Single Moms Raising Autistic Sons

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Friday, March 23, 2012

"The Golden Hat" book review

This was an amazing book (one which I received free for review from Simon & Schuster) especially for those who are unfamiliar with autism. The Golden Hat offers a glimpse into the world of Keli who is a non-verbal autistic boy who uses a keyboard for communication. Kate Winslet took part in the writing of the book along with Margaret Ericsdottir, Keli's mother. The book consists of e-mail between Margaret and Kate about the Golden Hat Foundation which has been founded for non-verbal individuals who need care in a safe and loving environment for example once the parents have passed away. To raise awareness of autism the "golden hat" was passed around to very famous celebrities around the world through Kate Winslet and each time that the celebrity put the hat on they would include a quote of their own for the book. This was the part of the book that I was least impressed with because I think that some of the celebrities didn't take the request seriously and just said the first thing that came to their mind. Some were profound and thoughtful, I must give credit where credit is due.

 Keli's poems are incredible and I dare say that some might have thought that such great work would not have come from a non-verbal child because so many people think of them as so low-functioning. I did enjoy the fact that there were photos of other individuals on the spectrum who were non-verbal with their first words...very touching.

In reading this book it hit home for me because for years Griffin didn't speak either and he had to use PECS (picture exchange communication system) and it was a struggle to understand him. He really didn't start talking until he was age 5. Just as Margaret states in her book, I am grateful for everything that I have and each moment that I have and having Griffin has taught me that. She feels that Keli has been her teacher and I feel the same about Griffin, it is amazing how that works.

Margaret confesses her guilt as his mother who wishes her son "normal" sometimes and I dare say that most of us are guilty of that as well and there is nothing wrong with it, it is something that we all think about. What follows is a tear jerker and will touch your heart because I am sure that you have experienced it yourself whether or not you have a typical child or an autistic one.

I highly recommend this book for everyone. Everyone can take something away from this book and feel awakened and inspired by it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mm, I agree about the celebrity portrait segment. The idea was fantastic but the issue is that there are people out there who are more interested in how their involvement in a charity will make them look and less interested in the charity itself. That's how a few of the quotes came across to me. The use of celebrities does wonders in terms of awareness but there are always a few not so bright apples in every bunch. Anyway fortunately, Kate has a heart of gold with good intentions. This book was a breath of fresh air.