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Send in the Idiots: Stories from the Other Side of Autism

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Send in the Idiots: Stories from the Other Side of Autism Cover

ISBN13: 9781582346199
ISBN10: 1582346194
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A remarkable, elegantly written portrait of four autistic men and women, and what their struggles and triumphs reveal about this baffling condition, and about us all.

In 1982, when he was four years old, Kamran Nazeer was enrolled in a small school in New York City alongside a dozen other children diagnosed with autism. Calling themselves the Idiots, these kids received care that was at the cutting edge of developmental psychology. Twenty-three years later, the school no longer exists.

Send in the Idiots is the always candid, often surprising, and ultimately moving investigation into what happened to those children. Now a policy adviser in England, Kamran decides to visit four of his old classmates to find out the kind of lives that they are living now, how much theyve been able to overcome—and what remains missing. A speechwriter unable to make eye contact; a messenger who gets upset if anyone touches his bicycle; a depressive suicide victim; and a computer engineer who communicates difficult emotions through the use of hand puppets: these four classmates reveal an astonishing, thought-provoking spectrum of behavior.

Bringing to life the texture of autistic lives and the pressures and limitations that the condition presents, Kamran also relates the ways in which those can be eased over time, and with the right treatment. Using his own experiences to examine such topics as the difficulties of language, conversation as performance, and the politics of civility, Send in the Idiots is also a rare and provocative exploration of the way that people—all people—learn to think and feel. Written with unmatched insight and striking personal testimony, Kamran Nazeers account is a stunning, invaluable, and utterly unique contribution to the literature of what makes us human.

Kamran Nazeer was born of itinerant Pakistani parents and has lived in New York, Jeddah, Islamabad, and Glasgow. He studied law but decided not to become a lawyer. By the time he completed his Ph.D. thesis, he had decided not to become an academic. On leaving Cambridge, he was recruited into Her Majesty's Service and works as a policy adviser in Whitehall. He has published work in U.K. newspapers and magazines.
When he was four years old, Kamran Nazeer was enrolled in a small New York City school alongside a dozen other children diagnosed with autism. Calling themselves "the Idiots," these kids received care that was at the cutting edge of developmental psychology.
 
Two decades later, Nazeer undertook a mission to try and reconnect with four of his schoolmates. He wanted to understand what it meant to grow up with autism—to see the many obstacles his classmates had cleared, and to understand the ones they couldn't. A speechwriter unable to make eye contact; a messenger who gets upset if anyone touches his bicycle; a musically gifted but depressive pianist; and a computer engineer who communicates difficult emotions through the use of hand puppets—these four classmates reveal an astonishing, through-provoking spectrum of behavior. Like all of us, each of them has his or her own set of fears and obsession, hopes and triumphs. Send in the Idiots is the candid, surprising, and moving tale of their lives. Using his own experiences to examine such topics as the difficulties of language, conversation as performance, and the politics of civility, Nazeer also gives us a rare and provocative exploration of the way that people—all people—learn to think and feel.
 
 
"This is a brilliant look inside a world of outsiders—a story not just of autistic children and their fate in the world, but of how all of us grow, grow apart, and sometimes even find out own way in the long journey from childhood to adulthood."—Paul Collins, author of Sixpence House and Not Even Wrong
 
"The way certain portraits appear to be lit from within, this book has an inner radiance that is exhilarating. Kamran Nazeer is both witness and guide and adept at either role. I read to the end and began again at the beginning in order not to leave his company."—Alec Wilkinson
 
"Nazeer, a successful British government policy adviser, was diagnosed early on with autism; he now seeks out the fate of four autistic classmates at his former New York City school. He first encountered the 'idiots' (as one of them called the group) more than 20 years ago, in an unnamed private school that has subsequently closed. In addition to interviewing the former pupils, all but one (who committed suicide) enjoying varying degrees of success in the greater world, Nazeer also visits the school's former director and special-needs teacher to learn how teaching autistic students has evolved. Considered a neurobiological disorder, autism largely confines a child to his or her own mental world. André, for example, living in Boston with his sister, became a competent computer researcher and manages to mediate the challenges of ordinary conversation through the use of a puppet. Randall, a courier in Chicago, demonstrates how early 'parallel' play led to a satisfying love relationship (developing empathy is difficult for the autistic). Craig became an accomplished speechwriter until his awkward social skills derailed him, while Elizabeth immersed herself in playing the piano before withdrawing completely. Nazeer delicately interweaves his own story of being 'cured' for an enlightening journey through the unreachable mind."—Publisher Weekly 

Review:

"Nazeer, a successful British government policy adviser, was diagnosed early on with autism; he now seeks out the fate of four autistic classmates at his former New York City school. He first encountered the 'idiots' (as one of them called the group) more than 20 years ago, in an unnamed private school that has subsequently closed. In addition to interviewing the former pupils, all but one (who committed suicide) enjoying varying degrees of success in the greater world, Nazeer also visits the school's former director and special-needs teacher to learn how teaching autistic students has evolved. Considered a neurobiological disorder, autism largely confines a child to his or her own mental world. Andr, for example, living in Boston with his sister, became a competent computer researcher and manages to mediate the challenges of ordinary conversation through the use of a puppet. Randall, a courier in Chicago, demonstrates how early 'parallel' play led to a satisfying love relationship (developing empathy is difficult for the autistic). Craig became an accomplished speechwriter until his awkward social skills derailed him, while Elizabeth immersed herself in playing the piano before withdrawing completely. Nazeer delicately interweaves his own story of being 'cured' for an enlightening journey through the unreachable mind." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Kamran Nazeer sets the tone of this touching book in an ingenious, seemingly offhand introduction. The place is a private nursery school on Manhattan's Upper West Side; the time is the early 1980s. Nazeer is one of a dozen kids there who have been diagnosed with the then-rare syndrome of autism. But from the author's point of view, almost every human being has one limitation or another: The teacher,... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Book News Annotation:

