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Showing posts from June, 2014

Book Review: "Born to Fly: Living with Autism" by Mary Anne Napper

Born to fly is a novella based on the methods and life of Cath McCarthy, a mothercraft nurse with experience taking care of "emotionally detached" children. It's clear from the outset that names and ages have been changed and that many of the background descriptions are fictional but that the methods and responses are not. The novella format makes this story interesting and very easy to read. It can be read as a period drama with a very helpful message. The story is told as a story within a story, essentially a journalist interviewing Ms McCarthy. It starts in rural Australia in 1946 with the birth of Jamie, a boy who is later diagnosed with "gross mental deficiency", a term used before autism was widely accepted. His parents are told by their doctor that "there can be no correction or improvement in his behaviour. He will never walk, talk or feed himself" and Jamie is committed to an asylum for the rest of his life. To say more would ruin