Review: Invisible Differences

Marguerite feels awkward, struggling every day to stay productive at work and keep up appearances with friends. She’s sensitive, irritable at times. She makes her environment a fluffy, comforting cocoon, alienating her boyfriend. The everyday noise and stimuli assaults her senses, the constant chatter of her coworkers working her last nerve. Then, when one big fight with her boyfriend finds her frustrated and dejected, Marguerite finally investigates the root of her discomfor: after a journey of tough conversations with her loved ones, doctors, and the internet, she discovers that she has Aspergers. Her life is profoundly changed – for the better.

I think books such as this are really important, especially today. Conditions on the autism spectrum are still very stigmatized and those who are on the spectrum still get stereotyped heavily, so information that can be consumed easily is useful to those looking to learn more. It really addresses the anxiety that can be felt, how being misdiagnosed feels and how it feels when those in their lives don’t understand or accept their conditions.

I loved the color scheme of black and white with accents of red. Red was used to show things contributing to sensory overload (for lack of a better term) and really showed how overwhelming seemingly small things can be when they pile on. There was also a simplified explanation of spoon theory that would be helpful to people who know nothing about it (something that is not exclusive to those on the spectrum, but also applies to those who have anxiety, chronic illness, invisible illnesses and more).

The back section includes information regarding autism history, facts and a list of resources for more information, which would definitely be helpful to people who wanted to know more.

Invisible Differences is expected to come out on August 18th, 2020 from Oni Press. Be sure to pick up a copy if it sounds like something you would like!

Happy reading!

Review: Why Does Daddy Always Look So Sad?

Author: Jude Morrow
Publisher: Beyond Words Publishing
Date of Publication: April 7, 2020

Why Does Daddy Always Look So Sad? is the story of one man’s journey to parenthood, and how his autism profoundly affected that journey, for both better and worse. Growing up autistic, Jude Morrow faced immense challenges and marginalization, but he was able to successfully—though not without difficulty—finish university and transition into the working world and eventually parenthood. This book is a view of life and love through the eyes of an autistic adult, who went from being a nonverbal and aggressive child to a hardworking and responsible father to a non-autistic son.

In this poignant and honest memoir, Jude defiantly uses his voice to break down the misconceptions and societal beliefs surrounding autism, bringing hope to all who live with autism as well as those who care for someone on the spectrum. Jude views his autism as a gift to be shared, not a burden to be pitied, and as he demonstrates through his candid recollections and observations, autistic people’s lives can be every bit as happy and fulfilling as those who don’t have autism.

I knew that Jupiter has seventy-nine known moons and where the swimming pool was located on the Titanic, yet I didn’t know how to connect with this beautiful child who called me “Daddy.”

I wasn’t entirely knowing what to expect with this memoir as I’m not hugely knowledgeable about those on the Autism Spectrum, but it is something I would like to know and understand more about. This book follows the author’s journey as he grew up and moved through life, living with having Asperger’s. There were a number of struggles that he expertly described in a way that the reader could really understand and empathize with. It was touching to see it through his eyes as he came to realizations and came to accept his condition so that he could not only enjoy his life but build a wonderful relationship with his son. Though I’m not on the spectrum in any way, there were situations he described that I empathized with greatly due to having high anxiety.

I really enjoyed going through Morrow’s story the way he told it. His introspection and self examination allows the reader to fully immerse themselves in what he describes and his emotions during his experiences, even when he has a hard time understanding them himself. It was a wonderful view not only into what he has experienced with his condition, but also what other’s around him experienced.

Jude Morrow presented with communication and social difficulties early in life, which led to a diagnosis of Asperger Type Autism at the age of 11. Despite having educational challenges, Jude progressed through secondary school and graduated from the University of Ulster with an honors degree in social work in 2012. Jude now works as a social worker and is a motivational speaker and advocate for all things autism. When not speaking, writing, or social working, Jude loves spending time with his son, Ethan, enjoying the outdoors, cooking, and reading.

Thank you again to Beyond Words Publishing for offering me a copy of this book. Happy reading!