Speed of Dark

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Book & Author

The Speed of Dark:  A choice: Autism or “Normalcy”?  As Lou Arrendale, the main character of this book, faces this choice he can’t help but wonder “If I were free of autism, would I still be myself?”

Meet Elizabeth Moon:
In this video, she shares of the story of how raising an autistic son inspired her to write The Speed of Dark:

Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NB1CW0iMF4Q

Quote from the book:

I do not think I am autistic because God thought my parents needed a challenge or I needed a challenge. I think it is like if I were a baby and a rock fell on me and broke my leg. Whatever caused it was an accident. God did not prevent the accident, but He did not cause it, either…. I think my autism is an accident, but what I do with it is me.”
― Lou Arrendale’s thoughts from Elizabath Moon’s The Speed of Dark

Discuss

Topics for discussion that the book will bring up include:

  • What it means to be “normal” and whether or not Lou made the right choice between autism and “normalcy”.
  • How Elizabeth Moon portrayed Autism…did she romanticize it?
  • How adults with mental or physical disabilities or differences are treated in our workplaces–are they treated fairly, or are the “perks” and advantages they are given unfair to the rest of the employees?
More discussion questions can be found at http://www.readinggroupguides.com/guides3/speed_of_dark1.asp

Enhance

Contact Invite a local expert on Autism to speak to your book group–find one by contacting the Heartland chapter of the Autism Society

Elizabeth Moon’s Speed of Dark blog has updates about how Autistic people are treated in our society.  Perhaps one of her latest blog entries could add to the discussion at your meeting.

Interact

So what would you have done if you were faced with the choice that Lou was faced with: Undergo experimental surgery to “cure” your condition, or refuse and continue to live the life you were comfortable with?  Share your answer in the comments below.