It matters little whether you must know, need to know or simply want to know, IN A DIFFERENT KEY, The Story of Autism ( Crown Publishing 2016) is a remarkably well written and absorbing narrative of  autism. John Donvan and Caren Zucker miss little in brilliantly telling the autism story in a fashion that is uniquely understandable for the layman. It is rare that such a complicated, medical and scientific iteration can be accomplished in a compelling story that reads as a page turning work of non-fiction.


This is a book of real people, ordinary families that face progress, reversals both good and tragic outcomes. There are heroes and heroines. The work also sheds light on the darker side of mental illness. Even in light of  epic personal tragedy, IN A DIFFERENT KEY  remains hopeful.

Understanding of autism has evolved in light years since the early 20th Century. The “refrigerator mom ” has been debunked. You will read about the remarkable Temple Grandin. The 1988 Academy Award winning movie Rain Man starring Dustin Hoffman that did much to bring autism  into the realm  of greater empathy and general knowledge.  But even the movie had no happy Hollywood ending. There were no miracles and there still are none. When Rain Man ends Raymond still has autism.  Quoting IN A DIFFERENT KEY, It was an ending that spoke a real truth about autism, one that resonated for parents and people with autism: that autism is for always.

A review copy of IN A DIFFERENT KEY, The Story of Autism was provided to me by Blogging for Books.

John Donvan and Caren Zucker are journalists for ABC News.


IN A DIFFERENT KEY–The Story of Autism

If you are following me on this post read on, or catch up with Friday’s post here at gordonsgoodreads


His name was Bernie Rimland, PhD. He had something to say about the terrible misconceptions concerning autism. In 1956 his wife gave birth to an autistic child and Rimland embarked on a mission to disprove the popular concept blaming Mom.  “Rimland’s goal was to produce a document that would examine the refrigerator-mother theory as scientifically as possible.”

” It was not even a close call . As soon as Rimland began testing out a few basic facts about the world’s known population of autistic children, the mother blaming concept completely collapsed. ”

Your heart will break as you read of autistic children institutionalized, some for life. You also read of ordinary mother and father heroes who refused the status-quo.

Blogging for Books  provided gordonsgoodreads with a review copy.








They Blamed Mom! The Shame of Early Autism Diagnosis

I am reading IN A DIFFERENT KEY -The Story of Autism by John Donvan and Caren Zucker, Crown Publishing, 2016.


If you have a family member with Autism or know of cases within your community please get this book now and read along with me. Post your thoughts along the way.  You will need an outlet for some of the shocking things you will learn on your journey through this well written and researched narrative.

An example:

” The verdict: autism was caused by mothers not loving their children enough. ”

I relish reading ensuing pages that bring enlightenment and sunlight to the darkness of the early years of diagnosis.

Look for future posts and of course a summary.  But don’t wait. If you are vested in this subject or simply wish to be among the informed, get this book today!

I received this book from Blogging for Books for review