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Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite
Being Seen is a fascinating and eye-opening memoir by Anlor Davin, a woman not formally diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder until she was forty-six years old. Born in 1964 and exhibiting hypersensitivity as a child, Davin struggled throughout her life with the results of what appeared to others as obsessive-compulsive behavior. Even though she was intelligent, fluent in two languages, and certified as a teacher, Davin struggled to work full time to support herself and a son. She didn’t understand why she was different from other people, and doctors misdiagnosed her symptoms. “I felt like a sick tree whose roots, where the real problem lay, were not seen,” she explains. Davin began the study of Zen Buddhism at thirty-five and describes it as life-changing.
In Being Seen, Davin looks back on her life in frank detail through the lens of autism. Her writing is straightforward and heartfelt. Several photographs are sprinkled throughout which help to make her real to the reader. I was amazed at Davin’s strength and persistence as she lost one friend, one job, and one living space after another. It opened my eyes and heart to how I look at others whose behavior I might not yet understand, and I was grateful for those who helped her along the way. Parents of hypersensitive children would benefit from her comments on her own childhood; and whether you think you’ll ever know someone with autism, this book will both educate you and touch your heart. A moving read. Highly recommended.