Rules by Cynthia Lord

May 9, 2013

Rules for David:  If the bathroom door is closed, knock!  Say “thank you” when someone gives you a present (even if you don’t like it).  No toys in the fish tank.  These are just a few of the rules that twelve year old Catherine has written for her brother David who has autism to help him navigate the world and try to look “normal”.

Catherine wants what most twelve year old girls want: normal.  However, having a brother with autism takes a lot of “normal” out of life.  Catherine struggles with her conflicting feelings about David.  She loves him but at the same time she is embarrassed by him and resents the amount of time and energy David requires of her parents, which leaves her feeling ignored and unimportant.  Making a friend with a different disability helps Catherine work through her feelings and find acceptance of David, herself and her situation.  An honest look at life in a family touched by autism from a perspective rarely heard from.  An excellent read for siblings of someone affected by autism and perhaps their friends.

Reviewed by Lisa J.
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