Saturday, March 23, 2013

Review: What Color is Monday? How Autism Changed One Family for the Better by Carrie Cariello

Published by: Riddle Brook Publishing
Release Date: April 22, 2013
Number of Pages: 219
How I got this book: ARC from publicist
My rating: 4.5/5

Excerpt from book:

“What color do you see for Monday?” my son Jack asked as I heaved a chicken into the oven.  “What?” I said distractedly, turning from the oven to slice some potatoes at the counter.  It was late afternoon one day last fall, and I was preparing dinner and managing the demands of homework and tired toddlers.(One was in a tiara.)

 "What color is Monday?” he asked again, his robotic voice rising ever so slightly in irritation.  “I don’t see Monday as a color. Do you?” I asked, finally tuning in to what he was talking about.

 “Yes. All days are colors.”

 All days are colors.  On a seemingly ordinary day, Jack once again granted me the privilege to take a tiny peek inside his fascinating mind. Without preamble, he rattled off which color he associates with each day. And then, just as suddenly as the conversation began, he snapped his mind closed and moved on to something else entirely. I tried to probe further; why was Saturday purple?  Was the entire day purple, or just the morning? “I told you. No more,” he responded in a clipped tone.


First, a big thank you to Jocelyn Kelley at Kelley & Hall Book Publicity for sending me a copy of this book for review!

This book is about the beautiful Cariello family - Joe, Carrie and their 4 sons and 1 daughter. Their second son, Jack, has autism. Like all families affected by autism, they face many challenges and frustrations. But, they also recognize the hidden blessings behind autism as well. Jack is not his diagnosis. He is a brown- haired, blue- eyed fountain of knowledge about cars, dates, radios, and video games.

One of the features of being on the spectrum is having difficulties in social situations - whether that is picking up on social or verbal cues, reading facial expressions, making eye contact, or even initiating a conversation at all. Jack had a habit of sticking a finger in strangers' faces and demanding to know what color shampoo they used, or how many radios they had, or even when they thought they might die. Cariello initially found this to be quite embarrassing, but quickly realized that her sweet boy was communicating! He was initiating conversations and what started with a simple (and rather odd) question, often led to more in depth conversation.

One of my favorite quotes from the book is this:

"It's remarkable to me how their first question about Jack's autism echoed the very one I asked the doctor back in 2006 when Jack was first diagnosed. Will he always have it?

From there I quickly moved on to looking for ways to fix him, to repair his deficiencies, to make him normal. But in the past six years I've learned there is no "fixing" when it comes to Jack and his autism. Rather, we need to fix ourselves so that we can better understand and appreciate him."

I think this is an important lesson for everyone when it comes to children with special needs. Let's not focus on "fixing" them. We just need to focus on understanding them and loving them the way that they are.

I would definitely recommend this to anybody affected by autism, because I know that they will be able to identify with the Cariello family in some way. I would also recommend this to anyone who is not familiar with autism, because this book will give  some insight into what it's like living with someone on the spectrum.

To add this book to your TBR list on goodreads, click here. To order on Amazon, click here.


estetik said...

I was very encouraged to find this site. I wanted to thank you for this special read. I definitely savored every little bit of it.

Post a Comment