Saturday, February 12, 2011

Review - A Regular Guy: Growing Up With Autism

Most of you know that my sweet son has special needs.  He has Sensory Processing Disorder which in many ways is similar to Autism.  He is an amazing boy, and it is quite an adventure parenting him!  When Laura Shumaker, the author of "A Regular Guy:  Growing Up With Autism" offered me the chance to review her book, you know I jumped at the chance!

From Laura's website , "This is not a book about a young man with a disability, but rather a story of love, adaptation, and acceptance." 

I loved this book, and identified with so many of the things the author and her family experienced.  The author takes you on the journey  from the birth of her son, the struggle of knowing something isn't right and trying to find a diagnosis, to raising a child with Autism.  She artfully shares how raising a child with special needs impacts the whole family.

What I loved about this book, is Laura didn't hold back.  She shared with us the overwhelming emotions that come with raising a child who's not a "regular guy".  The book brought me to tears at times as I knew exactly what she was feeling because I'd experienced it myself.  I understand the constant supervision, and the apologies and explanations, those "looks" from people that just don't understand, and even the feelings of isolation.

One of my favorite parts of the book is reading about the interaction of her sons.  All her sons love one another, and even though it was difficult (there's an understatement) having a brother with Autism, that love never failed.  I watch my daughter interact with my son and they have an incredible bond.  Now I'm not saying they don't know just how to push each other's buttons, and go around constantly pushing them... but I know my daughter is growing into a mature, loving, compassionate young lady because she has a brother with special needs.  She is one of his biggest allies and fiercest protectors.

I highly recommend this book.  It gives you a glimpse into the lives of families that grow up with Autism.  It would be a wonderful resource for anyone who is touched by Autism, or anyone with special needs, through schools, or church, or community.  I believe it will help you understand and be more understanding.

Thanks Laura for sharing your experiences and your wonderful son with us!  Now, if you'll excuse me... my son wants to talk about fighter planes... again.

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