I've Got a Stat for You - Book Review


A while ago I was asked if I would like a copy of Andrew Edwards' book "I've Got a Stat for You - My Life with Autism" and I thought that as I knew little about autism, reading a book about one man's life with autism would help my understanding of the condition.

I was, of course, wrong. Like all people Andrew is unique and I really found I was reading a biography about one man's life, not a book about autism at all. Andrew has autism though and this has obviously affected and shaped his life. During his younger years he was badly let down by the health services that should have been there as back up for his family, and as in many cases of parents with disabled children his mother had to fight for every little bit of help they received.

Andrew comes across as a very nice person. Not a golden perfect 'rainman' nor a disabled 'weird' person, just a nice bloke struggling to fit into a neurotypical themed world.

The book is difficult to read in places, Andrew often writes events out of date order which can be confusing, and the very beginning focuses on his life well before most children have their own memories, so one cannot help but assume he is 'remembering' events that he has only heard as anecdotes from his mother. He has an understandably close relationship with his mum.

My husband read the book before I did and said that the constant references to statistics put him off! Personally I loved them, it made the book extremely funny and gave a true feel of the obsession with facts  that some people with autism have. I found it sweet and amusing when he wandered off track from his story with comments like
one stressful moment I vividly recall during my activity time occurred when returning from a trip to the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham to attend the Car Show on Friday 23rd October 1998, the day before United drew 1-1 at Pride Park against Derby County
 Andrew is very honest about his 'bad' behaviours at school, how he has learned what is acceptable, how he deals with problems that affect him and with relationships. It is both refreshing and painful to read some of the things that he struggles with and has to cope with on a daily basis, colours, noise, smells etc. From that point alone it is a good book to read to make you think about how someone with autism may not see a situation as you do. Things that you think are fun may be terrifying and vice versa!

The book is not an easy read but I'm glad Andrew wrote it. You may like to find out more about him and his football stats and you can buy the book here.

'I've Got A Stat For You' is published by Bennion Kearny. The writing is unpolished, but the book is a good honest read.  If you have autism, know someone with autism or just have a general interest in the subject you should read this book. Lovers of autobiographies of non-celebrities may also enjoy it.

I like this quote from near the end of the book, it's very uplifting
"I control the autism most of the time now, rather than the autism controlling me"

At the tender age of four, Andrew Edwards was diagnosed with severe autism.  With a complete lack of compassion, the medical specialist who diagnosed him told his mother, “Go home and watch Rain Man.  In all probability your son will be institutionalized.”  Determined to provide her son with the best life possible and prove that uncaring specialist wrong, Andrew’s mother – Hazel – dedicated herself to giving Andrew a normal life, the best education available, and all the resources he needed to help him achieve his life’s goals.

In his powerful, inspirational and often funny autobiography, I’ve Got A Stat For You, author Andrew Edwards recounts his difficult journey to manage his autism while living in a world filled with bullying and a lack of understanding. Growing up in a single parent household with his mother, encountering bureaucracy at every turn, and facing a world that did not want to understand or relate to him, Andrew ultimately emerged from his turbulent childhood as a successful and extraordinary young man.

Excelling as a young adult, Andrew has won a Welsh National Young Volunteer Award, given speeches, and has lectured to a wide range of audiences on autism and his struggles growing up. He has pursued and received his education, and secured his dream job as a statistician at Manchester United Television. From Wrexham, a small town in north Wales, to London’s Buckingham Palace, and incorporating stories of sport, The Simpsons, a love for music, and strange smells, I’ve Got A Stat For You is a powerful and inspirational true story that demonstrates how determination, a positive outlook, and the will to succeed can overcome all odds. It is a book that will appeal to anyone whose life is touched by autism in one form or another, as well as readers who appreciate real-life tales against the odds.

About the Author Andrew Edwards was born in 1984, in Wrexham, Wales. At the age of four, he was diagnosed as severely autistic. Andrew attended a number of schools during his childhood, and ultimately secured four G.C.S.E.s including one in history. Following a work placement at Manchester United Television, Andrew became a permanent member of staff, for more than 10 years, as a statistician. Following his redundancy at MUTV, Andrew has given himself over to volunteering and writing.

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