John Williams is a stand-up comedian. He is also a single father and full-time carer for his son, who has autism and cerebral palsy. This is their incredible story.
In 2012, John started a blog called My son’s not Rainman, a heartfelt and uplifting account of everyday life for him and ‘The Boy’. Following on from the blog’s amazing success, John felt there was still much more of their life, past and present, that he wanted to share. And not only of the challenges of bringing up a child who for too long was just dismissed as ‘difficult’, but also of the joy of living with someone who looks at the world in a unique way.
I love the tone of the author’s voice in this book. I think the writing style was one of the highlights of this book, because it means the subject matter, which could be very heavy, is actually light-hearted and you are compelled to keep reading. It’s a very humorous book (indeed the author does stand-up comedy) and the chapters involve a lot of funny incidents the author and The Boy have had where autism was just a factor rather than the focus.
I learned a lot from this book about autism. I’ve never really dealt with the subject, beyond the portrayal in mainstream media, so seeing it talked about by a parent whose dealt with it from that perspective was very informative.
I love the positivity and resilience that the author shows. He has had some difficult things to deal with, but this book essentially shows that you should always look for the best in difficult situations. In particular, he says how even though it’s been hard to have his son have health conditions, he wouldn’t change him and appreciates the different viewpoint that his son has allowed him to have.
I gave this book 5/5. If you enjoy memoirs I’d definitely recommend picking this up. Either you’ll find someone you can relate to or you’ll learn a lot about both autism and mental health.