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Dasha’s Journal

A cat-lover's guide to autism, using feline traits to illustrate the way the condition affects behaviour

A cat-lover's guide to autism, using feline traits to illustrate the way the condition affects behaviour

I think the concept of using a cat's attitude to life as an analogy of the differences between ‘normal' people and people with autism has great potential.

As a cat lover I was expecting to really enjoy this book. I did enjoy it, but not particularly because I like cats.

I think the way the book is written the analogy would have applied to any anthropomorphically suitable species chosen.

The strength of the book is the way that it questions current theories and interpretations of autistic behaviour.

The author makes us challenge the assumption that anything that differs from the norm is inferior.

There is a long chapter on the ways that different sensory experiences create different perceptual worlds. She discusses how the senses of children with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) may differ from those of so-called ‘normal' Homo Sapiens.

She uses the explanations to highlight the positive and negative features of the way someone with ASD might view the world.

She postulates that ASD children perceive everything without filtration, so that everything they experience is unique. This causes huge problems for children in trying to create a stable world in which to feel safe.

She uses the explanations of how ASD children sense and interpret the world to look at how they deal with and express emotions, and how challenging behaviour might be produced.

Throughout the book she uses examples quoted from people who live with ASD.

It would be hard to read this book and not look at people with ASD through new eyes, so worth a read

Dr Clare Etherington

Rating: 3.5/5

Dasha's journal

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