Reframing the Conversation Around Autism


What does it mean to grow up with a condition and not know it? What happens when you discover the condition at forty years of age? Does it become an excuse for a lifetime of missteps and confusion? Or does it lead to a journey of understanding who you are and a burning desire to help others understand themselves? More than 3.5 million Americans live with an autism spectrum disorder. And 35 percent of young adults with autism have not had a job or received postgraduate education after leaving high school. Faced with many challenges, individuals on the spectrum have different and unique ways to carve out a better and fulfilling life for themselves.


Told from the perspective of somebody living on the autism spectrum, A Long Walk Down a Winding Road: SmallSteps, Challenges & Triumphs Through an Autistic Lens [Spectrum Wisdom Publishing, October 2019] by author Sam Farmer offers clear advice and simple steps for people looking for greater happiness and success in spite of the challenges and adversity that often interfere with these pursuits. Interwoven with real stories of personal triumphs, Farmer reframes the conversation around autism and Asperger’s—which too often veers into negative territory in the public consciousness. 

Raw, emotional and inspiring, A Long Walk Down a Winding Road is more than a memoir; it emphasizes the importance of a broader acceptance of autism and argues why it should not be thought of as a disorder. Farmer illustrates how society can greatly benefit from showing an understanding of people who are different. By embracing his “Aspie” profile, Farmer found his pathway towards self-love and understanding.

Farmer says, “My hope is that my reflection and guidance may help others address certain challenges which tend to be shared by autistic and non-autistic folks alike.”
In this transformative book, readers will uncover:
  • How one may learn how to love him or herself 
  • An understanding of bullying and how to rise above it
  • Why being autistic should not be viewed as a disorder, a disability or a diagnosis—rather, it should be looked at as a “profile” with unique attributes that stem from neurological differences 
  • Strategies for greater career and workplace success
  • How being autistic has brought about unique challenges in Farmer’s roles as husband and father, and the mind shift and growth that resulted from his efforts at confronting these challenges
  • Social skills challenges which people both on and off the spectrum may experience, and how such challenges can be addressed
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