“Autism is not a curse” is the first book written by Tasmina Khan. The book describes the various milestones, developmental stages, symptoms, challenges, and some ways to deal with those challenges at different ages with autism.
Canadian expatriate writer Tasmina Khan has done Honors and Masters in English Literature. While reading literature to analyze the human mind, he became interested in the strange movements of the human character and after coming to Canada, he again did his Honors and Masters in Behavior Analysis.
Science is advancing every day. Medicine is advancing. And so diseases of the mind and diseases of the body are now being diagnosed separately. Scientists are introduced to a special mental structure of people while working with mental diseases. People who have this mental structure are hindered in their mental development. This disability is called autism. Autism is not a disease, it is a special mental construct. Therefore, since there is no drug that cures it completely, therapy is used to keep the affected person fit to lead a normal life.
The book contains theoretical discussions on why autism occurs, how autism occurs, at what age autism is diagnosed, how to identify it, what kind of professional training is required for those who help with it, what are the steps of medical support after autism is diagnosed, etc. done At the end of the discussion some case studies are given, where the practical application of this theoretical discussion is shown.
The case studies given in the book are true stories. But for the sake of professionalism, the name has not been disclosed
Each case study describes the problematic person’s problems and the steps taken to solve them. Reading the book, the reader will learn that every person with autism is different, their symptoms are also different. So no one specific method to cure it is applicable for everyone.
The author himself said the reason for writing the book – “Nowadays, we see many Asian families with autistic children and their families and caregivers are embarrassed. Instead of being embarrassed, it’s time to accept the reality, provide them with proper therapy, and open the door for them to lead a normal life. . And that’s why I started writing this book.”
The book is an excellent guide for parents dealing with autism in their child, wondering how to deal with the child, and wondering what other help is available. About the usefulness of the book, the author said, “This text is written mainly for those parents who are embarrassed, confused or hopeless about a member diagnosed with autism in the family. There are many true stories in the book, which will make you think anew. Will teach, provide new light of hope.”
The author has written the case studies in a very easy way for the parents. By reading this, parents will get various information as well as guidance on how to carry out the learning process with the child. For example, to explain how to deliver BST or Behavioral Skills Training, the author says –
“1. First the students are explained the prescribed skills.
2. He is then given a written skills analysis that describes, step-by-step, how to perform the task. For those who cannot read, it is explained by drawing pictures or using arrows.
3. At this stage, the trainer himself will show the written or illustrated steps step by step how it will look like in reality.
4. Now the student will be asked to imitate it.
5. At this stage, the trainer will give feedback to the student, regarding which steps are correct and which steps need more practice.
In a checklist the trainer will note the percentage of success the student has achieved.”
Parents can follow these steps to teach an autistic child, and while learning about autism, can make decisions about their future.
The book is somewhat academic at the same time. That is, those who want to work with autism, will definitely benefit from reading the book. Various definitions of autism, what research has been done so far, what the research findings are and what the recommendations are are discussed. The book covers both theoretical and practical aspects, which will benefit the students. Inside the book, various scientific diagrams related to autism are presented, which are very suitable for those who are studying this subject. Every information about autism has references, students can also read the references in detail if they wish. It can be said that this book written in Bengali language is a very helpful book for Bengali students.
In the author’s words – “Autism is not a curse, it is a human type. Anything a non-autistic person can do, with proper treatment and training, an autistic person can do the same. Their speed or style may be different. A black person is as white as he wants to be. Can’t be, a white man can’t be black if he wants to.”
Similarly, autistic people cannot be like others if they want to. We have to look at this as human diversity and adapt our lives accordingly. As people with different levels of autism are part of our society, basic knowledge about it is essential.
For that reason, people who don’t have family members with autism, who may not be planning to work with autism, will also benefit from reading the book. A complex topic like autism is written with very simple examples. What help is available, what are the levels of help, how long it may take, and what kind of behavior should be done with people with autism… this information is very structured. So everyone should read this book.
The cover of the book is by Mustafiz Karigar. The silhouette of two children and an adult human head on a bright red background and the fluttering butterfly seemed to me to symbolize the unknown chapter of the human brain. The red color on the back and the slightly lighter background make the cover more attractive.
The book contains many case studies along with theoretical discussions. Of course, real names have been anonymized to ensure personal information security. Case studies are the lifeblood of this book. Each case study is different, the people presented in the case studies have different symptoms of autism and each person is given different therapy and the people are able to lead normal lives. The information in this case study is given step by step by the author like a very professional instructor.
Reading the book will create sympathy for the people in the case studies. The reader can feel how much of this vast mysterious world is unknown to us, how helpless we are to this vast mysterious nature. The reader will feel that these innocent people with autism have equal rights to all the joys of this world. It is the responsibility of all of us to ensure that right. At the end of the book, the reader will also say with the author, “Let all the children of the world get equal rights, get equal benefits, our main goal should be to ensure that, let humanity win. That’s why the medieval poet Baru Chandidas said, “Humans are true above all, Not above him.”
The author has definitely set the following example for writing such a research book in Bengali so easily and the reader will be waiting for more such research books.
“Autism is not a curse” is the first book written by Tasmina Khan. Published by Murdhanya, Dhaka. Release date 2023.
Samina Chowdhury joined the teaching profession after obtaining a master’s degree in English literature from Jahangirnagar University. He also served in the Bangladesh UNESCO Commission while teaching in a government college. Joined Brac University in 2005. A total of nine peer reviews of Samina have been published at home and abroad. Samina, an immigrant to Canada since 2013, has been working in TD Bank’s customer care department for five years.