How to Be Human: Diary of an Autistic Girl
Author: Florida Frenz
Publisher: Creston Books, LLC
It seems that autism awareness is everywhere. Colorful puzzle piece pins adorn parents and doctors, and celebrities host autism awareness telethons. But awareness and understanding are two different things. I have tried to understand the true nature of autism, but like most people, can’t. Despite having friends with autistic children and reading books on autism, I’ve never even come close to understanding what it must feel like to walk through this life with autism.
The book, How To Be Human: Diary of an Autistic Girl, helps someone like me get about as close as possible to understanding life with autism as a non-autistic person can. As the book titles suggests, it is beautifully written and illustrated with intense and fantastic drawings by Florida Frenz, a girl with autism. Florida explains that she often feels like an “alien.” While the thought of someone walking through life always feeling out of place saddened me, it is an accurate description of what it feels like to see the world through a different lens, always wanting to act differently than everyone else. I appreciated her openness and frankness, especially when discussing how she interprets her mother’s communication of consequences of what she hears compared to what is being said.
I would recommend this book to any parent or child who knows someone with autism (and given that 1 in 88 children are on the autism spectrum, that likely is all of us).
Age Suggestion: 9 and up.