The Mysterious Case of Lincoln
by Dwight Dyce
Trafford Publishing

"We don't fear what we do not know. We fear what we don't understand."

Lincoln is indeed a mystery to readers who know little about autism. The beauty of this book is that the author tries to explain Lincoln and the minds of autistic people everywhere. Simultaneously, Dyce gives readers insight into caregivers and the difficult jobs they have.

The book describes a home for three boys with various mental problems, Lincoln among them. They live semi-independently with the assistance of three caregivers. Readers soon begin to truly comprehend the job of helping autistic young adults, and, more importantly, get insight into the mind of Lincoln and others like him. Even in the prologue readers get a peek into the life of a mentally ill young man. Patrick tries to explain his mental illness to Victor, a schoolmate: "A lot of people don't understand that I have no control over this thing that normally takes me over. When it comes on... it's like I'm a different person. But, I'm pretty normal a lot of the times." Victor grows up to be a counselor and one of Lincoln's caregivers. As the story progresses, Dyce explains the challenges for those with difficulty in social and emotional processing. "Lincoln was looking completely physically normal, and he was, but his conversations, how he viewed the natural world, must be understood from and on a completely different spectrum of logic and reason."

Dyce writes in a conversational, non-pedantic style, making the book easy to read. Sometimes it even seems like you are at the dining room table with the boys or on one of their errands to the grocery store. After reading about Lincoln, people can understand some of the obstacles and difficulties that autistics try to overcome and that Lincoln most wants "a sense of belonging rather than being rejected..."

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