by Deborah Lipsky
The book is an honest, first-hand account of how people with autism deal with the loss of someone in their life. Unlike the non-autistic response, people with autism, when faced with overwhelming or stressful situations, will favour solitude over sharing their emotions, tend to focus on special interests, and become extremely logical, often not expressing any emotion. This behaviour often leads to the belief that people with autism lack empathy, which is far from the case. Through the description of personal experience, and case studies, the book explores how people with autism feel and express the loss of a loved one, how they process and come to terms with their feelings of grief, and offers practical and detailed advice to parents and carers on a range of sensitive issues. These include clear instructions on how best to support someone with autism through the grieving process, how to prepare them for bad news, how to break the bad news, how to involve them in the funeral or wake, and how best to respond to later reactions. The final chapter explores the issue of why children and teens with autism can be drawn to death as a special interest, and explains that the interest is not normally a morbid one.