Four weeks. That’s how long it took CSE student Jennifer Rose, ’18, to write “It’s Not a Perfect World but I’ll Take It: 50 Life Lessons for Teens Like Me Who Are Kind of (You Know) Autistic.” This book, which was written when Rose was just 18, has been hailed by critics as “a must-read for not only those teens struggling to find their way in the spectrum, but also their neurotypical counterparts.”
On April 17, Rose hosted a book signing at CSE that was well attended by classmates, faculty and staff. In addition to reading an excerpt from her book, Rose candidly answered questions from the audience. Her deeply personal descriptions of both her struggles and achievements offered a unique glimpse into the nature of autism.
“Listening to Jenny taught me how to address autism,” says Maria Capozzoli, ’18. “We live in a society where if someone is different, then many times we don’t ask questions or engage with them. But now, I better understand what she’s struggling with and how to help her.”
For Rose, sometimes that help comes in the form of a piece of chocolate, a cup of tea and a kind smile. However, it differs for every person with autism and Rose urged patience and empathy.
“We are not acting out on purpose,” explains Rose. “We just need an outlet. The best thing you can do is just try to understand and help us relax.”
Rose hopes “It’s Not a Perfect World but I’ll Take It” will normalize people with autism and serve as a reference for assisting others in navigating its complexities. Ultimately, she just wants to help other people.
“Jenny is insightful, passionate, and brilliant. She is an important face of autism,” says Dr. Nicole Yanoso, an assistant history professor at CSE and coordinator of the event. “This experience has taught me that there are many different sides to autism and that autistic people are engaged, analytic, and social.”
Purchase a copy of Rose’s book here: https://amzn.to/2Hbfek8.
Mary Colleen Robinson has a communication degree with a concentration in journalism and is currently working as the PR/Social Media Specialist at the College of Saint Elizabeth.