Monday, May 9, 2011

Book Review: Big Daddy's Tales

Big Daddy's Tales From the Lighter Side of Raising a Kid With Autism: Never before published hilarity, favorite posts from the blog, marginally ... from some of Big Daddy's favorite bloggers.

Before I start, a disclaimer: I actually bought this book. Yep. Paid for it with my own money. Big Daddy did NOT give me any incentives, cash or otherwise, to review his book, although if he chose to send me chocolates, I would scarf them down immediately.

I eagerly anticipated the publication of Big Daddy's Tales: From the Lighter Side of Raising a Kid with Autism, by F. Lewis Stark, who also goes by the name of Big Daddy Autism. Mr. Stark has a blog, Big Daddy Autism, which I have been reading for some time. Big Daddy and his wife Mrs. Big Daddy, have a son with autism, and the blog describes many of the ups and downs and all-arounds of raising a special kind of special needs child.

Because each child is an individual, there are as many 'kinds' of autism as there are stars in the sky(actually, that applies to any and all disorders or conditions, but we are speaking strictly of autism today). In his book, Big Daddy references the old story about a person preparing for a trip to Italy(aka the birth of a NT child), and ending up in Holland(aka the birth of a child with autism). He, and his wife, have determined that spending time in Holland, admiring the windmills and tulips, is a better perspective than spending a lifetime wishing to be in Italy. They have chosen to find the humor in as many spaces of their son Griffin's autism as they can.

There was a point in my son's development that a developmental psychologist used the 'A' word, and that was a very scary time for my husband and I. So I have a very general, incomplete idea of what the parent of a child with autism might go through in the early stages prior to diagnosis. When you have a child with autism, sometimes it must be incredibly difficult to find something in the disorder to laugh about, something that can make you feel uplifted. I think that Big Daddy does an excellent job in accepting his son as he is and finding the joy in that. His is a realistic viewpoint, with no sugarcoating to wash it down, but it is an often hilarious pill to swallow.

This probably should be required reading for anyone in education, but it's also an ideal book for anyone who knows a child with autism. I work with kids who have autism, and my husband occasionally has a student with autism in his class. I have found that kids with autism are a fun bunch. Even when they are having a 'bad' day, there's just something about them that I adore. I just like 'hanging out' with them. Reading about Griffin, with his elevators and his Weather Channel, made me laugh out loud. It also caused me to say to my husband, "You've gotta listen to this!" and read parts of Big Daddy's Tales to him. I just don't ever do that, because my husband and I don't have the same taste in reading material, but Larry laughed along with me, and that is a testament to Big Daddy's writing.


  1. Please correct my fact read my blog and let me know what is wrong. I need a proofreader badly.

    I am putting this book on my reading list. I am a retired teacher and can never get enough time with children.


    By the way have you read Rodney Peetes “Not My Boy! A Father, A Son, and One Family’s Journey with Autism.” Peetes is an NFL player and participates in benefit golf tourneys for autism.

  2. I was told there would be fried chicken and burgers served with this review!

    Seriously, I'm glad you liked it and thanks so much for the kind words.


I welcome comments, but reserve the right to correct your spelling because I am OCD about it!