Monday, 5 October 2015

Book review of Understanding Stanley – Looking through Autism by Rosie Barnes

Understanding Stanley – Looking through Autism
By Rosie Barnes
Softback, 112pp
ISBN 978-0-9929521-0-5
Published by Lampshade Books
Retail Price: £15

‘If someone asks you if you know what the time is, do you answer simply “yes”?’

‘Is it important and easy for you to remember the registration numbers of all the taxis you’ve caught in the past year?’

‘Can you imagine your life being like this?’

These questions are just some of those raised in Rosie Barnes’ book, Understanding Stanley – Looking through Autism, a heart-warming – and, at times, -wrenching – insight into life with – and as – her son, Stanley, who was diagnosed with autism aged three and a half. As a photographer, Barnes realised that, to understand things that are not immediately within your grasp, sometimes words are not where you need to begin. Her motivation for producing this book was to ‘create a new kind of visual language that can really get under the skin of what it might feel like to be autistic with not much effort needed on behalf of the reader’. She is clear that ‘this is not a “what to do” book. It’s a “what it might feel like” book’. How is it possible to make people aware – and accepting – of something so complex and difficult to explain, let alone see?

Read the full review here

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