So I’ve had a bit of a problem.
I call it ‘little’ only because it’s short – and a very quick read. But believe me when I tell you, that it’s actually huge. Like really, really HUGE.
And he’d asked if I might be willing to take a peek at it. Perhaps, if I were so inclined, offer up a quote that he might use to help market it.
And that was where my problem started.
Because after reading this little book (seriously, it’s only thirty-eight pages long and mostly cartoons), the only thing that I could say, over and over again, was, “Holy, crap, Landon, this is f%$&!ing awesome.”
And well, that’s not really a useful quote.
So I read it again. And then again. (Because at thirty-eight pages long and mostly cartoons it takes about as long to read as this post.) And after reading it again, I came up with another quote.
“Seriously, Landon. I’m not kidding. This is f%$&!ing amazing.”
Yeah, not helpful.
So I promised to try to come up with an actual quote. Ya know, one without the F word in it. Because I believe in this tiny but HUGE book that he’s written. Because I believe that it is NECESSARY. That it should be REQUIRED READING for anyone who loves someone autistic. Or knows someone autistic. Or knows someone who once met someone who had a third cousin they were pretty sure was autistic. It’s that important.
Because this tiny but HUGE book is a game-changer. Because in thirty-eight pages, Landon’s cartoon characters bring autism to life. They help those of us on the outside understand just a little bit more of what is happening on the inside. And through their short, masterfully designed interactions with one another, they deftly explore the varied perspectives within the autism community (and their subsequent overlaps and clashes) FROM THE INSIDE OUT.
In just thirty-eight pages, Landon explores such thorny and messy issues as difference vs disability, cure vs support, acceptance vs the need to fix, empathy, self-advocacy, relationships, self-love.
At its core, the book, for me at least, is really about that last one — self-love. It’s about self-acceptance and self-esteem and self-worth. And using that as both its starting and ending points, it’s also about our ability, both as individuals and as a society, to affect the self-image of autistics with our words, our actions, our attitude toward them AND their autism. And the inability to separate the two.
So if you love someone autistic or know someone autistic, or once met someone who had a third cousin they were pretty sure was autistic, buy the book. Buy it for your kid. Buy it for your spouse. Buy it for anyone and everyone who works with our kids – teachers, therapists, psychologists, school librarians, EVERYONE. Hell, buy it for your book club. Thirty-eight pages will give you plenty of fodder for conversation, I assure you.
Just buy it. Read it. Think about it. Talk about it. Let it in.
For autistic adults like Landon. For my daughters. For yours. For you.
For all of us.
Thank you, Landon. The world needed this.
Pictures used with permission – all rights Landon Bryce and ThAutcast