, Volume 41, Issue 1, p 131
Date: 13 Nov 2009

Portia Iversen: Strange Son: Two Mothers, Two Sons, and the Quest to Unlock the Hidden World of Autism

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Strange Son is Iversen’s first person account of her family’s quest to find answers to their son Dove’s profound autism. She and her husband became driving forces behind the organization Cure Autism Now (CAN). Iverson learns of a boy from Bangalore, India, also with profound autism, who has what appear to be savant skills in the area of writing and specifically in the area of writing poetry. She arranges for the boy, Tito, and his mother, Soma Mukhopadhyay, to fly to America in order to meet with a team of researchers and neuropsychologists. Iverson hopes to learn from Soma, how she taught her son to communicate and write. Iverson distills the essence of Soma’s technique, couples it with what she has learned from research and begins to teach others Soma’s method. Through the retelling of her tale, Iverson explains to the listener the theories and research in the field of autism in an easily understandable manner.

Jane Kaczmarek’s reading of Iversen’s memoir is compelling. Hearing the de ...