Thursday, November 18, 2010

Writing about Autism

For the last two or the three years, I have considered writing a book about autism and education. I outlined the book, sent proposals to two publishers, and wrote 30 or 40 thousand words before abandoning the idea. It lost its appeal to me for a variety of reasons, including the fact I didn't really want to reconsider my most recent educational experiences.

Yet, there are those asking when I'm going to sit down and write about autism. I'm often asked about this when I speak to groups of parents or caregivers. Clearly there is a demand I don't understand. If I did understand it, I'd know exactly what to write.

Until this week, I had not read a complete "self-help" or "advice" book on autism or any other special education issues. I just don't see what such books would offer me and I don't believe my own experiences reflect the current realities of education. Schools have improved a great deal since I was in elementary school, way back in the 1970s. It would be unreasonable to compare my education to what we now provide to students.

I have read books about autism, at least tangentially, but these were autobiographies. Also, I have skimmed basic texts on autism, mainly to compare what mass-market texts contain to what academic texts on autism teach.

There are now so many resources online and in print that I don't know what else can be added to discussions of autism. What in the world would I write that is new and interesting? I haven't the slightest notion of what that might be.

Someone suggested a Q and A with a cowriter of some sort. Maybe that is a good idea. Some sort of roundtable turned into a text? If you think a particular type of book on autism is needed, let me know. Explain what I (or someone else) should write and I'll certainly give it some thought.

I do write a lot; I haven't discovered the right thing to write about autism.

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