Five words from the blurb: autism, boy, school, fight, funding
Shtum is an emotional book about one couple’s fight to get their autistic son into an appropriate school.
One of my sons has Asperger’s so I have become friends with many other people whose children have autism. I’ve been to numerous support groups where I’ve heard stories about the battle parents face to get the support their children need. These groups are incredibly distressing to attend and the suffering these parents and children have to endure is shocking. Shtum gives a realistic portrait of the difficulties faced by these families. It is well researched and follows a path similar to many of the people I’ve met.
Unfortunately I think I’m too close to this subject to enjoy reading about it. Everyone on Twitter seems to love it – raving about the way the humour is mixed with the sadness. I’m afraid I am too aware of the reality behind the situation to find any of it funny and I found the whole reading experience distressing.
The author clearly has experience of living with an autistic child, but sadly I found the whole story predictable. There was just something too ordinary about it. Unlike the magnificent, sadly underrated, The Mouseproof Kitchen by Saira Shah, it offered me no new insight – or uplifting side story to counterbalance the misery.
I’m really pleased that so many people are reading this book and enjoying it. Anything that improves society’s knowledge of autism is a good thing. It’s just sad that I’ve heard similar stories in real life far too many times before.
The Thoughts of Other Bloggers
…an extraordinary, heart-rending story… The Book Magnet
It manages to be incredibly moving without ever feeling sentimental, and despite the often tough subject matter it’s frequently very funny. Breakfast at Libraries
…be prepared: it will break your heart into a million pieces and it will take one small piece away, so your heart will never be the same. Book Nerd Mermaid