Stories from the Other Side of Autism
by Kamran Nazeer
In the early 80's when Kamran Nazeer was four years old, he attended a small private school in New York that was one of the first of its kind, designed to help children with autism. Twenty years later, Nazeer seeks out his former classmates (and one of his teachers). Out of a dozen, he connects with three who allow him to visit them, and the family of a fourth (who had committed suicide). Nazeer takes us with him into the daily lives of four individuals with autism: a speechwriter, bicycle messenger, pianist and a computer engineer. Each with their own individual quirks, personal trials and significant accomplishments. His exploration of autism is full of reflection on his own experience, compassionate inquiry into how autistic people relate to the world, surprising insights into how relationships work and examination of how exactly we connect with one another through language, gesture and unspoken rules of courtesy. Send in the Idiots is a fascinating look into what it is that makes us human.
Rating: 4/5 ........ 230 pages, 2006