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In this collection of beautiful and raw essays, Amy S. F. Lutz writes openly about her experience—the positive and the negative—as the mother of a son with severe autism. Lutz's human emotion drives through each page and challenges commonly held ideas that define autism either as a disease or as neurodiversity. We Walk is inspired by questions raised by Lutz as a parent of a severely autistic, now twenty-one-year-old son: What is the place of the intellectually and developmentally disabled in society? What responsibilities do we, as citizens and human beings, owe one another? Who should decide for those who can't decide for themselves? What is the meaning of religion to someone with no abstract language? In exploring these questions, We Walk directly, but humanly examines social issues such as inclusion, religion, therapeutics, and friendship through the lens of severe autism.
In a world where the public perception of autism is largely shaped by the "quirky geniuses" featured on television shows like The Big Bang Theory and The Good Doctor, We Walk demands that we center our debates about this disorder on those who are most impacted by it.
“Drawing from a vast library of sources, Lutz deploys unruffled logic to address key issues in autism today—diagnostic and functioning labels, the mass trivialization of serious disorder, the desperate need for treatments, and the heartbreaking fears of aging autism parents. A triumph!”—Jill Escher, President, National Council on Severe Autism
“If you want to understand autism—REAL autism—this is the book for you. Amy Lutz tells it like it is; messy, scary, violent at times, but always grounded in love. As challenging and heartbreaking as this book can be to read, it's nothing compared to the daily struggles that people living on the autism spectrum and their caregivers face each day.”— Alison Singer, President, Autism Science Foundation
“I read this book in one completely absorbed session, mesmerized by its pain and purpose. An important read for caregivers of all kinds.”—Arthur Kleinman, author of The Soul of Care