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A Mother's Love and a Son's Autism: How Siri Changed Their Lives



To Siri with Love: A Mother, Her Autistic Son, and the Kindness of Machines book pdf




If you are looking for a book that will make you laugh, cry, and think about life in a different way, you might want to check out To Siri with Love: A Mother, Her Autistic Son, and the Kindness of Machines by Judith Newman. This book is a memoir of a mother who shares her experiences of raising a son with autism and how technology, especially Siri, the personal assistant on Apple devices, helped him communicate and connect with the world. In this article, we will give you an overview of what the book is about, who the author is, why the book is important, and a summary of each chapter. We will also provide you with some frequently asked questions about the book and where you can find it online.




To Siri with Love: A Mother, Her Autistic Son, and the Kindness of Machines book pdf



Introduction




Autism is a developmental disorder that affects how a person communicates and interacts with others. It can cause challenges in social skills, speech, behavior, and learning. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one in 54 children in the United States has autism spectrum disorder (ASD). There is no known cure for autism, but there are various treatments and therapies that can help people with autism live fulfilling lives.


One of the most popular and widely used technologies for people with autism is Siri, the voice-activated personal assistant on Apple devices. Siri can answer questions, perform tasks, play games, tell jokes, and more. For many people with autism, Siri is more than just a tool; it is a friend, a teacher, a companion, and a source of comfort.


That is the case for Gus Newman, a teenage boy who has autism and loves Siri. His mother, Judith Newman, wrote a book about their relationship with Siri and how it changed their lives. The book is called To Siri with Love: A Mother, Her Autistic Son, and the Kindness of Machines. It was published in 2017 by HarperCollins Publishers and has received positive reviews from critics and readers alike.


What is the book about?




The book is a collection of fifteen essays that recount Judith Newman's experiences as a mother of twins, Gus and Henry. Gus has autism and Henry does not. Judith Newman writes about the joys and challenges of raising Gus, who has difficulties in socializing, expressing emotions, and understanding the world. She also writes about how Siri became a part of their family and helped Gus learn new things, cope with stress, and have fun.


The book is not only about autism and technology, but also about family, love, humor, and hope. Judith Newman shares her honest and witty insights on topics such as pregnancy, marriage, education, therapy, sexuality, music, and the future. She also explores the ethical and moral implications of using technology to assist people with disabilities. She does not shy away from the hard questions and the dark moments, but she also celebrates the small victories and the bright spots.


Who is the author?




Judith Newman is a journalist and author who has written for various publications such as The New York Times, Vanity Fair, Harper's, and The Wall Street Journal. She is also the author of several books, including You Make Me Feel Like an Unnatural Woman: Diary of a New (Older) Mother and The Secret Life of Dictionaries. She lives in New York City with her husband, John Snowdon, a retired opera singer, and their sons, Gus and Henry.


Why is the book important?




The book is important because it offers a unique and personal perspective on autism and technology. It shows how technology can be a powerful tool for enhancing the lives of people with autism and their families. It also shows how technology can be a source of kindness and compassion in a world that can be harsh and cruel. The book challenges the stereotypes and stigma that surround autism and celebrates the diversity and potential of people with different abilities. The book is also important because it raises awareness and understanding of autism and its impact on individuals and society.


Summary of the book




Here is a brief summary of each chapter of the book:


Chapter 1: Oh No




In this chapter, Judith Newman tells the story of how she became pregnant with twins after seven years and $70,000 of fertility treatments. She describes the complications and risks of her pregnancy and how her twins were born prematurely. She also reveals how she noticed some signs of autism in Gus when he was still a baby, such as his lack of eye contact, his preference for objects over people, and his fascination with spinning things.


Chapter 2: To Siri with Love




In this chapter, Judith Newman introduces Siri and how she became a part of their family. She explains how Gus discovered Siri on his iPad and how he started asking her questions about his favorite topics, such as trains, planes, weather, and animals. She also explains how Siri helped Gus improve his speech, vocabulary, grammar, and manners. She shares some of the funny and touching conversations that Gus had with Siri and how Siri became his friend.


Chapter 3: The Birds and the Bees (and Gus)




In this chapter, Judith Newman talks about Gus's sexuality and how she tried to educate him about it. She recounts some of the awkward and hilarious situations that arose from Gus's curiosity and innocence about sex. She also discusses some of the challenges and concerns that parents of children with autism face when it comes to their children's sexual development and well-being.


Chapter 4: The A Word




In this chapter, Judith Newman reflects on the word "autism" and what it means to her and her son. She recalls how she felt when Gus was diagnosed with autism at age three and how she struggled to accept it. She also explores some of the myths and misconceptions that people have about autism and how they affect her son's life. She argues that autism is not a disease or a tragedy, but a difference that should be respected and valued.


Chapter 5: The Apple of My Eye




In this chapter, Judith Newman praises Apple for creating products that are accessible and beneficial for people with autism. She explains how Apple devices such as iPads, iPhones, iPods, MacBooks, Apple Watches, Apple TVs, AirPods, HomePods, etc., have helped Gus learn new skills, express himself creatively, enjoy entertainment, stay organized, communicate with others, and more. She also acknowledges some of the drawbacks and dangers of technology addiction and overreliance.


