Living Life with Autism: the World Through My Eyes is the story of Marc William Pulver, a middle-aged man, who had to wait 50 years to learn he had a disorder that placed severe limitations on the way he would be able to live his life. He knew he was different but didn’t know why and seeking an answer became an obsession with him. Miraculously this knowledge had the opposite effect one might expect. Instead of allowing himself to withdraw or slip into depression, he became energized. Relieved to know that there was a reason for why he was who he was, he desperately wanted to tell his life’s story to the whole world because he felt it would give hope to others afflicted with autism.
Voracious readers often will forget the contents of a book unless it meets certain conditions that make it memorable. Playing into that mix, as a rule, is it being especially well written and entertaining or something that touches one's very soul and imparts something of value that may be shared with others, or put into use in one's everyday life.
Living Life with Autism: The World Through My Eyes, a book written by Marc William Pulver with Robert Shostak, is the latter. While it is intentionally not well written, that is part of its charm. With the help of a retired education professor, Shostak, Pulver tells the story of his life dealing with and growing up with minimal brain damage later diagnosed as autism when he was applying for an insurance policy as an adult. Spelling mistakes and other noticeable errors are left as written effectively giving the reader a better understanding of how Marc's mind works.
The book is an insightful journey into the world of autism that leaves one with a better understanding of how parents, like Marc's, have navigated unknown waters and prevailed against all odds. You see, Pulver suffered oxygen deprivation at birth resulting in developmental problems.
When doctors suggested that he be institutionalized, his courageous and amazing parents looked elsewhere and turned to the Institute for the Achievement for Human Potential in Philadelphia. His mother, Sybil Pulver, began with countless hours of therapy one of which was an exercise for his eyes to perfect stereoscopic vision making trips to Philadelphia every three months for three years.
As Marc was growing up with his therapies in Philadelphia completed, Sybil used every single moment as a teachable one while his dad was his best friend and put him to work. To this day Sybil continues this mission and recounts,"My mouth never stops with Marc and I am not a big talker. I am surprised the kid didn't put a gag on me. To this day when we go shopping to buy ourown things, I constantly discuss and point out things as we shop. Afterwards, he will make a comment like 'thanks, Moml, I had a good time and learned a lot today.'"
In this book, Marc shares his experiences — good and bad — with amazing recall, something not uncommon for those with autism spectrum disorder. The reader learns how the positive influence and incredible efforts ofhis loving parents and siblings impacted his life and how grateful he is for that support.
While Marc's words have a child-like quality, he ultimately comes across as a person with good common sense who has an incredible appreciation for his family who gave him the platform to conquer his challenges: from receiving his driver's license, writing his bar mitzvah speech, being a water boy for the football team when couldn't make the team to volunteering to help the homeless and taking trips with his parents.
After reading this book, you will be enamored of this fine man and feel a kinship to this remarkable family. Those dealing with or who have friends, relatives or children with autism spectrum disorder will find this book inspiring and full of useful information.
Marc's book is available at Ingram, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and fine bookstores everywhere for $10.95. For additional information. visit onlline at <www.marcpulver.com>.
Gloria Burns, South Miami News
This is a brave and rambunctious book written by a middle-aged autistic man who simplly wanted to write his story in book form. With gentle editing, preserving Pulver's style and cadence and making needed spelling and punctuation this book is a reality. Reading the story one is moved by cherished parents who could have shoved Marc into an institution but kept him home. Behavior problems, outbursts of anger and scattered emotions were borne with patience, love and caring by Marc and his parents. Learning difficulties, school behavior difficulties and along with some athletic prowess all bundled into a boy and a teen who lwas clearly different from the other kids.
Marc writes of his attempts to live alone, have a love life and work life with naive humor and a determination to be independent. This is a wonderful book for clergy, teachers, doctors, parents and autistic readers to get a moving and accurate picture of people with autism and of Marc living his life to the fullest.
The Rev. Robert Warren Cromey, Episcopal Priest, San Francisco
I have just finished reading Marc Pulver's remarkable account of his life with autism and wantd to write right away to say how much I admired it, admired its author's determination to come as close to a normal life as he could and to help others, admired his parents' staying power and determination to help him through times that were tough as hell for all three parties, and finally (but not least) admired his editor for his tact, modesty, and judicious choice of pieces from others to provide perspective. An admirable piece of work of which both editor and author should be proud.
Larry Eldredge, Ph.D., Oxford, England
Google the characteristics of adults with autism and you may find entries like "rarely seeks contact with others" "narrow, obsessive interests," or, in a discussion of adults with the disorder, a multi-word description that basically boils down to a word like "manipulative." But what is the world of people with autism really like? Enter Marc William Pulver, a thoughtful, sweet soul living in the Village of Key Biscayne, Florida, who, judging from this book, couldn't manipulate anyone if he tried and wouldn't dream of doing even if he could. He's written this book not only to share his own story, but also to help others with autism, which doesn't seem a bit narrow...
Charlotte Libov, Miamiartzine, May 29, 2012
About Marc Pulver
Marc Pulver, a 54 year-old single man has lived his entire life struggling with the knowledge that there was something about him that made him different from most people. At age five he had not yet exhibited normal communication skills. Doctors evaluating him at Johns Hopkins suggested he be institutionalized. His parents rejected the suggestion and began searching for help in other directions. Read more
Excerpt from the Book
March 16, 1958. This was the year I was born. I was
born a blue baby with brain damage. My name is