So many of you have been sharing thoughtful & heartfelt comments with Kathy on Facebook and Twitter about The Boy Who Fell to Earth and your own experiences of living with autism. Here are just a few of them…
“Just finished The Boy Who Fell To Earth- gorgeous. Thank you on behalf of my dear friend Nick, his mother( and my oldest friend) Amanda and myself for doing your bit to destigmatise Aspergers. Am now going to plunge into To Love Honour and Betray which I have inexplicably missed finding until now. Jacqui xxx”
“Loved your book when i read it, so much like my own son who is 7 but its great to read a mums view of the world of ASD, thank you x”
I enjoy your writing so much..I’ve just finished “The Boy Who Fell To Earth” and can’t think of an English word for ‘laughing out loud-heart aching a little-with a happy grin’, but I’m sure there’s some beautifully obscure Russian or French adjective to be found 🙂 xx”
“Just getting through chapter 2 on “the boy that fell to earth”, and it is so uncanny that no matter where you are living in the world – you all face the same dilemma’s in getting help once you’ve been given the diagnosis. like – being in the tallest building in the world and being told to pick the right door on the right floor to get the help you need, have more success unscrambling and egg. The same emotions, fears and thoughts of self blame.
Over the years of countless support groups, therapy and monthly meetings at the local autism advisory centre, one thing sticks in mind; and that is IGNORANCE about autism. Depending on social stature, culture , ego and the like as to how you deal with it. i was told my youngest two children are in the spectrum on the same day in Oct 2007. (aspergers and autism). I stepped up as I had to for them as I had already suspected my daughter of having aspergers, but a big shock for my son. My then wife did not want to accept anything , ending up me leaving my hospital job to be a full time carer and try to help her with her mental issues. Was only last year she admitted to it, now divorced she still has no input thats why I’ve got custody. Anyway, a lady in one group has a doctor husband and he works more and won’t accept it, others parents being serbian sat the chid is possessed by the devil and one was blamed for being a bad parent. I sincerely applaud you for taking the stand and persevering on, a shame the hubby cannot : (. but now look at your son and see your hard work – yes its a challenge when there’s no family support, and denial sets in because of “how it looks for them”, you know, they are the ones that miss out on those cherished milestones of achievement when your child does something on their own for the first time.
raising special needs kids actually brings you so much closer to them and a bond that is unbreakable. To tell you the truth, Its been years since buying a book, apart from therapy ones etc, and this book has got me reading again, I forgot what I’ve been missing out on – THANK YOU KATHY xxx I’m eagerly waiting to continue the read. what a great insight, stalagtight snot – so expressive it brought images to mind. Cheers FROM Dave”
“Hi Kathy. I am currently reading “The Boy Who Fell to Earth.” I just read the following passage and couldn’t help but nod and smile in complete and utter understanding and agreement. My son is 4 years old and has Cerebral Palsy – on the physical scale he is deemed rather severe. I just wanted to thank you for giving me stuff to laugh about – and at the same time understand the following….on “Lucy” seeing the mother crying next to the primary school because her 5 year old couldn’t learn his French properly…”I had an overwhelming desire to get into my car and back over her body repeatedly. And do you know what? A jury of mothers of special needs children would acquit me.” Starting tomorrow, I am viewing special needs schools for my son to attend once he turns 5. We are facing the very real prospect that he won’t be able to attend the same school as his brother – and I know people that I just wish they knew how damned lucky they are with such simple things that they have each day! Can’t wait to read the rest of this book!! x”
Kathy, You are pretty inspirational….My dearest friend Andy has a truly wonderful, brilliant (of course) funny (goes without saying) daughter Liv (Olivia) we ADORE and love her…she’s 11 years of age and has a terrible time during lunchtimes (1half hours per day on her own). The school is apparently helping Andy with filling up her lunchtimes with different activities but it breaks our hearts. Girls are horrible anyway so you can imagine what poor Liv has to deal with…
Both Andy and I organised an event back in Hampstead with a kids catwalk and Melanie Sykes comparing it for charity IPAN (International Pre-Autistc Network) and raised £4,000….we were so delighted and it decided to snow that morning…but the show still went ahead. We thought it would give Liv the confidence to strive ahead and help others like her…She was photographed for the local paper and it was acknowledged at school.
I love what you write and how you highlight the difficulties, the beauty and humour with kids with autism.
