The First Gifts of Autism – Jacqueline Johnson Book Review

The First Gifts of Autism – Jacqueline Johnson


I have never read anything by this author, but I was curious about reading this book. I have been working with children with autism for the past 11 years.

The mother, Rachelle and father in the story seem blind to the fact that something is wrong with their twins, Erica and Marie. I feel like they were in denial but the “Ghost of Autism” was everywhere. The mother is trying to “fix” the problem. She’s trying to “cure” her girls from “Him”. Once they come to the realization that your children are who they are, you can begin to take a different approach at the situation.

Some of the research the author did was on point. Some information I knew, some I did not, and some I never even thought about. I knew from some of the information that the girls had come form of autism. I never thought about the statement that was made in the book about fewer girls and African Americans get autism. But then I thought about my ratio in the classroom and was shocked!

I have had parents that were thinking and doing some of the same things this family were doing in the story. This book felt like I was right in the middle of the story. “Recovering from” autism so something I have never heard of and wanted to know more about.

I understood the frustrations of these parents in this story about how the outside world perceive parents and children of autism. I understood the emotional and physical toll it takes on the parents. I can empathize with what the author was saying, doing, and feeling.

Some statements she said in the book about advocating for your child was so on point. But sometimes I don’t see that with parents and it breaks my heart. If you don’t advocate for your child, then who will? When you talked about the aloe vera, I laughed because I have a bottle on my desk. LOL!

Oh yes, they have the potential and unwrapped gifts that I see daily, weekly, or sometimes monthly and it’s a wonderful feeling. I like how you as the author define disorder as the concept of learning things in a difficult order. WOW!

I recommend this book to parents and educators. I give this book 5 stars. I like the author said to sum up this nook “chose to bend just remember not to break”.



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