Item description for Just This Side of Normal: Glimpses Into Life with Autism by Elizabeth K Gerlach...
In a collection of vignettes about raising a child with autism, Elizabeth King Gerlach tells it like it is - a world of happiness and sadness; complexity and simplicity; frustration and joy, all which honestly conveys the roller coaster of emotions a parent faces in trying to direct her child through the storm of his world. Just This Side of Normal is powerful reading!
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.76" Width: 5.42" Height: 0.62" Weight: 0.63 lbs.
Release Date Dec 1, 2004
Publisher Future Horizons
ISBN 1932565035 ISBN13 9781932565034
Availability 66 units. Availability accurate as of May 25, 2017 08:23.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Just This Side of Normal: Glimpses Into Life with Autism?
Helped me to see I am not alone Feb 22, 2008
I recently bought this book from the author herself. She was speaking at our support group. I could not put the book down and completely read it that night. It made me feel that I am not alone with my feelings of frustration and awe of my son that has similar struggles and gifts. I plan on having my parents, my friends, my aunts, anyone in our life read it, just so they have some perspective about my life and my son's life.
Stuck Inside a Cloud Jun 15, 2007
Nicky Gerlach was diagnosed with autism as a toddler and his behavior clearly placed him on the spectrum. Scant mention is made of his brother Ben, some 18 months his junior. Early in the book Gerlach and her husband parted company. Readers learn that she has two siblings; a father who had alcohol issues and a grandfather who taught her to drive on a really cool car, a Ford Falcon! I just loved that part. I always did love a Ford Falcon, a Better Idea car! (That Falcon netted this book an extra star).
My only real disappointment is that this book impressed me as being more of a desultory stroll through life with autism as opposed to offering more insights. I also thought the tone was more from the cerebrum than heartfelt; it seemed to be written in a rather impersonal "reporting" style. Not that I find that bad; it's just that given the subject matter, the skimming through Nicky, Ben and Gerlach's lives together seemed rather rushed than fleshed out.
Nicky was plainly a bright boy who did thrive in social settings. Luckily he was able to remain mainstreamed with the help of an aide. He also enjoyed birthday parties, whereas his friend John did not because John did not like the smell of latex balloons.
One of Nicky's hard won victories was being able to shift, albeit slightly from rigid adherence. For example, he could not sing, "sailing on the ocean purple" whent the correct color/lyric was blue. With the help of a capable therapist, he could sing, "sailing on the ocean blue, but NOT purple." I wonder if he could have sung the 1966 classic "Yellow Submarine," with "sky of blue and sea of green, in our yellow submarine." He was also rigid about following his verbal playbacks of videos he enjoyed to the last syllable.
Nicky's behavior made sense. When he appeared to be randomly quoting a passage he had heard or read about sheep being sheared, his grandmother asked him if he meant by that if he was hot. Nicky said he was hot. That was his way of opening the door to try to communicate that message. That was an eye opener. So was his wish, at age 6 to be a screwdriver because as a screwdriver, he could spin with impunity as much as he liked. That made perfect sense.
I like the way Gerlach was hyperalert to other children with autism. Her compassion toward a stranger's daughter on a plane was especially inspiring; I like the way she first thought of the girl's discomfort and how unfair other passengers were to sit in harsh judgment of a nonverbal child with hyper sensory issues.
Parts of this book were funny. I loved the part when Gerlach bought fixings to make a gingerbread house, ostensibly for the boys and all they were interested in was eating the frosting and decorative candies. Although it sounded as if the gingerbread house was more for her, it was funny how the shopping expeditions turned into a real comedy of errors.
Nicky made incredible strides. For years he feared climbing mountains because he thought his head would get stuck inside the clouds. Repeated explanations as to why this was impossible allayed his concerns. This made me think of the 1997 (posthumously released in 2002) George Harrison song, "Stuck Inside a Cloud."
A good, albeit short book about living with autism. This is a good companion book to Bye Bye Balloon: An Introductory Guide to Asperger Syndrome and a good companion CD to this is George Harrison's "Brainwashed" Brainwashed with the song "Stuck Inside a Cloud."
A Beautiful and Inspiring Book Jun 16, 2001
An amazing story told by an amazing author. This is an inspiring story of love, pain, devotion, disappointment, hope, humor and courage. Elizabeth King Gerlach opens her life to the reader, allowing us a parent's perspective of what it means to raise an autistic child and deal with a world that doesn't understand. Simultaneously, Ms. Gerlach allows us a glimpse into her heart, a place of obviously deep caring, compassion and beauty. Her writing is refreshingly open, honest and sincere. Just This Side of Normal is complex while, at the same time, maintains a simple clarity that captures the essence of the love a parent has for their child.
While certainly a valuable work for parents of autistic children, this book is more an inspiration, a tribute to the human spirit, to be shared by all. I want to thank Ms. Gerlach for writing this beautiful book and for opening her heart to all who are fortunate enough to read it. This book moved me deeply, as a father and as a human being. Buy this book, read it over and over, laugh & cry, and then share it with everyone you know.
Well written and interesting May 28, 2001
I enjoyed this book, and I have read several accounts of children with autism...I liked how Gerlach described her spirituality most of all. I believe that anyone who lives with exceptional children, whether they be parents, siblings, or educators, should have a strong spirit. Gerlach is a strong lady. She doesn't dwell on the "woe is me"; instead, she views her son for what he is...a precious gift. Her writing style is also very flowing and beautiful to read, unlike many more clinical books about autism. I have to admit, also, that this book made me laugh at times. I will recommend this book to my fellow teachers. Autism is often misunderstood, especially in the public schools. You'd be amazed at how many people think these children are simply being "bratty". Thanks to the author for sharing her wonderful story with others.
i read better Mar 3, 2001
dont get me wrong this wa an okay book but it really did not have all that much to offer as does say new for the boreder. i wish the author had made it longer and gone more into depth about the incedents that happend.