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A + for The A-Word: The most authentic look at Autism on screen.

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I worked for several years with a succession of autistic children—which mostly means boys—kids who were mainstreamed in regular education classrooms, with a classroom aide assigned to shadow them. That was me, the shadow. 

We also lived next door to a family who had an autistic son who became one of our son’s closest playmates, until we moved away at the end of elementary school. Chris, with his funny idiosyncrasies is the source of some very sweet memories, as well as moments of high drama. That’s what you get with autism, children who can be deeply involved when their needs and passions are directed and shared but who can sometimes find it frustrating when those needs are brushed aside. 

It’s typical for an autistic child to want to talk about dinosaurs—or whatever the passion is—and be frustrated while the rest of the kids have moved on to another topic. The autistic child is focused on that stegasaurus and exactly how cool it is, just not quite getting that the others don't shar…

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Enough about my stories. I'm sick of my writing. What I'm not sick of is the writing of Khaled Hosseini. I am only 1/4th of the way into The Kite Runner, an exquisite book by Hosseini that is part fiction and part anthropology lesson. Set in Afghanistan, a country whose name formerly conjured up not much more than a rocky barren landscape with sheeted blurs for people -- those people,now one sees, are very much like you and me. From their blue jeans to their weakness of character. Hosseini has painted his country with a rich mixture of colors and textures, hate and love, pity and shame. I was shocked to find it such a beautiful and moving book! If you haven't read it take the word of the NY Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, Isabel Allende and more and get thee to a bookstore or a library or Amazon.com quick. I can hardly wait to finish blogging so I can crawl into my bed and read right now.
To learn more about Khaled Hosseini check out his website at http://www.khaledhosseini.com . Exciting news for Southern Californians - he'll be in Pasadena this weekend (March 18 & 19th) as part of Pasadena's One City, One Story event. The whole town will be reading The Kite Runner. If you can't make this event, he'll be back to Santa Monica in May.You'll find a link to all the details on Hosseini's site.

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