"This is a great book to obtain a firsthand look at what parents and caregivers experience in their journey with autistic children. The author's style is very readable and she evokes tremendous empathy and understanding from the reader. The many struggles are interwoven with funny, lighthearted vignettes as well. Thoroughly enjoyed reading this!" C. Pearce "The wonderful thing about this book, I think, is that it shows how the patience and the everyday common sense of caretakers can make a big difference in the ability of an autistic child to live a satisfying life. I understand that all autistic children are different, and that what works for one might not work for another one. But this book shows that sophisticated educational techniques are sometimes not needed: a loving, caring person can be a big help just by listening to the child, and figuring out ways of helping." juki654 "The book is well written and easy to read. It lets us know, what people who live or work with autistic children go through. I knew it wasn't easy, but this book really made you understand the life of an autistic child & their family. A must read for anyone who knows or deals with an autistic child." Lynne "Going into this book I felt I probably had an average amount of knowledge about children with special needs, including autism, though I've never really been around special-needs children or adults much in my 50+ years. By the end of the book, I realize how clueless I actually have been, both in what these children are going through, as well as the difficult journeys of the people who love them. After reading this journal with its well-written, honest and heartfelt insight into the ups and downs of life with this little sweetheart, I realize that while I've been working on becoming a more patient and tolerant person, I should have been spending the time becoming a more empathetic and understanding one and that patience and tolerance would have been second nature. What a great read this was, as well as a wonderful learning experience, and I'm looking forward to the sequel!" Ruth
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
May 11, 2010 Marlee told me a funny story today about something Reagan did a little while ago. Reagan has a fascination with powders. A few months ago, baby powder was the most coveted item. She would look for it all over the house and turn containers upside down, powder pouring out of them, wherever they were found. There was a fine layer of baby powder all over the house. With six bathrooms, and a little girl who’s been in diapers for more than seven years, there were at least ten containers of baby powder in the house. By the time Reagan had finished emptying containers, there was baby powder on the furniture, in the carpets, and even in her hair! I spent days vacuuming up the fine dust, even finding it in the lint trap in the dryer and air conditioner filter. It took days, and all five of the household’s vacuum cleaners, but I finally managed to rid the house of its chalky layer. Then last week, icing sugar became the newest fad in Reagan’s ongoing love for household powders. At breakfast, we give Reagan a choice between syrup or powdered sugar on her waffles. Every morning, Reagan watches as either Marlee or I reach a spoon into a large bag of powdered sugar and sprinkle her waffles with its powder. On one particular morning last week, Marlee walked into the kitchen to find that Reagan had emptied the whole bag of icing sugar on top of her stuffed animals. “Kind of snowing outside!” she exclaimed, marveling in her skilled pronunciation. For Reagan, who struggled with speech for so long, her independent ability to express herself is still remarkable for us all. Marlee surveyed the room – stuffed animals were caked with a thick, sticky layer of icing sugar. Reagan’s hands and face were covered with a fine dusting. And the table and floor were a pasty, gooey disaster. Marlee was furious. Not knowing what else to do, she picked up the stuffed animals and threw them onto the front porch outside. Once the kitchen was cleaned up, Marlee looked outside to the animals. They were coated in a gummy paste of snowy sugar, but she just couldn’t bear the idea of throwing them in the garbage. Some of these toys are Reagan’s favorites and she loves them dearly. Instead of being thrown out, Reagan’s filthy, sticky animals have been hidden away in the bathroom waiting to be cleaned for weeks. They will get cleaned up and returned to Reagan’s possession soon enough, waiting for another “kind of snowy day” to come along. But, in the meantime, I will smile every time I think of our little girl beaming at her ability to express her imaginative play to Marlee, and anyone else who will listen.