There are so many questions to ask when you
first hear the diagnosis of autism. All I new 5
years ago was "Rainman" and my daughter did
not fit into that character at all. As the word
was spoken during the biggest hype blaming
MMR all the doctors where happy to send me
home and deal with it in fear of another hate
campaign against them. I had to beg for tips
and resources and find my answers myself.
Along my search, I found a book which taught
me more than any psychological article ever
"Nobody Nowhere" by Donna Williams is the
ultimate guide to autism. Dubbed by publishers
The Extraordinary Autobiography of an Autistic,
leaves not much more for me to add.
Donna described her first 26 years of life in this
volume. Born in 1960s Australia, she was first
diagnosed psychotic rather than autistic. She
suffered from abuse and negligence. She was the
"crazy girl". She was erratic, ecstatic and withdrawn.
You can observe how she developed many ways
to cope with the outside world. She created two
personalities, to deal with different situations.
She became a perfect mimic and parodist in order
to communicate with others.
Donna left home in her teens as her family could
not manage her. This was a start of a long journey
to her self recognition. Through even more good
and unfortunate events she found herself in England
where she finally broke down. She found here
professional help. At the age of 26 Donna was
diagnosed with autism and numerous digestive
disorders. It took her ten long years of therapy to
start functioning rationally and comprehensively.
"Nobody Nowhere" was written during the first year
as a means to put her life in order. The manuscript
was left behind in Britain and "accidentally" published
(Donna's own words). Within months the book reached
status of a bestseller worldwide.
Since then Donna wrote 9 more books, a few screen
plays, films, recorded CDs with her own music and
songs, she paints and sculpts. She became a teacher,
and a lecturer.
For me Donna is an icon and hope. An example
that against all the odds, autism doesn't have to
stop people from leading a fulfilling, rich life.
Visit Donna's home page to learn more about this remarkable woman.