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The Rosie Result is the third in the series following The Rosie Project, and The Rosie Effect. At the beginning of the book Rosie and Don move back to Australia with their son Hudson. Don and Rosie are both working full time, but Hudson is having troubles adjusting to his new school. Don decides to start The Hudson Project, his goal to help Hudson fit in at his new school and make friends.
I loved the first book in this series when I read it, the second book I didn’t like as much, but this one was just as good or better then the first. The best part of these books is experiencing the world from Don’s perspective. He sees everything just as it is. He doesn’t make assumptions, and everything is based purely on the facts and his past experience. You really see how he has grown since the first book, he can predict human behavior better now, based on his past experiences, even if he doesn’t always understand why people make the choices they do.
Alot of what this book was about was discrimination. There were many obstacles the Don and his family had to deal with just to receive equal treatment in the workplace and at school.
Identifying as Having Autism
Don has to deal with a lot of discrimination in and outside of the workplace because of his unique approaches to situations. Because Don responds to others with complete honesty and does not conform to societies expectations to filter what we say to be politically correct. He often unavetnally offends people, or people assume too much or put to much meaning into his words.
This bring up the question about the choice to assign lables to yourself. Does choosing to identify as having autism help you in society? Does it give others the background information, so they do not judge you as harshly as they would others? Or at least they try understand that you may think differently, and see the world in a different way then they do. Does it allow access to programs that help you navigate the world?
Or does it hinder? Does indentifing as having autism mean people immediately write you off, or make negative assumptions about you?
For me, for the fight I’m in, your either autistic or neurotypical. And it’s not dictated by what you score on some scale invented by nerotypicals, any more then if you’d use an instrument to determine if you were gay, or indigenous or bulldogs supporter. In the end it’s your choice, your identity. Diagnosis is for diseases.The Rosie Result by Graeme Simsion
Being a Mother in the Workplace
Another type of discrimination that Rosie had to deal with in this book was parental discrimination. Women in the workplace are often not offered the same opportunities as men, because when they are mothers, it is assumed they won’t be able to make the same time and energy commitments as men. Even if men are also parents, it is expected that women should prioritize their children over their jobs. If they dont, they become bad mothers. There doesnt seem to be an understanding that balance is possible. Sometimes you may have to leave early to be with your children, or it could be another reason. If you are maintaining the same quality of work as you did before, you should be treated the same as any man in the workplace.
Judas says “no problem Rosie, we know you got to look after Hudson. Whatever you are doing can wait until tomorrow.”The Rosie Result by Graeme Simsion
“Seems very accommodating”
“Its not. If Stefan takes off early no one asks why; nobody makes any assumptions. But I’m a mom. So that has to be the reason.
This difference between how men and women are treated at work, is also touched on when Rosie notices how Hudson’s male teacher is treated. Because teaching has a higher rate of females, it appears that he gets special treatment and held to a different standard then the female teachers.
Trying to Fit In
The third issue that is focused on in The Rosie Result, deals with the pressure on children to fit in at school. Rosie and Don’s son Hudson has few friends and is getting in trouble at school. He sees the world in a different way then the other children and his method of learning its different, and the school isn’t willing to modify to accommodate him. Instead they rather push an autistic diagnoses in order receive extra help and funding to deal with him. They see all of his behaviours behind an “autistic” lens, and are forgetting to treat him like an individual child and consider his wants and needs.
“I’m sad he needs to do this at all. I love him as he is.”
“Agreed. Me also. But the world doesn’t. The school world, a lot of the rest of the world.”The Rosie Result by Graeme Simsion
Don wants to help his son, and teach Hudson what he learned over the years that helped him fit in to society. The question this book raises is if that’s the best decision? I asked my self the following questions while reading this book.
- Does being accepted in school improve a child’s happiness enough that makes it okay to change who they are?
- Will the child appreciate the interference in the future?
- Is it our job as parents to make sure our children can function and thrive in society when we are no longer around to protect them?
- Or do we accept that they are different and may encounter roadblocks and difficulties in life, and hope that they find their way in their own.
- Did Don’s benefit from his father’s lessons?
- After admitting that he was unhappy with life before meeting Rosie. Can we say that Don is happy now because of his Father? Or was his happiness something he found on his own?
This book was great. I really like seeing the world from Don’s perceptive. I find his views refreshing. I hope that people who have autism are proud of who they are, and people who do not have autism learn something new from reading this book.