By Anne Barnhill
Anne Clinard Barnhill's sister Becky was once born in 1958, lengthy earlier than most folks had even heard the time period autism. clinically determined with "emotional disturbance," Becky used to be subjected for far of her early life to well-meaning yet futile efforts at "rehabilitation" or "cure," in addition to lengthy spells in associations clear of her kin. portray a brilliant photograph of turning out to be up in small-town the US through the Sixties, Barnhill describes her sister's and her personal painful youth studies with compassion and honesty. suffering from the separation from her sister, the awkwardness of boyfriends' reactions to her sister's erratic behaviour and the emotional and fiscal hardships the relatives skilled because of Becky's , Anne however chanced on that her sister had anything that "normal" humans have been not able to supply. at the present time, she is accepting of her sister's autism and the effect, either painful and optimistic, it has had on either their lives. This bittersweet memoir will resonate with households tormented by autism and different developmental issues and may attract every body attracted to the situation.
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Additional resources for At Home in the Land of Oz: Autism, My Sister, and Me
I wanted to hit them, shoot them even. But they were older boys, eighth and ninth graders; all I could do was turn my head away. And I taught Becky to ignore them, too. Of course, that part was easy—Becky didn’t pay them any attention anyway; she remained in her own little world, bouncing and flipping without a care. My girlfriends never said much about Becky one way or the other—they had to treat her well when they came over, or they wouldn’t have stayed my friends for long. I didn’t broadcast any information about Becky to the kids at school.
Any game was allowed as long as I could watch over Becky. But one day, Becky slipped away from me, and before I could stop her she did what every other kid in the neighborhood knew not to do—she marched onto the Greens’ lawn. The Greens had no children and no patience. Mr. Green, especially, was scary. He’d chase any living thing out of his yard with a baseball bat he kept on the front porch for such purposes. If one of the boys threw a ball into his shrubs, it stayed there until it rotted. No one, not even the brattiest boy on the street, crossed into Green territory.
Being a musician, Dad wanted a nice record player and had built one for himself from a mail-order electronics course he’d taken. We didn’t have a lot of money or furniture in those days and the living room was spacious enough to run, or gallop, as the case turned out, in big circles round and round. Dad would put on Becky’s favorite record, “Who Wants a Ride,” and let her clamber up on his back. Then he would become the “trotting pony” mentioned in the song. He’d circle the living room over and over until he was huffing and puffing.
At Home in the Land of Oz: Autism, My Sister, and Me by Anne Barnhill