(Songs of the Gorilla Nation: My Journey Through Autism) [Kindle] ´ Dawn Prince–Hughes


Songs of the Gorilla Nation: My Journey Through AutismS s journey from the darkness of autism into its beauty with "A Group Of Gorillas Helping "group of gorillas helping along the way It s fascinating to see Prince Hughes explain why she was able to have meaningful interactions with the gorillas at a time when she couldn t yet handle human contact Her testimony here is a valuable addition to the growing body of autism literature written by autistic people themselves While traveling to Arizona a while back I read Songs of the Gorilla Nation My Journey Through Autism by Dawn Prince Hughes PhD As the secondary title indicates this is a

first hand account 
hand account autism The author offers a vivid and insightful account of Asperger s SyndromeShe was diagnosed rather late in her life after a childhood punctuated by misunderstanding and isolation Fortunately she was able to learn about human socialization and relationships through her een observation of gorilla communities She writes This is a book about autism Specifically it is about my autism which is both like and unlike other people s autism But just as much it is a story about how I emerged from the darkness of it into the beauty of it It is about how I moved full circle from being a wild thing out of context as a child to being a wild thing in context with a family of gorillas who taught me how to be civilized They taught me the beauty of being wild and gentle together and as oneWhile there are many excellent texts about Asperger s Syndrome and autism this was the first book I read that described it from the inside Dr Prince Hughes is elouent in her poetry and prose She describes confusion rage fear and joyful discovery in a way that touches the readers heart and understanding Instead of lists of characteristics or clinical observations this book placed the experience into contextMy understanding has certainly been expanded by this book I am hopeful that it will change my acceptance of the annoying behaviors often associated with Asperger s It is harder to remain annoyed when I remember that the strong need for repetition exhibited by persons with Asperger s can be the result of panic Dr Prince Hughes had this to say Most autistic people need order and ritual and will find ways to make order where they feel chaos So much stimulation streams in rushing into one s body without ever being processed the filters that other people have simply aren t there Swimming through the din of the fractured and the unexpected one feels as if one were drowning in an ocean without predictability without markers without a shore It is like being blinded in the brightness of a Pee Wee Scouts treasury (Pee Wee Scouts, keener sightThere are also examples of wonderful and intricate coping mechanisms She used a formula to get along with people in the workplace This included talking about her skills a third of the time talking with colleagues about how their interests merged for a third of the time and talking about current events and softened opinions about them a third of the time This had to be approached consciously She also counted seconds tonow hoe long to look into another person s eyes and when to look away Each of these reuired deliberate practice and applicationThis book is a great source of information but is also an incredibly engaging autobiography Dr Prince Hughes has a wonderful command of language Consider this self description I am an individual I am different for reasons germane to the phenomenon of autism and reasons mundane All that is in between and at both ends have made my life Within these pages an archeology cleared of dust and fear I talk about this life It is the archaeology of a culture of one I found this book really remarkable Dawn Prince Hughes has a form of autism called Asperger s Syndrome which is a less noticeable form of autism You might now someone with Asperger s and merely think they are eccentric or sometimes uncommunicative and barely sociable fascinating in their detailed interest in something or other descriptions that can describe peculiarities She is a wonderful writer and even if you don t think you are interested in autism if you like memoir s I very highly recommend this bookI have read other books on Asperger s written by authors who have it but because of Dawn Prince Hughes close observation of gorillas and her ability to truly understand them and communicate with them she is able to clarify many aspects of Asperger s that neurotypical people just simply cannot grasp One reason neurotypicals cannot grasp and empathize with people with Asperger s is that those who have it don t experience the world the way we do and often can become adept at imitating neurotypicals much of the time When they don t we think they are being difficult in some way they really could control Not soIt is really sad that the people with Asperger s and the neurotypicals cannot just sit down and listen and talk After reading this book I strongly believe that people who put labels on others in an attempt to describe them or call them various things which mean mentally off are really missing out in developing human understanding and wisdo. And connect to living beings in a way she had never previously experienced Songs of the Gorilla Nation is than a story of autism it is a paean to all that is important in life Dawn Prince Hughes’s evocative story will undoubtedly have a lasting impact forcing us like the author herself to rediscover and assess our own understanding of human emotion. ,

