Strange is not a word he should use (it’s not quite politically correct), but sometimes Joel Yanofsky can think of no other way to describe life with his son, Jonah—life with autism. Jonah is “on the spectrum” of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), but knowing the correct terminology makes it no easier for Yanofsky to understand his ten-year-old son’s complicated relationship with the world.
While his wife, Cynthia, an art therapist, assumed the burden of researching ASD and investigating effective treatments for Jonah, Yanofsky tried other approaches. In this funny and moving account of a year in their life together, he chronicles his struggle to enter his son’s world using the materials he knows best: self-help books, feel-good memoirs, and literary classics ranging from the Old Testament to Dr. Seuss, as well as knock-knock jokes, riddles, and puns—all the wacky routines Yanofsky calls schtick.
Told with candour, insight, and compassion, Bad Animals is not only about autism; it’s about the things that make life worth living.