "glamorous" autism advocate (and former model and Playboy playmate) reminded me of my wife: "All autism moms are glamorous in their own way because they work hard for their kids."

Rose discusses the mixed messages about "overcoming" autism in It's Not a Perfect World.  She seems to be aware of the movement celebrating the gift of autism, but adds a dose of reality.  She writes, "While it's great to celebrate the talents of autistic kids, you also have to deal with the hard issue of autism itself and its less pretty features."  We love the stories of autistic kids who have unique talents, "but we can't forget about the autistic kids who don't have special talents."  In other words, autism may be wonderful for some kids, but we shouldn't forget that "autism is very difficult for most kids."

Rose herself says she has "overcome" autism, to the extent that she now is enrolled in college.  Her target audience is other high-functioning kids like herself, to whom she offers a ray of hope and a path to a fulfilling future.  She writes with good humor and fun.  (Speaking of humor, I thought it was funny that this Jewish girl has fond memories of watching Veggie Tales, a favorite of evangelical Christians.)  The structure is a bit random, but isn't that how the minds of teenagers work?  Teens with autism and their parents will enjoy this uniquely insightful book.

Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for the complimentary electronic review copy!

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