Frequently, this book feels almost philosophical in tone, moving well beyond autism into ideas that impact all of us as humans. For example, most well informed parents of an autistic child have read articles on ideas such as Theory of Mind. But in this book, Blastland takes the theory beyond science into experience. Using examples from Joe’s life, the author looks with compassion at different experiences with Joe, and analyzes just what might be going on inside his son. Certainly, none of us can truly know another’s interior experience, and when communication is severely limited, as in Joe’s case, his father can only make guesses. But Blastland is consistently and sometimes painfully honest about his own thoughts, as well as what he’s guessing about what’s going on for his child. Blastland then pulls in other ideas from his own extensive reading.
This book shares the joys and pains of raising a severely disabled child, brings the theories behind autism to life, and in a much broader way, raises questions about what makes us all human