Weather Reports from the Autism Front

A Father’s Memoir of His Autistic Son


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About the Book

Based on detailed research and a lifetime of personal experience, James Wilson recounts his personal journey as the primary companion of his now twenty-six-year-old autistic son, Sam. This realistic, irreverent account of an autistic young man and his misadventures while transitioning to adulthood provides enlightening truths as well as sardonic humor. Formally seen as a neurological disorder, autism is increasingly being looked upon as simply a form of neurodiversity. Rejecting mainstream attitudes, Wilson explores this modern view of autism through his own experience as well as quotes from autistic people and bloggers, some of whom are the most vocal proponents of this viewpoint. A detailed bibliography accompanies this engaging memoir of a father and son’s experience negotiating the slippery slopes of normality.

About the Author(s)

James C. Wilson is a professor of English and journalism at the University of Cincinnati. This is his fifth book. He lives in West Chester, Ohio.

Bibliographic Details

James C. Wilson
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 223
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2008
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3705-4
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8222-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

1. The Family Gangsta      5
2. Contesting Autism      12
3. Testing Neurodiversity      26
4. Why Is He Barking?      35
5. Sensory Overload      44
6. Meltdown      53
7. Friends and Lovers      61
8. Self-Injury      70
9. Weatherweenie      78
10. To Cure or Not to Cure      87
11. Things We Do      97
12. Family Relations      105
13. Communication Corporeal and Electronic      113
14. Cognition      122
15. Agoraphobia, or Don’t Call Us…      130
16. Too Crazy for the Psych Ward?      138
17. Medicalization      147
18. Institutionalization      157
19. Surf ’s Up      163
20. Representation Politics      171
21. Resentment      182
22. Community      188
23. Looking for Autism Pride Day      196

Sources      203
Bibliography      209
Index      211

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Recommend[ed]”—Disability Studies Quarterly
  • “A father’s riveting memoir of his autistic son…concerns raised by autism will engage readers’ interest enthrallingly…enriched greatly…very abundant wealth of information and insights”—