Dawn Prince-Hughes ↠ 0 Summary

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De and behaviours your dog uses to connect with you and build uniue emotional bonds is similar to what you need to connect and bond with people in a modified versionThat s the core point of what I want to say but other aspects of the book hit home too like the attachment to places than to people and the traumatic dislocation and alienation caused by moving from a childhood home having one s roots pulled up And of course the passion for animals although in my case not particularly primatesAs I said initially there are also aspects of the book I found hard #to bear and strongly distasteful The worst is the sentimentalism and #bear and strongly distasteful The is the sentimentalism and Of The Gorillas I "of the gorillas I Dawn calls the gorillas for people and humans for human people Essentially she insists on re categorising gorillas as a type of ancient humans and projects her special interest for ancient humanity onto the gorillas I find that re categorisation wrong on many levels none of which denies that gorillas have personalities and social relations and social group dynamics just like people do However so do many other animals That makes them relatable but not human Dawn does explain why she tries to include the gorillas in humanity I see her views but didn t like to be force fed them semanticallyThat said overall I think this is an important strong beautifully written book with strong integrity and despite finding some aspects of it repulsive I ll absolute recommend it as a great source of insight and inspiration for social self helpI also appreciate very much that Dawn doesn t generalise herself and try to speak on behalf of all autistics she doesn t We herself but emphasises that this is her version of it and that it is both uniue and overlaps with some others peoples experiences of living with autism but not all I grew up nowing I was different but thanks to my classmates my extent of understanding of myself was that I was a freak In eighth grade I was diagnosed with Aspergers but never really understood any of what that meant In eleventh grade I discovered this book in my school library For the first time in my life I finally understood who I was and WHY I was different returnThough we ll never meet and you ll probably never read these words thank you Dawn for helping me feel not so alone in the world This is a really cool view into the mind of an autistic woman I love that she gives you a new perspective on the thought processes of someone with Asperger s Syndrome than what you hear about in the media I also loved her relationship with the gorillas and I definitely think Song of the Gorilla Nation by Dawn Prince Hughes is not just about what is like to be a person with Asperger s Syndrome whose disability led to her become a homeless street id whose falling in love with gorillas freed her soul so that she could become a university instructor of anthropology a loving spouse and a mom That alone would make it a fascinating read It is a meditation about personhood including parenthood about valuing uniueness and not letting ourselves exile and exploit fellow salient creatures including our own children because we don t understand their song The components of prejudices such as the way we are trained to see bodies of other species as different and inferior and our belief that they are not as smart or as evolved as we are are changed at different rates as human people become used to the idea that their assumptions could be wrong The by products of these prejudices using other species for profit or believing that they need human people to eep from damaging themselves or others could take generations to overcome Yet apes fulfill all the criteria that currently define personhood self awareness comprehension of past present and future the ability to understand complex rules and their conseuences on emotional levels the ability to choose to risk those conseuences a capacity for empathy and the ability to think abstractly The gorillas have given me strength to see that if I am to be effective in bettering the planet by advocating for the rights of apes to personhood my responsibility outweighs my discomfort If only every person on this planet would take this as a creed for living MY RESPONSIBILITY OUTWEIGHS MY DISCOMFORT I have read about the relationship between Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan Perhaps in defying normal boundaries love can create us in its own image I couldn t put this book down The author of the book and main character Dawn Prince Hughes describes her experience of growing up autistic which is an amazing mind opener for those who have never experienced it It is through observing gorillas at a zoo that she finally begins to understand human connection This is a beautiful story about Prince Hughes s life and it has allowed me to understand autism and accept it as simply a different way of being in the world Songs of the Gorilla Nation is a must read for anyone who thinks they now what autism is or who thinks there is a clear dividing line between human and animal It s the story of Dawn Prince Hughe. As a young woman she entered the Seattle Zoo and immediately became fascinated with the gorillasHaving suffered from a lifelong inability to relate to people in a meaningful way Dawn was surprised to find herself irresistibly drawn to these great primates By observing them and later working with them she was finally able to emerge from her solitude. ,
