Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Journal of Best Practices

The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage and Asperger Syndrome and One Man's Quest to Be a Better Husband by David Finch, 224 pages

At the age of 30, David Finch was five years and two small children into a rapidly deteriorating marriage when he was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, a mild form of autism. Given that diagnosis, Finch realized that he needed to actively work at overcoming the obsessive-compulsive tendencies and inability to empathize that came with Asperger's so that he could become a better husband and dad. The Journal of Best Practices is a collection of some of the things he learned and has to constantly remind himself of every day, accompanied by the story of how he tackled each one and grew to understand himself, his wife, and their kids a little better.

The Best Practices range from "be present when spending time with the kids" to "fold the laundry, don't just leave it in the dryer" to "allow Kristen the time to take a shower in peace." While these may seem simple to most people, for someone with Asperger's, they aren't, and Finch gives his reader's a lot of insight into how his mind works. And while, yes, this book is written from the point of view of someone with Asperger's, it's filled with information that all of us could probably benefit from in our relationships. Who doesn't need a gentle reminder to think about something from the other person's point of view from time to time? A good, illuminating read. I highly recommend it.

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