Delightfully different is a charming story about Francesca Lung and her daughter Mia.
The narrative alternates between their voices.
Mia is a very bright and loving girl. Mia's description of how she perceived her early life are especially interesting to me as her personality reminded me a lot of my own son- ( the close bond to mom, the different anxieties )
She has Asperger's Syndrome. However it takes a while to discover this.
Her sensory sensitivities add a lot of difficulty to her growing years.
Its really not just the sensory sensitivities, but the lack of tolerance from the people that are around her.
This lack of tolerance ranges from, the preschool teacher who insists that 3 yr old Mia must have a bite of hamburger or stay in extended timeout –to the awful school counselor who dismisses her distress at being bullied.
Mia's difficulties in school - despite having no problems with academics – come to a head in fifth grade when a group of mean girls make it their mission to make her life miserable
This group of mean girls makes fun of her clothes and calls her names. The bullying seems planned, vicious and relentless
They send boys to Mia who pretend to like her and then say things like "Do you think I am stupid enough to like a weirdo?"
When Mia and Francesca talk to the school counselor( who seems like a relic from a couple of centuries ago ) he does everything wrong.
He makes Mia confront the head of the bullies , which of course only makes the cruelty escalate .
He also suggests that Mia modify her own behavior to "fit in better". He suggests that her first assignment be to "smile more"( implying therefore that being bullied is really her own fault)
I don't want to give too much away but the story has a happy ending
The authors' website is here
I enjoyed reading Delightfully Different by Sue Walker very much and learned several things
The importance of understanding the sensory issues of the kids on our spectrum, the importance of always being on your child's side, the wonderful gifts that our kiddos on the spectrum have. And most of all of making sure that anti-bullying safeguards are present and that our kids are safe in school
The post has been written for the wonderful Danette's April edition of Best of Best Bloggers to be published on the 15th
DISCLOSURE: I received no payment for this book except for a free copy from the author- which I will also donate/give away. I will be interviewing the author at a later date