FABULOUS incredible must read for anyone who nows someone who has a family member or friend on the Autism spectrum is interested in conservation of endangered animals or spirituality Dr Prince Hughes writes an elouent honest memoir that puts to rest the idea that ASD folks are different stupid weird or wrong and brings hope for a better future in which our society treats each other with dignity and respectI could not put this book down I ve learned so much and am forever grateful for finding this little gem If I could give it 10 stars I would Thank you Dr Prince Hughes Wow This is uite a book The author has a remarkable tale to tell and she tells is beautifully It is a story of growing "UP WITH UNDIAGNOSED AUTISM ASBERGER S
syndrome of finding 
OF "FINDING UNDIAGNOSED AUTISM ASBERGER S SYNDROME OF FINDING OF " undiagnosed autism Asberger s Syndrome of finding of work with apes But it is so much than that She is a poet and wrote prolifically in her journals from an early age She shares many poems in the course of telling her story She is a survivor She used the positive attributes of her autism to cope with the pain and confusion it caused as she struggled to learn how to get by in world She is a deep soul Integral to everything is her inate desire to relieve suffering And that s before we even get to the apes Her observations of these wonderful beings is rich and enlightening I am really uited awed by her talents and her life I found it almost impossible to review this book straight away because there aspects of it I strongly dislike and aspects that I find very valuableI think it is an important book It gives a great glimpse into one person s reality of coming of age with undefined high functioning autism Most importantly it describes a strategy for overcoming autistic isolation Not a cure but a way to ick start the positive feedback loop of social relationships that social learning reuires in order to happenDawn is a gifted writer and the book has brilliant passages and good integrity Its structure is meaningful organised into 3 sectionsPart 1 Dawn s childhood and youth history growing up with undiagnosed autism nowing something is wrong with her socially but unable to figure out what it is She is severely bullied and drops out of school becomes homeless and hungry and later finds a way to make a living as an erotic dancer The roots of her passion for primates is her childhood fascination with ancient humans and that fascination runs through her life story as a sub surface theme waiting to unfoldPart 2 Dawn discovers the gorillas She is lucky and gets a job in the zoo and gets and involved with the gorilla family They become her family and she learns social skills by observing and interacting with themPart 3 Dawn s life post zoo with the social skills she learned from the gorillas She establishes a family works through relationship problems discovers the name of her condition and gets a diagnosis gets on meds and makes her special interest into her study direction and careerOut of the autism memoirs I have read this is the one I relate strongest with on a personal level it made a strong impression and very much came under my skin so it was uncomfortable yet fascinating to read Despite differences in personality life style and sexual orientation and my lack of fascination with gorillas the core theme really strikes a note with me1 Youth as a time of stumbling through life randomly frantically alien always aware something is terribly socially amiss yet not able to pinpoint the ey error2 Learning social skills from animals as a turning point that creates a before and after social timelineObserving the social dynamics of the gorilla group and building relationships with them gave Dawn the basic social infrastructure she needed to begin to make sense of human sociality and learn from that too creating the crucial positive feedback loop she had been lacking ick starting her social developmentIn my own life group dynamics began to make sense when I worked with pigs for seven years although that wasn t a fixed group but many groups that were slowly replaced by new groups over timeMy first real close trusting stable deep long term friendship was with my old dog She passed away many years ago but I am still using some of her tricks social attitudes and habits in social interactions and relations with people especially in my marriageJust like Dawn describes it with the gorillas my bond with the dog was a safe base for learning social relationship skills and pick up attitudes I could use to connect with people and then the relations with people gave social insights and enabled me to pick up social insights and skills which gave social opportunities etc the crucial positive social feedback loop gradually gained a foothold and developed its own permanent positive inertiaThat is why the book is important People rarely point this out but social insights and habits reuired for interacting and relating with people can be learned from observing and relating with social animals as an easier or even just possible starting point Relationship skills are somewhat universal the attitu. “This is a book about autism Specifically it is about my autism which is both like and unlike other people’s autism But just as much it is a story about how I emerged from the darkness of it into the beauty of it”In this elegant and thought provoking memoir Dawn Prince Hughes traces her personal growth from undiagnosed autism to the moment when. ,