As a young child, Kamran Nazeer attended a small, cutting-edge school for autistic children in New York City. Twenty years later, he decided to get back in touch with four of his former schoolmates. In this narrative, he recounts his personal experience of growing up autistic and relates the triumphs and struggles of his classmates as they emerged into adulthood. He also describes a visit with his former teachers in which they share their perspectives on working with special needs children. Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

This remarkable, elegantly written portrait of four autistic men and women shows what their struggles and triumphs reveal about this baffling condition, and what it means to be human.

Synopsis:

In 1982, when he was four years old, Kamran Nazeer was enrolled in a special school alongside a dozen other children diagnosed with autism. Calling themselves the Idiots, these kids received care that was at the cutting edge of developmental psychology. Now a policy adviser in England, Kamran decides to visit four of his old classmates to find out the kind of lives that they are living now, how much they've been able to overcome--and what remains missing.

 

Bringing to life the texture of autistic lives and the limitations that the condition presents, Nazeer also relates the ways in which those can be eased over time, and with the right treatment.Using his own experiences to examine such topics as the difficulties of language, conversation as performance, and the politics of civility, Send in the Idiots is also a rare and provocative exploration of the way that people--all people--learn to think and feel. Written with unmatched insight and striking personal testimony, Kamran Nazeer's account is a stunning, invaluable, and utterly unique contribution to the literature of what makes us human.

 

About the Author

Kamran Nazeer was born of itinerant Pakistani parents and has lived in New York, Jeddah, Islamabad, and Glasgow. He studied law but decided not to become a lawyer. By the time he completed his Ph.D. thesis, he had decided not to become an academic. On leaving Cambridge, he was recruited into Her Majesty's Service and works as a policy adviser in Whitehall. He has published work in U.K. newspapers and magazines.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Shoshana, September 30, 2007 (view all comments by Shoshana)
An interesting and enjoyable memoir from an author with high functioning autism (he does not call it Asperger's, and since he had language delays Kanner's autism seems more accurate). Nazeer interviewed several of his former classmates from a school for autistic children, the parents of another, and two of their teachers. In addition to the poignancy of the narrative, Nazeer's speculative digressions are an interesting demonstration of the organization of autistic thought.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781582346199
Subtitle:
Stories from the Other Side of Autism
Author:
Nazeer, Kamran
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Subject:
General
Subject:
Mental Illness
Subject:
Specific Groups - Special Needs
Subject:
Autism
Subject:
General Biography
Subject:
Psychopathology - Autism
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20070403
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.50 in

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Health and Self-Help » Child Psychology » Autism
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Autism
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General

Send in the Idiots: Stories from the Other Side of Autism Used Hardcover
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Product details 240 pages Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - English 9781582346199 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Nazeer, a successful British government policy adviser, was diagnosed early on with autism; he now seeks out the fate of four autistic classmates at his former New York City school. He first encountered the 'idiots' (as one of them called the group) more than 20 years ago, in an unnamed private school that has subsequently closed. In addition to interviewing the former pupils, all but one (who committed suicide) enjoying varying degrees of success in the greater world, Nazeer also visits the school's former director and special-needs teacher to learn how teaching autistic students has evolved. Considered a neurobiological disorder, autism largely confines a child to his or her own mental world. Andr, for example, living in Boston with his sister, became a competent computer researcher and manages to mediate the challenges of ordinary conversation through the use of a puppet. Randall, a courier in Chicago, demonstrates how early 'parallel' play led to a satisfying love relationship (developing empathy is difficult for the autistic). Craig became an accomplished speechwriter until his awkward social skills derailed him, while Elizabeth immersed herself in playing the piano before withdrawing completely. Nazeer delicately interweaves his own story of being 'cured' for an enlightening journey through the unreachable mind." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , This remarkable, elegantly written portrait of four autistic men and women shows what their struggles and triumphs reveal about this baffling condition, and what it means to be human.
"Synopsis" by ,
In 1982, when he was four years old, Kamran Nazeer was enrolled in a special school alongside a dozen other children diagnosed with autism. Calling themselves the Idiots, these kids received care that was at the cutting edge of developmental psychology. Now a policy adviser in England, Kamran decides to visit four of his old classmates to find out the kind of lives that they are living now, how much they've been able to overcome--and what remains missing.

 

Bringing to life the texture of autistic lives and the limitations that the condition presents, Nazeer also relates the ways in which those can be eased over time, and with the right treatment.Using his own experiences to examine such topics as the difficulties of language, conversation as performance, and the politics of civility, Send in the Idiots is also a rare and provocative exploration of the way that people--all people--learn to think and feel. Written with unmatched insight and striking personal testimony, Kamran Nazeer's account is a stunning, invaluable, and utterly unique contribution to the literature of what makes us human.

 

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