I might have recently purchased 30 books at the library used book sale. Ok, 32. Book purchasing has become somewhat of an addiction over the course of the past two years. A “problem” some might say. Amazon and I have a pact that states I can not make an Amazon purchase without adding in an under $10 book at check out. I hold fast to this pact. And my husband holds fast to rolling his eyes whenever he sees me unveil the newest book entering our home. And yet he’s supportive in this somewhat healthy addiction of mine.
Since I do all the reading, I figured I would start reviewing for all of you. These are not sponsored in any way. Just my raw, honest, opinions of all the words. I really do love words.
#1. Jen Hatmaker’s 7: I introduced Jen into my world with her book, “Interrupted” last year. It rubbed me wrong and I put it back on the shelf. Knowing how many people admire her, I tried again with “7.” Choice well made. This 221 page gem focuses on her “experimental mutiny against excess.” She walks through 7 months , identifying 7 areas of excess and “made 7 simple choices to fight back against the modern-day diseases of greed, materialism, and overindulgence.” Reading this book is enough to induce delivering a U-Haul load of personal junk to Goodwill. It’s enough to change the way you purchase applesauce and string cheese, the way you pray, and buy clothing. It’s fuel to think hard about the way we live and why.
She says, “As consumers, let’s silence the “I WANT” and focus on the “WE NEED.” Good, right? How about this one…”At some point the church stopped living the Bible and decided just to study it, culling the feast parts and whitewashing the fast parts. We’re addicted to the buffet, skillfully discarding the costly discipleship required after consuming. The feast is supposed to sustain the fast, but we go back for 2nds, 3rds, and 4ths, stuffed to the brim, fat with inactivity.” I’ll let you sit there for a bit.
“Autism is not an illness. It’s a different way of being human. Autistic children and adults progress through developmental stages as we all do. To help them, we don’t need to “fix” them. We need to understand them and then change ourselves- our beliefs, attitudes, and actions.”
This book should be required reading for every teacher, Sunday school worker, coach, parent of a child on the spectrum…anyone who works with kids. Our son is extremely high functioning and some days wouldn’t qualify under the spectrum guidelines, but some days he does. This book opened my eyes more, despite my assumption that they were already as wide open as I needed them to be. Here are a few nuggets I humbly walked away with:
- He fixates on things that he feels like he can control. It’s calming and grounding and provides a sense of predictability. There is always a fixation at our house. And it’s a rotating door.
- He gets more excited about things than the average kiddo. And that excitement happens quickly. Good or bad. His threshold is much lower as he has fewer innate coping strategies.
- He’s innately unaware of how others might interpret his actions when he’s feeling dysregulated. Thus why it’s hard to reason and show him how his reactions come across to those around him.
- His incessant talking about a familiar and beloved topic (Pokemon currently) is offering him a sense of control in an typical, unpredictable conversation. He’s not considering the other person’s thoughts, feelings, or interest due to feelings of dysregulation, not because he’s rude. This is also why he tries to control both sides of many conversations, offering ideas on what THEY should say or do.
- Tim and I (and his teachers) make a difference, positive or negative, merely with tone of voice or energy level or by being predictable. This has been an issue at school for years. He can better regulate if he feels consistent calm from those in charge of him.
This summary of my take-aways got us through page 31. 205 more pages to go. I’ll spare you, but please read this book if it’s appropriate to your world. Please.