Filed Under () by Estee on 27-11-2008

Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism

Refreshingly free of dogma, disinformation, and heavy-handed agendas, The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism is an oasis of sanity, compassion, and hope for people on the spectrum and those who love them.

— Steve Silberman, senior writer for Wired magazine and autism /neurodiversity blogger for the Public Library of Science. at Neurotribes

Essay by Estée in “Between Interruptions”, edited by Cori Howard

“Estée Klar-Wolfond writes eloquently about her autistic son, Adam, in The Perfect Child. ‘There is no other normal but the normal we create for ourselves,’ she says — and we believe her.”

— Sue Harvey, The Globe and Mail.

Concepts of Normality

For those with autism, understanding ‘normal’ can be a difficult task. For those without autism, the perception of ‘normal’ can lead to unrealistic expectations of self and others. This book explores how individuals and society understand ‘normal’, in order to help demystify and make accessible a full range of human experience.Wendy Lawson outlines the theory behind the current thinking and beliefs of Western society that have led to the building of a culture that fails to be inclusive. She describes what a wider concept of ‘normal’ means and how to access it, whether it’s in social interaction, friendships, feelings, thoughts and desires or various other aspects of ‘normality’. Practical advice is offered on a range of situations, including how to find your role within the family, how to integrate ‘difference’ into everyday society, and how to converse and connect with others.

Accessible and relevant to people both on and off the autism spectrum, this book offers a fresh look at what it means to be ‘normal’. In Chapter 9 Estee Klar-Wolfond, director of The Autism Acceptance Project, also a colleague and friend, takes us on a journey demonstrating the reality of a world where autistic individuals may or may not be valued. One where societal concepts of normal clothed in inclusive language can offer positive pictures of a very real future for those of us with autism. Estee’s ideas could be a reality in a society that welcomes difference as a usual part of normal.

— Wendy Lawson, Ph.D.

About Me


I’m a PhD candidate at York University, Critical Disability Studies, with a multi-disciplinary background in the arts as a curator and writer. I am the Founder of The Autism Acceptance Project (, and an enamoured mother of my only son who lives with the autism label. I like to write about our journey, critical issues regarding autism in the area of human rights, law, and social justice, as well as reflexive practices in (auto)ethnographic writing about autism.