I Am Intelligent : From Heartbreak to Healing--A Mother and Daughter S Journey Through Autism
Overview - A riveting memoir of extreme loss and unimaginable gain, this book recounts the story of a child who, although unable to express herself, lives fully aware of her limiting circumstances. Robbed of speech and bodily control, and despite her loving parents' best efforts to help her, Peyton Goddard suffered neglect and ongoing abuse by many who dismissed her as autistic and severely mentally retarded. Read more...
More About I Am Intelligent by Peyton Goddard; Dianne Goddard; Ph.D. Carol Cujec; M.D. Robert A. Friedman
A riveting memoir of extreme loss and unimaginable gain, this book recounts the story of a child who, although unable to express herself, lives fully aware of her limiting circumstances. Robbed of speech and bodily control, and despite her loving parents' best efforts to help her, Peyton Goddard suffered neglect and ongoing abuse by many who dismissed her as autistic and severely mentally retarded. Peyton's violent outbursts and bizarre, self-destructive behavior left her parents terrified at the prospect of having to institutionalize their daughter. No one could have imagined that she possessed a brilliant mind in her uncooperative body until her first opportunity to communicate electronically at age 22 when she typed "I AM INTLGENT," a breakthrough reminiscent of "The Miracle Worker." After two decades, mother and daughter are finally able to communicate, and Peyton goes on to graduate valedictorian from college. Her story challenges assumptions that any child, regardless of competence, can be less of a human being. Today Peyton is following through on her vow to be an advocate on behalf of other devalued people. Her inspirational life helps readers transcend stereotypes and join her in the radical notion that, as she says, "All people are vastly valuable. Treasure all because great is each."
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
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This book recounts how Peyton Goddard overcame the physical and mental obstacles of severe autism. Peyton’s inability to verbally communicate or control her body led to continual misdiagnoses, pity, and segregation from normal education and society. After suffering 21 years of mistreatment, neglect, and disturbing abuse by those supposed to aid her—extended family, doctors, and teachers—Peyton is finally given the chance to express her intelligence and awareness. Through her use of facilitated communication, by which noncommunicative people speak via computer keyboard, Peyton is finally freed not only from her bodily restraints but also from society’s pitiful image projected upon her. The book details the Goddard family’s extreme highs and lows in dealing with Peyton’s progress through fluid narratives from the perspective of her mother, Dianne, interspersed with Peyton’s own poetic reactions. From years of being dismissed by the education system as lacking the ability to learn, to eventually graduating from college as valedictorian, Peyton proves that inclusion of disabled people is necessary for their livelihood and growth, regardless of the challenge it presents to society. This debut memoir allows Peyton Goddard to further achieve her goal of helping others in similar positions by spreading her “voice” by virtue of text, the very thing that saved her. Agent: Stacey Glick, Dystel & Goderich. (June)