A Life Lived Differently
Poetry by Kathryn Jacobs and Rachel Jacobs
Better Than Starbucks Publications, October 2022
A Life Lived Differently offers readers a portrait of autism in verse and prose. The poet speaks in the voice of the autistic child, whose name is Dan. The prosaist speaks in the voice of the parent. Although Dan is fictional, he is based on real people. Kathryn Jacobs, who identifies as autistic, writes his viewpoint in poetry which is both lyrical and down to earth. She is Dan, in writing and sometimes in emotional reality also. Rachel Jacobs writes as the mom and Dan’s primary caregiver. Dan also has a brother, but their father is absent from the narrative. Dan’s parents seem to be divorced, in part due to the pressure of parenting a special-needs child. This portrayal of autism opens a door to the world and experiences of a child who faces the challenges we all do but sees and understands in a different way. At times amusing, sometimes wry, often surprising, this account offers an unparalleled view into living on the spectrum while at the same time celebrating the strength and beauty of a unique individual living with neurodiversity/Autism.