- Used Books
- Staff Picks
- Gifts & Gift Cards
- Sell Books
- Stores & Events
- Let's Talk Books
Special Offers see all
More at Powell's
Recently Viewed clear list
Ships in 1 to 3 days
available for shipping or prepaid pickup only
Available for In-store Pickup
in 7 to 12 days
Reasonable People (07 Edition)by Ralph James Savarese
Synopses & ReviewsPlease note that used books may not include additional media (study guides, CDs, DVDs, solutions manuals, etc.) as described in the publisher comments.
Watch an interview with DJ on CNN
Listen to Ralph Savarese's interview on NPR's "The Diane Rehm Show"
Visit the book's website: www.reasonable-people.com
"Why would someone adopt a badly abused, nonspeaking, six-year-old from foster care?" So the author was asked at the outset of his adoption-as-a-first-resort adventure. Part love story, part political manifesto about "living with conviction in a cynical time," the memoir traces the development of DJ, a boy written off as profoundly retarded and now, six years later, earning all "A's" at a regular school. Neither a typical saga of autism nor simply a challenge to expert opinion, Reasonable People illuminates the belated emergence of a self in language. And it does so using DJ's own words, expressed through the once discredited but now resurgent technique of facilitated communication. In this emotional page-turner, DJ reconnects with the sister from whom he was separated, begins to type independently, and explores his experience of disability, poverty, abandonment, and sexual abuse. "Try to remember my life," he says on his talking computer, and remember he does in the most extraordinarily perceptive and lyrical way.
Asking difficult questions about the nature of family, the demise of social obligation, and the meaning of neurological difference, Savarese argues for a reasonable commitment to human possibility and caring.
"Savarese, a writer and professor at Grinnell College, writes a moving account of his family's adoption of DJ, an abused, autistic youngster. Throughout, he describes the process of helping DJ communicate with the world and discusses larger issues of the rights of people with neurological differences. Savarese's wife, an autism professional, first encountered DJ when he was only two and a half; by the time they could adopt him, three years later, he'd lived in several homes and been badly abused in foster care. Because he didn't speak, people were unaware of what he'd suffered; some doubted he even could suffer, believing the myth that the autistic have no sense of self or others. As the Savareses worked with their son, teaching him to sign and to use 'facilitated communication' with a keyboard, they learned more about his very deep thoughts and feelings. As they fought to include him in mainstream classrooms, they also struggled with his emerging demons: his memories of abuse, his pain from parental abandonment. Savarese writes with passion and humor, careful to include extensive excerpts from DJ's typing, so readers get a sense of his remarkable growth." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Book News Annotation:
Savarese (American literature and creative writing, Grinnell College, Iowa) offers a touching account of his 14-year-old son, DJ, a child with autism who was adopted 11 years ago by Savarese and his wife Emily, an inclusion expert who mainstreams disabled children into public schools. The memoir details how life has changed for DJ and those around him through the use of Facilitated Communication (FC), a technique in which a facilitator aids an autistic person in typing. Though the technique was largely discredited in the early 1990s, Savarese argues that it can be an effective tool, particularly in modeling literacy. Containing much of what DJ typed from age nine to twelve and concluding with a chapter composed entirely by him, the book will be of interest to parents, teachers, and clinicians working with nonverbal individuals. No subject index. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
About the Author
Ralph James Savarese
Poet, essayist, translator, and scholar, Ralph James Savarese teaches American literature and creative writing at Grinnell College. He lives in Grinnell, Iowa.
What Our Readers Are Saying
Other books you might like