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Dasha’s Journal A Cat Reflects on Life, Catness and Autism

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Book - Dasha’s Journal A Cat Reflects on Life, Catness and Autism

by: T.O. Daria

About the author:

Olga Bogdashina PhD has worked extensively in the field of autism as a teacher, lecturer and researcher, with a particular interest in sensory-perceptual and communication problems in autism. She has been the director of the first Day Centre for autistic children in Ukraine since 1994. Olga has an autistic son aged 15. She is also the president of the Autism Society of Ukraine and teaches and lectures around the world. She is currently a Visiting Lecturer at Birmingham University.

ISBN: 978-1-84310-586-2

Year: 2008

Publication Info: 176pp


Just a few weeks old, Dasha the cat found herself in a family with an autistic child. The publication of Temple Grandin’s book Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behaviour turned the household into a research laboratory, with the humans observing Dasha’s behaviours and the cat experimenting with the `human guinea pigs’.

The feline perspective provides a new outlook on autism conditions, challenging long established stereotypes and analysing controversies in the field with an unbiased attitude and humour. The text is interspersed with Dasha’s ‘wisdoms’, ‘research notes’ and definitions of concepts based on her own understanding, such as ‘A pet shop is a place where humans come to be adopted by the animals who are brave enough to take a responsibility of looking after them.’

Dasha’s Journal provides research-based information in an amusing and accessible form and makes serious and complicated issues such as sensory perception, memory, communication, savant skills and challenging behaviours in autism easily understandable for the general reader.



1. My Story and the Four Reasons to Write this Book. 2. Disclaimer. 3. What Is Autism? That’s the Question. 4. Animals and Humans, Cats and Dogs What Are You Trying to Meow? 5. `Senseless’ and `Senseful’ Ways of Being. 6. Thinking about Thinking. 7. What is so Special about Special Abilities? 8. Language and Communication: Let’s Talk about Talking. 9. Emotions: Love Me? Love Me Not? 10. Challenging Behaviours: Who Challenges Whom? Dasha’s Glossary. Notes and References. Dasha’s Library: Selected Bibliography.



Dasha the cat’s journal is a brilliantly conceived book which analyses the misunderstandings that a family have of people on the spectrum from the perspective of a disinterested observer (the family cat)… I found it wonderfully uplifting to read a book which describes my world in the way I would descibe it, and not have myself reduced to a list of problem behaviours and misunderstandings… Dasha wonderfully avoids being felinomorphic throughout the book, but tries, successfull, to comprehend autistic behaviour for what it is: perfectly normal reactions to the world as we experience it.


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