As a writer on the “Opinion” segment of this blog, it can be difficult to talk about my opinion about many sensitive issues relating to autism simply because I do not have autism. No matter how much research I do, read, and talk to individuals on the spectrum, I will never understand what it is like to have autism. The whole fact that the “outsider” voices are more prominent when it comes to autism adds to the stigma of the label being a “problematic” disorder. What most people not on the spectrum do not realize are the two following ideas:
More than a disorder, autism can be considered like a special ability. Individuals on the spectrum may see the world in a different, unique way that the general masses are not used to hearing.
Individuals on the spectrum may react to different social situations differently. As Tyler McNamer says in his book, autistic individuals undergo the same emotions but release them in a different manner than what is considered “normal”.
Population One: Autism, Adversity, and the Will to Succeed by Tyler McNamer is the first book that gave me a glimpse of what the world looks like in the eyes of one autistic individual. Although short, this memoir/inspirational guide touches on numerous topics such as leadership, love, and teamwork while showcasing McNamer’s unique worldview and life. McNamer’s down-to-earth tone and analysis of some of humanity’s biggest challenges (such as war) made me laugh and feel absolutely inspired to so something (I know, it sounds so vague) with my life.
+In his story, McNamer skillfully portrays the stigma revolving autism. In his space analogies (which I love), McNamer describes how the label of autism made his planet isolated from the other planets in the galaxy (the entire population on Earth). The struggles that McNamer had to go through in his school life when it came to dealing with bullies made me feel heartbroken. The two points I mentioned in the beginning of this article are probably my biggest takeaways from this wonderfully written memoir. Along with McNamer, I also dream of a world in which everyone can understand each other. Perhaps, with awareness efforts, that dream can be a moon that can orbit all of our planets. Overall, I would give this book five stars! It is a must read!
I will end this review with one of my favorite quotes from this memoir:
“The best kind of freedom is the freedom to do good. It is what makes heroes.”
“Stay terrific” and do good Blue Birds!
+Photo of Population One is owned by PopulationOne.com. EP Blue Birds does not own this picture.
Tyler McNamer's Twitter: https://twitter.com/TylerMcNamer
Autism Works: https://www.autismworks.com/