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“A book about self-care for everyone!”

In this short book R.V. opens our eyes and enriches us. He gives us insight and understanding into how people with autism and schizophrenia experience the world. He tells us how he has learned to control unhelpful thoughts and behaviors and offers suggestions for anyone wishing to do the same. He brings the suggestions together beautifully in the section, “Visualization: swim through the undertow.”

Each section begins with a quotation. One is about penguins and says they are not less because they can’t fly, they’re simply different. R.V. points out that having hallucinations doesn’t mean the person is less, it simply means their mind works in a very different way. To take this comparison further, understanding a penguin’s abilities requires seeing them underwater. They are graceful rockets. And to understand what someone with autism or schizophrenia (or both) can do we have to be willing to look beneath the surface. As R.V. tells us, all of our most admirable human qualities are there.

— Burton Reifler MD
Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry
Wake Forest School of Medicine


The Kusers have written a very relatable book. The themes are family dynamics, pressures of life, bullies and friends and the inevitability of change, both good and bad. It’s easy for the reader to imagine being with the Weights as they go about their daily lives. The book is set in Winston Salem, NC where the Weight family, mom, dad, and three siblings ages 8 to 12, provide us a glimpse into how they navigate living with each other’s individual needs. Randy, the middle child, has autism spectrum disorder. Randy shows readers how people living with autism are not so different after all. Each member of the family struggles with and celebrates their own strengths and challenges, and they do so as a team. This book will delight readers of all ages, and will provide foundations for meaningful discussions both in the classroom and at home.

—Cynthia Briggs, Ph.D.

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challenged but not defeated

Strategies for coping with autism and schizophrenia

R.V. Kuser is an individual with profound autism who works as a Teacher, Developmental Specialist, Autism Consultant, and Speaker. He is on a lifelong quest for ways to overcome personal difficulties with communication, behavior, and cognitive perception. The strategies he has developed are detailed in this book, which is targeted (but not limited to) parents, caregivers, and educators in the special-education community.

Subjects such as tools and techniques for daily living, keeping the adult mind focused, the dynamics of childhood friends and play, adolescent social situations, enhancing learning, and ultimately finding one’s niche in the world are all discussed. Join R.V. in exploring how children and adults on the autism spectrum can learn to embrace their individuality and find their voices in today’s world.

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