House Rules touched me like no other book of its kind. I am a parent of a son with Asperger's Syndrome (AS), diagnosed before it was even acknowledged in the DSM, and too late for him to receiving any appropriate school placement or interventions.
I found Jodi Picoult's book very well-researched and it so aptly portrayed the "little professor" characteristic that makes this a hidden disability to all but the child's closest family members.
While each individual with AS has unique interests and unusually great amount of knowledge of his or her given "obsession," quite often this knowledge results in the lack of awareness of the child's difficulties among teachers and others. It can also mask their underdeveloped ability to socialize with peers, because they can so readily speak (or preach) to adults. Individuals with AS are frequently friendless, and become the unfortunate prey of unforgiving schoolmates, and the inevitable target of bullying. Their communication problems can get them into difficulties with the law and other authorities, as the story betrays.
Inevitably, adolescents with AS gain an awareness of their friendless-state, and they suffer from depression and some even commit suicide.
I hope this intriguing book helps families identify loved-ones with autistic-spectrum disorders, and that it will lead them to seek the help of a developmental pediatrician and early intervention services.
Thank you Jodi for shining a light on Asperger's.
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