Most of the book review is really an interview with my incredibly awesome, almost 12-year-old daughter, The Pork Lo Maniac. The PLM already had a diagnosis of ADHD-Primarily Inattentive Type when we kind of all realized, at the same time, that she was probably also on the autism spectrum.
The PLM and I had a conversation in which we talked about how some scientists think that ADHD is the beginning of the autism spectrum, and she said, "Mom, I think I'm a couple of notches over from there."
And so began a magical time of discovery for our daughter and for us as her parents. Of course, our "magical time of discovery" involved approximately 13 months of evaluations, meetings, e-mails, phone calls, ten-page letters, heated discussions with school administrators, and one threat of legal action, but whatever. It was magical, people.
In this book review/interview, the Pork Lo Maniac talks about being in middle school, how this book is helpful, and what a real friend is. If you'll permit me to brag for a few moments, she demonstrates not only more self-awareness than most "neurotypical" adults, but also more confidence and compassion.
Also? Theory of mind: she haz it. For example:
“It’s kind of hard for me to know, deep down, how good people are,” she said. “I know I can’t always tell when people are being honest, or sarcastic. And middle school is this whole time where you don’t know what your thing is. You don’t know exactly where you fit in.”
“And sometimes, I wonder if maybe some of the kids who seem mean, maybe they’re really nice but just don’t know how to fit in,” she mused. “And then also, sometimes they’re just jerks.”
You can read the entirety of my interview with the Pork Lo Maniac, and why she thinks tweens and teens with Asperger Syndrome need a book like The Asperkid's Secret Guide to Social Rules, on Babble. Enter to win your very own copy of the book by leaving a comment (not a Facebook comment!) on the Babble post.
Also, please don't forget to check out my post on the difference between autism awareness and autism acceptance, and the 10 things I wish everyone's kids knew about autism.
On the other hand, if you just need a break from being so aware of autism that you're ready to puke blue glitter, you should check out my favorite post for Babble Pets that I've ever done: I Can't Stop Looking at This Dancing Cat .gif That Looks Just Like Christopher Walken.