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The Autism Mom's Survival Guide (for Dads, too!): Creating a Balanced and Happy Life While Raising a Child with Autism Paperback – March 30, 2010


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Frequently Bought Together

The Autism Mom's Survival Guide (for Dads, too!): Creating a Balanced and Happy Life While Raising a Child with Autism + Making Peace with Autism: One Family's Story of Struggle, Discovery, and Unexpected Gifts + Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid: A Survival Guide for Ordinary Parents of Special Children
Price for all three: $37.04

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Trumpeter (March 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590307534
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590307533
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #632,846 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“4 ½ stars out of 5.  Reflects the true experience of autism parents, bravely presenting the painful controversies and issues that crop up when the medical and educational communities fail to provide the support or information needed to make good decisions.  Senator’s prose is intense, sometimes anguished, with occasional glimpses of poetry.  A satisfying book…the stuff of truly gripping memoir.”—About.com


<p class="MsoNormal"> “Exceptional. Reading this was like Senator was holding my hand, leading me through the process, coaching me.  She deftly and graciously addresses the issues of depression, and coping with judgment and criticism.  Senator offers concrete advice for gaining perspective and choosing therapies for our children.”—TeenAutism.com

“Senator's message of a balanced life is valid and empowering at any point in a family's journey with ASD. A great read.”—Library Journal
“This book is undoubtedly one of the best I’ve read on raising a child with autism.  The author has an authentic way of inviting the reader to look at all sides of an issue and gain a broader perspective of what it means to live in a family affected by autism, without ever sounding too clinical, preachy, or victimized.  Senator’s believable writing style, personal experience, and ability to blend the different viewpoints of other parents makes The Autism Mom’s Survival Guide as real as it gets.”—Exceptional Parent

“Did you know that autism parents can choose an identity other than Avenging Warrior or Martyr?  That it is reasonable to aim for happy lives for us and for our children, despite our kids’ challenges?  If this is news to you, then you need to read The Autism Mom’s Survival Guide (For Dads, Too!) ASAP.”—BlogHer.com

The Autism Mom’s Survival Guide is unique among books about autism in that it is not primarily about how to parent an autistic child.  Instead, it is written for the challenged parents themselves, understanding them to be individuals who need to find fun, happiness, validation, and fulfillment now, in the midst of struggle and hardship, in order to be healthy and whole.”—Special Needs Project



“Autism parents should keep this book close by for comfort and reassurance. Professionals will get a glimpse into the daily struggles facing the families that come through their offices. Susan has done us all a real service.”—Eileen Costello, MD, coauthor of Quirky Kids

“This brilliant book offers a wealth of insights and advice on finding personal happiness and contentment while parenting a child with autism.”—Tim Shriver, CEO of Special Olympics

“A life-line. Senator spoke my language, said the things I was afraid to say or even admit to myself.”—Lahnaya, autism blogger 


“Every parent of a child with autism should read this book. It’s honest and hopeful in equal measure, a rare feat in the world of special needs.”—Claire LaZebnik, coauthor of Overcoming Autism

“Senator knows well and writes eloquently about the real journey—both the sorrow and the joy—of being the mother of a boy with autism.”—Karl Taro Greenfield, author of Boy Alone: A Brother’s Memoir


“Susan provides a crisp and practical road map for parents along with links to organizations that provide services and resources.  I love the upbeat tone of the book.  A great addition to the ‘autism parent’s’ bookshelf.”—Laura Shumaker, author of A Regular Guy: Growing Up with Autism

About the Author

Susan Senator is the mother of three boys, the oldest of whom has autism. She is the author of Making Peace with Autism, a memoir of her family’s struggles and triumphs. Her writing on autism has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Boston Globe. She has been featured on the Today Show, CNN, MSNBC, Voice of America, and NPR.
 

More About the Author

Susan Senator is mother of three sons, the oldest of whom has fairly severe autism. Senator is the author of one novel "Dirt: A Story About Gardening, Mothering, and Other Messy Business," and two autism parenting books, "Making Peace With Autism: One Family's Story of Struggle, Discovery, and Unexpected Gifts," and "The Autism Mom's Survival Guide: Creating a Happy and Balanced Life While Raising a Child With Autism." She began her writing career in 1984, as an escape, while working on her Master's Thesis at the University of Pennsylvania. She ultimately wrote four novels, and in 1997 published her first autism parenting article in Exceptional Parent Magazine. This led to many, many articles on various aspects of autism, parenting, and family life in places like The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and The Washington Post, all of which, along with her blog, can be found at susansenator.com. Senator has appeared on the Today Show, CNN, MSNBC, and NPR's Weekend America. She was also a guest at a dinner at the White House in honor of Eunice Kennedy Shriver and Special Olympics, where she met the President. Senator's first book, "Making Peace With Autism," was given the Exceptional Parent Magazine Award of Distinction. Senator's philosophy is that it is certainly possible to have a happy family life even given the difficult context of autism -- it's just not what you might have expected.