“Thank you for writing ‘the boy that fell to earth’ its an amazing read that i laughed with and cried at. My son is five, just diagnosed with Autism, luckily he is high functioning. I’ve recommended it to all my friends, i tell them – its basically my life in a snapshot. “
What do women really want in bed? Breakfast. Oh, and a good book. If you’re looking for a funny, frivolous yet feisty new read, do slip between my covers. Satisfaction guaranteed.
Here’s a selection of scribblings in which I peel down to my emotional underwear – a psychological striptease that occasionally reveals all.
I think women are each other’s human Wonderbras – uplifting, supportive and making each other look bigger and better.
If he wants breakfast, tell him to sleep in the kitchen.
Men think monogamy is something you make dining tables out of.
Many marriages break up for religious reasons – he thinks he’s a god and she doesn’t.
Love prepares you for marriage the way needlepoint prepares you for round-the-world solo yachting.
Boys will be boys, and so will a load of middle-aged boys who should know better.
Ladies who lynch.
No wife ever shot a husband while he was vacuuming.
I think therefore I’m divorced.
All husbands think they’re Gods. If only their wives weren’t atheists.
Happy wife = happy life.
I couldn’t ask for a better husband… as much as I’d bloody well like to.
Statistically, 100% of divorces begin with marriage.
Marriage is nature’s way of promoting masturbation.
Marriage is a fun-packed, frivolous activity – only occasionally resulting in death.
It’ll be an amicable split. You’ll both get 50 % of the acrimony.
A new invention is required. The monogamous husband. Patent Pending.
How Do I Hate Thee? Let me Count the Ways.
My wedding vows didn’t say To Love, Hoover and Obey.
I’m Having my period so can therefore legally kill you.
You are going to enjoy this marriage, even if I have to divorce you to do so.
A happy marriage is like an orgasm – many of them are faked.
All this emphasis on women faking orgasms, but what about men faking foreplay?
Why do men like intelligent women? Because opposites attract.
Why don’t women tell jokes? Because we marry them.
What does a woman really want in bed? Breakfast.
For women, life is full of lies – I mean doctors maintain that wrinkles don’t hurt.
Legal aid cuts prove that the Tories believe a person is innocent until proven destitute.
Sexist men are so stupid it makes you want to take the ‘men’ out of Mensa.
If a man ever tells you that women fall at his feet – it’s only because he gets them drunk first.
A woman must always fight back. Never just lie back and think of Canberra.
The best cure for menopause is the toy boy diet. A case of having Your Beefcake and Eating It Too.
I don’t fake orgasms. I’m faking being six foot one and seven stone.
Trophy wives tarnish quickly and then get left on the shelf.
Lawyers work 24/7. The partners of lawyers suffer from a bad case of subpoena envy.
Most shrinks should book an appointment with themselves.
The question on the minds of most women is – why doesn’t chocolate go straight to your boobs?
Don’t fall for a man’s puppy dog look… Just get him wormed.
It’s been so long since a man has touched me, not even medical science will want my body.
My top tip for keeping your youth? Lock him in the pool house.
I read your article in the Huffington post. You are so right about bullying at school . for any child who does not fit due to autism, aspbergers , dyslexia or just being a bit different and quirky. The mainstream education system suits only a small percentage of kids and teenagers. For may its like being a square peg in a round hole. All about passing exam , cramming while rarely leaning anything useful at all. if your offspring don’t want to be lawyers, doctors or economists the system fails them. Every child can shine and every teenager can be brilliant! its just about discovery and uncovering everyone’s individual talent. Most schools (state and private) have lost sight of this. If a teenager can survive secondary/senior school these days they should be able to survive anything that’s thrown at them. Sadly though for some, the journey through is so tough their confidence is destroyed and their soul sucked right out , leaving nothing but an empty shell.
Hi. I too have a boy with Asperger’s. I too believe that vast numbers of people earn a living from autism in the UK, without actually improving the lot of those with autism. My experience is that it is easier to get family therapy than a blood test for iron levels – that’s great news for the family therapists, but if GPs, dieticians, consultants, were paid on results on autism they would be bankrupt. I am shocked by the lack of scientific rigour and direction in autiism research – scientists across the world pay their mortgages from it, with no result for autistic individuals.
I have very little energy or optimism left, but I read you are campaigning to improve matters. What is your focus? Dreadful schooling? Wasted public money? Wasted research funds? No one else is going to speak out but us, and we Asperger/autism parents are so tired and distracted.
