Hi everyone and thanks for visiting our blog. My wife and I created this blog to chronicle our experience while raising a son with Asperger's syndrome. Since our son was diagnosed with an ASD at age 5, we've had a lot of questions. Lucky for us we have a great support network in place. And our blog gives us an opportunity to share what we've learned with our readers. We hope you find our blog informative and interesting. Thanks again for visiting.

"It seems that for success in science and art, a dash of autism is essential." Dr Hans Asperger 1906-1980

Wednesday, 22 February 2012


Has anyone ever read or heard of the book called The Twits?  It was written in 1980 by Raold Dahl who also wrote James and the Giant Peach.  What a strange name.  It's rumoured that Dahl had Asperger's syndrome although I couldn't find anything definite,but his writing does point to some of the associated traits.  I hadn't heard of this book until recently when Jacob's teacher read it to his class.  For homework recently, Jacob was asked to write a summary about the story of The Twits.  But it hasn't exactly been easy.  Jacob had refused to write about the book up until yesterday.  So I decided to look up the book myself.

And I see why Jacob refuses to talk or write about it.  When mom and I asked him to write a two sentence summary about the book, he refused and said "I don't want to write bad words."  I know his teacher wouldn't read a book with bad words in it to a grade 2 class.  Again we asked about the book.  Jacob then said "It's full of bad language not suitable for children."  Shannon and I were wondering what type of book it was?  It's difficult to get Jacob to think creatively sometimes and The Twits seemed to stop his creative juices from flowing completely.  So i had to read the book for myself to see what the big deal was..

And let me say, what a book.  It's a kids book about 2 twits who are constantly being mean to each other.  And they are also cruel to animals.  This would put Jacob off right away because he loves animals.  The twits like to trick birds into flying into glue covered trees so they can make a bird pie.  Jacob doesn't eat too many different things and the thought of a bird pie would disgust him.  The book does contain some bad words like stupid and twit, but nothing too bad.  The Twits love playing pranks devious pranks on each other.  One put a glass eye in the others beer, then in retaliation the female Twit puts a frog in the male Twits bed.  It just goes back and forth getting worse each time.  the male Twit even goes as far as gluing wood pieces to the bottom of all the furniture to make the female twit think she's shrinking.  What a pair of, well, Twits.

Then the fun part comes.  The birds and monkeys exact some revenge on the Twits for all their previous misdeeds.  When the Twits go out, the animals glue all the Twits furniture to the ceiling of their house.  When the Twits are returning home, two birds drop glue bombs on their heads.  And when the Twits see their furniture on the ceiling, they decide to stand on their heads and they get stuck that way.  Eventually the Twits fall into themselves and all that is left is the clothes the Twits were wearing.  And all the animals live happily ever after.

What a creepy story.  It's weird because Jacob said the book was full of bad language.  But the worst words in it were stupid and twit.  It was full of mean and gross things, but nothing towards people, only animals.  So the book could stir up some negative emotions, but it wasn't over the top.  Now that I think of it, I don't recall Jacob saying the "F" word before, which is great considering he's a seven year old boy in school.  I don't have a trucker mouth or anything, but I might let a curse word slip every once in a while.  So we're glad that Jacob thinks of stupid as a bad word and hopefully he never drops an "F" bomb, at least in class.

So if you're looking for a new book for your kids, you have to get The Twits.  Jacob has never demonstrated such emotion after reading a book, ever.  I can't believe a kids book would ever leave Jacob with reservations about foul language.  The author has commented on how the book makes people sick and that kids like to feel sick and be scared.  This book stirred up so much emotion in Jacob and even me when I read it.  I mean, how often do we as parents enjoy reading a kid's book without our kids present?  You have to get it ASAP as I've never read anything like it, so I know you'll enjoy it too, just maybe not at bedtime or before dinner.

 The Twits first edition.jpg


  1. Hmmm, I wonder how K would react. She is all animals all the time, though not sure if she would get it...I do love me some Dahl, though. She def picks up on "bad" words. She'll tell me if any show says "stupid" or the like. It's hilarious b/c I can have kinda a trucker mouth, but have told my kids they can't swear til they are 18...and thus far they are totally buying into that...ha.

    1. No swearing til 18 would be great. And I'm surprised that Jacob doesn't swear.

    2. Jen, you are my hero!! I kind of have a trucker mouth which I've *really* tried to control since my son became verbal. I half tried to control it when he was a baby, but what with all the missed milestones etc, I kind of gave up. He's really good at repeating stuff now, and has a really poopy sense of humour (the words "disgusting" and "dirty" send him into fits of giggles), so if I don't watch my mouth around him I get into serious serious trouble. He laughs hysterically and repeats that which he shouldn't!!

  2. my oldest daughter was raised believing that 'shut up' and 'stupid' were bad words, so I don't doubt that any language making fun of someone might seem like bad language to Jacob.

    1. That's funny because Jacob does say stupid and idiot sometimes, so to him, he's saying a bad word. But if that's it, we're happy.

  3. I spent a big part of my childhood growing up in the UK, so I read *all* of Roald Dahl's books when I was growing up. the ones I remember most are the famous ones like The Witches, The BFG, The Champion, James and the Giant Peach, Fantastic Mr Fox etc, but I vaguely the Twits as well. I don't remember that I particularly enjoyed it, looking back on it, it did seem pretty weird at the time. The thing that most struck me about this book was the beginning when he says that the twits were normal people once, fairly nice-looking, but as they grew meaner and meaner, so did their expressions and the illustrations to accompany the text.. I still remember those pictures very vividly. Didn't they have a nephew that went to live with them as well? You've made me want to check the book out again!! My memory of it is very foggy indeed since I last read it as a young child. Roald Dahl rocks though! Thanks for the info, I didn't know he was possibly on the Spectrum. His books are great!