Monday, May 23, 2011
What drew me to read Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine is the fact that the main character, Caitlin, is a girl with Asperger’s. I work with autistic adults, and we have a few clients with Asperger’s. So I was curious if A) Kathryn Erskine got it right, and B) to see if it might help me understand our Asperger’s guys a bit more. I believe she did get it right. And while I do understand a lot of our clients, I've never tried to get in their heads the way this book does.
It’s very easy to sympathize with Caitlin. She has no mother, and her brother is recently deceased. She has a disability in which the main issue is communicating and understanding. Her father is having a difficult time, and Caitlin can’t seem to do or say the right things. Emotions are confusing for her. She doesn’t understand others’ emotions, nor does she know how to correctly express hers. She doesn’t know what she feels. She’s a bright child, as most kids with Asperger’s are.
I think one of the best things about this book, is that it’ll help kids, teens, and adults understand this disorder. Asperger’s/Autism is such a huge thing now. Almost everyone knows someone who has it. And within the diagnoses, there are a million variables. Line up 100 of our clients with the same diagnosis, and they are all very different. (Which is why the Autism ribbon is a puzzle.) I highly recommend this book. Everyone should read it. Especially those who don’t understand Asperger’s.
Caitlin has Asperger's. The world according to her is black and white; anything in between is confusing. Before, when things got confusing, Caitlin went to her older brother, Devon, for help. But Devon has died, and Caitlin's dad is so distraught that he is just not helpful. Caitlin wants everything to go back to the way things were, but she doesn't know how to do that. Then she comes across the word closure- and she realizes this is what she needs. And in her search for it, Caitlin discovers that the world may not be black and white after all.
It was recently released in paperback.