Our experience with our Aspie daughter may give some hope. She is 45 years old now. Growing up was hardest and parenting sometimes very confusing. Wrong diagnosis. Schizophrenia being one. Her inappropriate behaviour isolated her and led to depression and low esteem. In retrospect it shows what a narrow minded upntight society it was thirty, forty years ago when conformity was the required norm and the term Asperger Syndrome unknown. Today we look back and see that childhood is the worst time for an Aspie but life did get better as she got older. She found her niche in the university years. She has loyal and deep friendships. Her life now includes doing what she loves for a living and she says she is happy.. Most of the time. She married a great guy and they have a child on the spectrum. They love him without reservations and are optimistic about his future..
Stayed in bed til 1:00pm today until I finished your book The Boy Who fell to Earth…laughing out loud , feeling so angry at the bullies and the unwillingness or inability in the educational field to deal with these children….or the lack of options offered….
I read pain frustration being overwhelmed anger despair humour etc etc and all underpinned by LOVE… and you made me empathise….couldn’t put it gown!! Thank You [ a retired teacher]
What happened to poor old Archie ?
“Like a seasoned tail-gunner of a twin-rotored Chinook Kathy fires off life’s nuances from her six-barrelled mini-gun of armour-piercing bullet-points… and it is a driven quality with not a Hollow-Point in sight.” – Karl Peter Smith (An artist who writes a little-too.)
Just watched you on youtube and I have a high functioning 12 year old son with autism. Everything you said we have gone through and tears just rolled down my face. Thank you for sharing a sense of humor is what saves me. My quircky story is when my son was in the hospital post seizure and the doctor was putting a suppository in to bring down a fever he was describing to my son that it was going to feel like going poop. My son was 6 and said to the doctor “Stop the potty mouth!” I just died laughing along with nurses and the doctor could not figure out why. I think if we made t shirt sayings for all the strange things they say we would be rich .
Thank you , Kathy , for writing ‘ The boy who fell to Earth. I couldn’t put it down because it is so funny and I haven’t read a book that made me laugh so much ! My son has asperger too, diagnosed after he turned two and his challenging problem was not being able to socialize and interact with his peers, but he has improved a lot (he’s 20 years old now) ever since I took him to Church 15 years’ ago and now he has friends at Perth Christian Life Centre Young Adults’ Group and he never miss a meeting. He’s finishing 2 years’ part-time general study at Tafe and has been working in retail for about two years ( part-time). He’s a polite (polite to others) and quiet boy, but sometimes will grumble if I nag at him and get irritated when I give him a lengthy talk . He said he will give driving lessons a go in the new year. I would love to read your other books. How do I win a free “Be Selfish’ book? I need to spend more time to work out how.
I no longer have a copy of the book… handed on… they handed it on… and so on!
I am distressed that I did not record the quote about the meetings with the cast cast of thousands where everyone talks about the child but noone takes respondsibility for any action to take place. The quote sums up in a few words the folly of the education/care industries and identified students with needs.
Any chance of helping with the quote?
Imagine if your boy failed to get diagnosed till he was 22 and that was only because he did a dumb thing while he was on drugs. Now imagine your boy being put into jail then put on parole with terms and conditions that he cant cope with because he has aspergers. The legal people recognize that he has a problem but they will not take into account that he needs to be treated differently. Can you or your husband please tell me what I can do to get the courts to recognize his condition before he ends up either spending his whole life in jail or killing himself because he can not cope.
awful and poor older single mum of 13 yrs having relentlessly fought many and still ongoing battles, for my 2 sons with asd and adhd, without your talent and money, but with all the criticism, judgements and unfair treatment of a small town, find your book shallow, and unfunny,
I don’t lack a good sense of humour, having coped with little support, but just like some mainstream schools, and even family members towards the asd condition and its impact I don’t get you at all.
re the boy who fell to earth,
Hi I’m a mother with a 17 year old boy with autism (diagnosed at 2) who continues to despair at the lack of empathy within school for the academic, organisational and social supports required for an ASD person to achieve and thrive. Apart from working and studying myself – supporting, advocating, cajoling, organising is a full time role that cannot be appreciated unless ‘they walk in your shoes’. I don’t read fictional books on ASD – I figure I’m living it, I don’t need to read it – I don’t know why I picked up your book. I’m glad I did – it felt like someone had ‘walked in my shoes’ and managed to retain their sense of self. Even better, I’m now allowed to roll my eyes (figuratively) at the seemingly inconsequential concerns of the NT mother just for a tiny moment. You captured the very high and very low moments of the journey with ASD and the great love story that ultimately it is. Thankyou Kathy – I felt understood and not alone. I look forward to the next instalment. Linda