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Just a few weeks old, Dasha the cat found herself in a family with an autistic child. The publication of Temple Grandin's Animals in Translation turned the household into a research laboratory, with the humans observing Dasha's behaviors and the cat experimenting with the "human guinea pigs".
The feline perspective provides a new outlook on autism conditions, challenging long established stereotypes and analyzing controversies in the field with an unbiased attitude and humor. The text is interspersed with Dasha's "wisdoms," "research notes" and definitions of concepts based on her own understanding, such as "A pet shop is a place where humans come to be adopted by the animals who are brave enough to take a responsibility of looking after them." Dasha's Journal provides research-based information in an amusing and accessible form and makes serious and complicated issues such as sensory perception, memory, communication, savant skills and challenging behaviors in autism easily understandable for the general reader.
"A heartwarming book providing insights into how autistic persons perceive and interact with the world as only a cat can. As Dasha "meows" about her human members of the family we learn how autism is a different, rather than a disordered way of being. This book is a delightful and informative read."--Stephen M. Shore, EdD, Executive Director of Autism Spectrum Disorder Consulting, Board of Directors for the Autism Society of America and the Asperger's Association of New England
"Dasha is a brilliant feline! She is flat-out funny, wise beyond her cat years and a true champion of autistics everywhere! Read her journal and let her teach you about autism!'"--Liane Holliday Willey, EdD, author of Pretending to be Normal: Living with Asperger's Syndrome
"Dasha's Journal is a much needed work that blends the literary journey with an engaging scientific study. The book provides exemplary and cunning analogies to help the reader better appreciate the inner world of the autistic person. The author's thesis exemplifies autism as a different way of thinking with both strengths and weaknesses. The final result is a funny, clever, and up to date exposition of our present day knowledge regarding autism."--Manuel F. Casanova, MD, Gottfried and Gisela Kolb Endowed Chair in Psychiatry Associate Chair for Research University of Louisville (USA)