Eloquent. Philosophical. Introspective. These are not the words usually associated with an autistic child. But in a remarkable display of courage and creativity, a boy named Tito has shattered stereotypes, and in The Mind Tree makes us question all of our previous assumptions about autism. For Tito is severely autistic and nearly nonverbal, and this is his story.
"Great but better read than listened to"
When he was three years old, Tito was diagnosed as severely autistic, but his remarkable mother, Soma, determined that he would overcome the "problem" by teaching him to read and write. The result was that between the ages of eight and eleven he wrote stories and poems of exquisite beauty, which Dr. Oliver Sacks called "amazing and shocking". Their eloquence gave lie to all our assumptions about autism....
Diagnosed as severely autistic at the age of three, Tito, nearly nonverbal, was brought up by his loving mother Soma, who taught him to read English and challenged him to write his own stories. The initial result was The Mind Tree, published in 2003, which Tito wrote between the ages of eight and 11. The Gold of the Sunbeams is an equally impressive, beautiful collection of stories, each prefaced by a charming note from Tito explaining how the story came into being.