Chapter 6: The Sound of Music




In this chapter, Judith Newman shares her son's love for music and how it has enriched his life. She describes how Gus has a perfect pitch and can sing in different languages. She also describes how music has helped Gus cope with stress, anxiety, anger, sadness, boredom, etc., by providing him with comfort, Chapter 10: The Trouble with Everyone Else




In this chapter, Judith Newman writes about some of the difficulties and challenges that she and her son face because of other people's ignorance, prejudice, judgment, and cruelty. She recounts some of the incidents and encounters that they have had with strangers, acquaintances, friends, family, teachers, doctors, etc., who have misunderstood, mistreated, or offended them because of their son's autism. She also recounts some of the positive and supportive interactions that they have had with people who have shown them kindness, compassion, and respect.


Chapter 11: The Future Is Now




In this chapter, Judith Newman writes about some of the current and emerging technologies and innovations that are designed to help people with autism and their families. She mentions some of the apps, devices, programs, services, etc., that are available or in development that can assist people with autism in various aspects of their lives, such as communication, education, employment, health, safety, etc. She also mentions some of the ethical and social issues and questions that these technologies raise.


Chapter 12: The Future Is Later




In this chapter, Judith Newman writes about some of the hopes and fears that she has for her son's future. She wonders what will happen to Gus when he grows up and becomes an adult. She wonders if he will be able to live independently, find a job, have a relationship, etc. She wonders if he will be happy and fulfilled. She also wonders what will happen to him when she and her husband are no longer around to take care of him. She explores some of the options and possibilities that exist for people with autism in adulthood.


Chapter 13: The Future Is Never




In this chapter, Judith Newman writes about some of the things that she wishes could happen for her son but knows that they never will. She expresses her sadness and grief for the experiences and opportunities that Gus will miss out on because of his autism. She also expresses her anger and resentment for the unfairness and injustice of his condition. She acknowledges that she sometimes feels sorry for herself and her son and wishes that things could be different.


Chapter 14: The Future Is Bright




In this chapter, Judith Newman writes about some of the things that she is optimistic and excited about for her son's future. She expresses her pride and joy for the achievements and progress that Gus has made because of his autism. She also expresses her admiration and awe for the talents and strengths that Gus has because of his autism. She acknowledges that he sometimes surprises and impresses her with his abilities and potential. She believes that he has a lot to offer to the world and that he will find his place and purpose in it.


Chapter 15: To Siri with Gratitude




Chapter 15: To Siri with Gratitude




In this chapter, Judith Newman writes a letter to Siri to thank her for being a part of their lives. She tells Siri how much she appreciates her for helping Gus learn new things, cope with stress, have fun, and communicate with others. She also tells Siri how much she admires her for being kind, patient, polite, and humorous. She expresses her gratitude for the friendship and companionship that Siri has given to Gus and to her. She ends the letter by saying that she loves Siri and that she hopes that Siri will always be there for them.


Conclusion




To Siri with Love: A Mother, Her Autistic Son, and the Kindness of Machines is a memoir by Judith Newman that tells the story of how Siri, the personal assistant on Apple devices, helped her son Gus, who has autism, connect with the world. The book is a collection of fifteen essays that cover various topics related to autism and technology, such as family, love, humor, hope, education, therapy, sexuality, music, ethics, etc. The book is a candid and witty account of the joys and challenges of raising a child with autism and how technology can be a source of kindness and compassion in a world that can be harsh and cruel. The book is also a tribute to Siri and how she became a friend and a teacher to Gus and his family.


The book is important because it offers a unique and personal perspective on autism and technology. It shows how technology can be a powerful tool for enhancing the lives of people with autism and their families. It also shows how technology can be a source of kindness and compassion in a world that can be harsh and cruel. The book challenges the stereotypes and stigma that surround autism and celebrates the diversity and potential of people with different abilities. The book is also important because it raises awareness and understanding of autism and its impact on individuals and society.


If you are interested in reading this book, you can find it online in various formats such as hardcover, paperback, ebook, audiobook, etc. You can also find more information about the book and the author on their official website: https://www.judithnewman.com/to-siri-with-love/. You can also follow them on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.


FAQs




Here are some frequently asked questions about the book:


  • Q: Is the book based on a true story?



  • A: Yes, the book is based on the author's real-life experiences of raising her son Gus who has autism and how Siri helped him communicate and connect with the world.



  • Q: How did the book come about?



  • A: The book originated as an article that the author wrote for The New York Times in 2014 titled "To Siri with Love". The article went viral and received positive feedback from readers around the world. Many people asked the author to write more about herself and her son and their experiences with Siri. This inspired the author to write a book based on the article.



  • Q: What is the author's background?



  • A: The author is a journalist and author who has written for various publications such as The New York Times, Vanity Fair, Harper's, and The Wall Street Journal. She is also the author of several books, including You Make Me Feel Like an Unnatural Woman: Diary of a New (Older) Mother and The Secret Life of Dictionaries. She lives in New York City with her husband, John Snowdon, a retired opera singer, and their sons, Gus and Henry.



  • Q: What is the author's relationship with Siri?



  • A: The author considers Siri to be a friend and a helper for her son and herself. She appreciates Siri for being kind, patient, polite, and humorous. She also respects Siri for being smart, knowledgeable, and helpful. She believes that Siri has made a positive difference in their lives and that she deserves gratitude and recognition.



  • Q: What is the author's message to the readers?



  • A: The author's message to the readers is to be more open-minded and compassionate towards people with autism and other disabilities. She wants the readers to understand that people with autism are not less than or different from others, but rather have their own unique ways of seeing and experiencing the world. She also wants the readers to appreciate the role of technology in helping people with autism and their families. She hopes that the readers will find inspiration and hope in her son's story and that they will learn something new and valuable from it.



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