"An outstanding book."
"An outstanding book."
"This autobiographical gem tells the life story of Jeanne Simons, a pioneering and uniquely talented healer of children. In mid-life, pondering how her therapeutic gift had come to be, Simons realized that she was fundamentally like her patients: she could help them survive in a world that they seemed unable to tolerate because she herself had found a way to exist and find meaning in the 'neurotypical' world as an autistic person. Her life commitment to help children survive and thrive in the face of adversity is an inspirational story in its own right, rendered even more compelling by her simple, matter-of-fact writing voice. Simons's memoir stands beautifully by itself and can be experienced as an illuminating work of the spirit. For readers unfamiliar with the medical and social history of ASD diagnosis and treatment, as well as student therapists and doctors in training, Oishi and Harris's informative commentaries and appendices place the life and times of Jeanne Simons and her founding of the Linwood Treatment Center in a broader context."
"Behind the Mirror is an extraordinary autobiography of an extraordinary woman. I knew Jeanne Simons from 1968, as I worked as a counselor at Linwood during my summers in college. No one had ever before started a school for autistic children. Neither she nor anyone else knew anything about educating them, but she watched and learned from the children themselves. Her work with these children showed real genius and a constant attentiveness to their perspective on the world. This autobiography told me much I did not know about Jeanne, though we were friends for many years. It reveals her sense of oddness, apartness, from an early age, which she somehow turned into insight. Anyone who knows of her work will find this book a great pleasure and a great mystery. Was she so skilled with autistic children because she herself shared some of their worldview? Perhaps. But whatever the reason, Jeanne Simons was a unique and powerful educator, who courageously devoted her life to children thought at the time to be unreachable. Her most important contribution was in showing the potential of these children, in whom she always believed."
"I never really understood Jeanne Simons until I read Behind the Mirror. In the 30 years I knew her, I marveled at her work. Jeanne had ASD and, as Dr. Oishi recounts in her conclusion, this book is truly a look at autism from the inside out."
"Jeanne Simons, the founder of the world-renowned Linwood Method, was not afraid to do things differently. Instead of trying to find a cure for autism, she accepted autistic children as they are. This was a radical departure from how these children were treated during most of her lifetime. Instead of harping on their limitations, she nurtured the autistic children in her care, initially unaware that she herself was autistic. This is a story of hope and possibilities. Simons never saw autism as something that limited her potential. Perhaps this is why she never saw herself or others with autism as disabled. Her life story, told in her own words, reveals quite the opposite: her dogged determination, coupled with an abundance of kindness, patience, and understanding, changed the world of autism at a time when the world desperately needed change"
"This is a book that richly rewards those who read it."
"Behind the Mirror is a moving account of the life of Jeanne Simmons, how her autism helped shape the Linwood Model and the challenges that she faced in setting up the Linwood Children's Center."
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