By Anne Barnhill
Anne Clinard Barnhill's sister Becky was once born in 1958, lengthy sooner than most folk had even heard the time period autism. clinically determined with "emotional disturbance," Becky was once subjected for a lot of her adolescence to well-meaning yet futile efforts at "rehabilitation" or "cure," in addition to lengthy spells in associations clear of her family members. portray a shiny photo of turning out to be up in small-town the US throughout the Sixties, Barnhill describes her sister's and her personal painful early life stories with compassion and honesty. suffering from the separation from her sister, the awkwardness of boyfriends' reactions to her sister's erratic behaviour and the emotional and fiscal hardships the kinfolk skilled because of Becky's , Anne however came upon that her sister had anything that "normal" humans have been not able to supply. this present day, she is accepting of her sister's autism and the effect, either painful and confident, it has had on either their lives. This bittersweet memoir will resonate with households tormented by autism and different developmental problems and should entice every person drawn to the .
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Extra info for At Home in the Land of Oz: Autism, My Sister, and Me
Entering seventh grade brought with it a sudden interest in hair, lipstick, eyeliner and having the “right” clothes. Prior to our move, I’d been a tomboy. I liked dolls well enough (at least I didn’t dismember them, something Becky was prone to do), but what I really enjoyed was riding my bike, following trails through the woods behind our house, and climbing trees. Back in Huntington, I’d had plenty of friends and we kept ourselves busy with imaginary games. One of our favorites was to pretend one of us was crippled.
And I cried, I think, for me. Because I would never have a normal sister, something I wanted very much. I wanted to know what it was like to have a real conversation, not a question-and-answer game. I wanted to be able to tell Becky all my secrets and listen to hers. I was tired of feeling embarrassed about her oddities and I was tired of feeling guilty about my embarrassment. I wanted her to be normal, normal, normal. But she wasn’t. Though Dr. M——’s treatment wasn’t successful with my sister, he gave my parents something to work toward.
Time had little meaning in her life. Becky went directly to the closet and put on her winter coat. She didn’t say another word, just walked out the front door. I didn’t go after her. Instead, I peeked out from the window to see how long it would take her to change her mind and come back home. It was still snowing, and the icy wind chilled to the bone. I watched and waited until her figure became very small, a spot of quick motion on the horizon. “Go get her right now. She isn’t coming back,” my mom told me as she peeked in the den drying her hands on her apron.