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Dasha's Journal

T O Daria
Jessica Kingsley Publishers


Just a few weeks old, Dasha the cat found herself in a family with an autistic child. The publication of Temple Grandin's book "Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behaviour" turned the household into a research laboratory, with the humans observing Dasha's behaviours and the cat experimenting with the 'human guinea pigs'. The feline perspective provides a new outlook on autism conditions, challenging long established stereotypes and analysing controversies in the field with an unbiased attitude and humour. The text is interspersed with Dasha's 'wisdoms', 'research notes' and definitions of concepts based on her own understanding, such as 'A pet shop is a place where humans come to be adopted by the animals who are brave enough to take a responsibility of looking after them.' Dasha's Journal provides research-based information in an amusing and accessible form and makes serious and complicated issues such as sensory perception, memory, communication, savant skills and challenging behaviours in autism easily understandable for the general reader.




This is a very unusual way to look at Autism through the life and the eyes of a cat.

The Cat Dasha is a very intellegent cat, and sees things and is able to put across the very strangeness of what it is like to live with two humans who are normal and two who have two different variations of Autism.

Cats are very astute animals and the way this book has been written explains autism in such a fun but especially simple way. Dasha talks about reading facial expressions and relates it to the way she feels about her humans.

Dasha talks about purring, and pummelling which are two ways a cat expresses pleasure, but then goes on to describe how the son in the family can not differentiate between happy, sad, anger and frustration. How autism is so different to other conditions so that some have to touch everything to understand whether it is a good or a bad feeling that they get. Some children have to smell everything that they are near to see if it gives off a good or bad smell and whether they like it.

A beautifully intuative book on the subject of Autism that non professionals will laugh at and undestand and the professionals will also chuckle at the way the cat decerns what he is seeing.

Well done to T.O. Daria for such a perspective and a brilliant sory on the subjects of Autism and Aspergers syndrome.


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