Summary of To Siri with Love

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To Siri with Love book summary
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Rating

8

Qualities

  • Engaging
  • Inspiring
  • Eloquent

Recommendation

Journalist Judith Newman’s New York Times article about her autistic son’s connection with the Apple virtual assistant Siri went viral, striking a chord with people worldwide. An accomplished essayist, Newman expounds on the subject with an entertaining, candid tale about the unexpected joys and unrelenting concerns that she’s experienced in raising her son. Her book covers the trials that parents face around mealtimes, bedtime, playmates and school – and how an autistic child with unique needs and demands makes them even more challenging. Newman finds the humor in life’s big events and daily minutiae. When the challenges get the best of her, she circles back to the question every mother asks, “Am I to blame?” While the book received glowing reviews, some members of the autism community criticized it. Controversy aside, any parent will find plenty to enjoy as Newman describes New York City life with her older husband, her “neurodivergent” son and his “neurotypical” twin. This slice-of-life biography will engage you and open your eyes.

About the Author

Judith Newman, the author of You Make Me Feel Like an Unnatural Woman, contributes to The New York Times, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue and Redbook.

 

Summary

“To Siri, With Love”

For one week, the most viewed, shared and talked-about article in The New York Times was Judith Newman’s report about her autistic son Gus and his beloved companion, Apple’s virtual assistant Siri. The robot helped her communication-impaired child comprehend nuances of conversation, and it willingly and patiently discussed his favorite subjects and answered his repetitive questions over and over. Readers responded and the story went viral.

One in 68 children in the United States is autistic; one in 42 of those diagnosed are boys. In the 1980s, only one in 2,000 children was diagnosed as autistic, but the diagnosis is growing faster than any other developmental disability. In 2015, the cost of care for people with autism in the United States hovered around $461 billion.

Disabilities occur on a continuum. People associate autism with traits at either ends of the spectrum; a genius savant versus a barely functioning, damaged soul. But most autistic or neurodivergent people, like Gus, fall somewhere in between. The continuum of...


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