Customer Reviews

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GREAT ADVICE columns.
Holly Hoskamer
It is certainly a book that can be appreciated by anyone who is willing to give it a try.
Connecticut Judge
This informative book should be in the library of every autism parent.
MommyRocks

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ed Plunkett on May 7, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Autism Mom's Survival Guide is a necessary book for parents who are struggling to cope with how to function at anything resembling normal where there is an autistic child in the house.

Upbeat and honest, but never condescending or perky. The book manages to be very supportive but keeps an arms length from the dark places autism can take a family. It does offer real, balanced advice from someone who has been and will always be there. She and her husband have three children, one of whom is autistic. Susan is a great guide to have as she leads you through some effective methods of handling the day to day activities with a special needs child.

This is Susan's second book on autism. This is not a sequel though. Her first, Making Peace with Autism, is also worth seeking out.

I found the book to be geared mainly toward autism moms, (although there is plenty for fathers to get from this) who are the true heroes in the struggle to understand this condition.

If you have a child with autism in your life, you may find yourself nodding your head with many of the stories Susan and the parents she writes about have experienced. If you're new, you will find out very quickly what it is like to be a part of an autistic child's family.

Full disclosure: I'm one of the autism parents that were interviewed for this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By MommyRocks on May 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
This informative book should be in the library of every autism parent. It gives useful, practical advice from both the author and other ASD parents on how to survive and thrive as the parent of a child with a very difficult disability. I would also recommend it to educators and grandparents, so that they can get a good feel for the home life and unique challenges of an autism family. It is an excellent companion to the author's first book "Making Peace with Autism".
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Connecticut Judge on May 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
First a disclaimer: I am not the parent of an autistic child.

This new work by Susan Senator, although intended to be of assistance to the parent of autisic children, can be appreciated by anyone. This book is more than just a parenting guide. This book is more than just the story of a parent with an unusual child. This is the story of the personal growth of a remarkable young woman. It is the story of not only accepting the hardships of a particular problem, but of embracing your plight and appreciating all that it is: both good and bad. It is certainly a book that can be appreciated by anyone who is willing to give it a try.

It is also the work of a very gifted writer. Susan Senator takes us into her family to explore how she (and the rest of the family) tackled the everyday adventures of the autistic child. She moves us when she tells us about getting her son a tuxedo for his first "prom" and she intrigues us with her use of belly dancing as an emotional escape. My favorite part is the comparison between the children's game of Candyland with being a parent of an autistic child.

This one is worth a few hours. It is much more than a simple parenting guide.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Wang on March 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
First of all, I want to thank Susan Senator for writing the book that I wish someone could have given me 10 years ago. The book is full of BTDT practical tips and advice for day-to-day coping. Reading the book is like having a long talk with a good friend about the things that really matter in life. The author also interviewed parents all over the country and arranged their ideas in a way that makes sense, all supported by the latest research in autism and special needs parenting. Of course, there are no easy answers on this journey, but the author shows us how to navigate with love and good humor. This book is a great place to start if someone you love has recently (or not so recently) been diagnosed with autism.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Patricia Robinson MFT on July 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
A while back, someone sent me a copy of Susan Senator's The Autism Mom's Survival Guide. Susan Senator is a gifted writer, with a blog as well as an earlier book about raising her autistic son. Susan Senator writes with a personal, honest voice that feels like you're talking with a close friend over a cup of tea.

The Autism Mom's Survival Guide is really all about taking care of yourself at the same time you're taking care of your special needs child, as well as the rest of your family. Senator writes from her own perspective, as well as compiling the advice of other autism parents. For parents who may feel like they're all alone, judged by others and not measuring up, this voice from a community of others in the same situation can be a valuable support.

My favorite part of the book comes when Senator writes in her own voice, as the mother of a now grown autistic child. Her compassion as she looks back on her own young self, raising her small child, was touching, and just what every young mother needs to hear. This book is a gift for all parents of special needs kids, a book to pull out when you feel like no one understands, or that you're all alone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By eileen iseneker on May 12, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having become a huge fan of Susan Senator after reading her first book "Making Peace with Autism"...I was anxiously awaiting the release of this book, and, once again, as an autism parent I have been touched and educated. If you have a child with autism, are friends with or related to a family that has an autistic child, or do any sort of work with autistic children, this is a book you need to get. Raising a family offers many challenges, and those are certainly multiplied when you have an autistic child. This book provides a window into the lives of autism parents and strategies that have helped them cope. Do yourself a favor and get this book, and if you haven't read Susan's first book, pick that up as well. Susan has a wonderful writing style which I absolutely love...she certainly tells it like it is, and her honesty is quite refreshing.
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