The Virtue of Giving Up
Growing Up Blind and Autistic
About the Book
This is the story of Judith Dent, a girl growing up in the middle of the last century, completely blind as well as autistic, at a time when few people had even heard of autism. Judy, in her own words, was “a child who could lie on the floor and scream until she turned blue from the sheer desperation of realizing she was different, not only from sighted children, but from other blind children.” Her family—including a mother suffering from paranoid schizophrenia—was unequipped and overwhelmed. Schools had no idea how to deal with her. How is it possible that Judith survived her early years, multiple suicide attempts and hospitalizations, finally achieving success—as a woman and wife living in her own home and as a PhD graduate? She lacked sight, but she brought to her writings here an extraordinary “eye” and memory for detail that make it almost possible for the reader to experience her world and understand how she did it.
About the Author
Judith Anne Dent received her PhD from the English Department of Washington University. She was born completely blind and finally diagnosed as autistic in her 60's. She grew up in an era that stigmatized blindness and didn't recognize autism. Judith married and lived independently despite great odds. Her husband was also legally blind from birth. Her home was in Kirkwood, Missouri. She is survived by her husband, Blair Gleisberg.