Reasons to be Grateful 16

I have put off doing my gratitude post this week hoping for something that makes me grateful.  Today I learned a preliminary MRI report indicates my brother’s cancer has not spread, so it hopefully is curable.  I am grateful for this and for my three brothers.  Yes, I am the baby.

Tonight I watched part of “The Kennedys” mini-series.  I am grateful that frontal lobotomies are no longer routinely done.  I am grateful that children are no longer institutionalized due to mental challenges.  I would still like to see more changes in the way people treat those with any differences, and I am hopeful that we will see more changes.

I mentioned my dream for the future in one of my December posts.  You can read it here. The last few weeks this has been constantly on my mind.  I want to see a world where people really understand how autism spectrum affects every aspect of life and how severe bullying along with being  misunderstood can cause problems even years later.

I dream of the day that children on the spectrum who are experiencing sensory overload or anxiety get the same level of support from their peers, teachers, counselors, principals, and everyone involved in their life as a child undergoing chemotherapy gets.  I hope and pray that day will come.  I am so tired of trying to explain to people how important this is, but I am grateful that at least more people listen now than they did four years ago.

I hope many of you will sign up for at least one book give away from Help! S-O-S for Parenting during the Book Review and Give Away for Autism Awareness for the April fifteenth Best-of-Best Series. The more people understand our precious children the better.  See my previous posts for more details.

Insightful Book Giveaway for Autism Awareness 28

I reviewed The Uncharted Path: My Journey with Late-Diagnosed Autism by Rachel B. Cohen-Rottenberg.

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Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg’s book is an insightful gem that gives us glimpses into her life from early childhood to adulthood showing decades of struggles before she is diagnosed. She survives her possibly, autistic father’s harsh, abusive temper and her mother’s controlling ways. Elementary school’s social challenges are overcome by the game of baseball and being a “tough tomboy.” High school is harder as she sees herself “outside the social bubble,” yet again, until she finds her niche. This time it is her gift for music along with the ability to mimic others that saves her. Rachel acknowledges that analyzing social situations and figuring out human motivations has become a favorite pastime that along with list making is a survival strategy.

She continues to use these strategies through her college and graduate school years where she develops severe insomnia. She manages this with medication and Rachel goes on to have a successful career as a technical writer. She meets her first husband at a company softball game; they marry two years later. Rachel joyfully becomes a mother two years after this. Once again her organized lists and determination help her be a good parent while working around an inability to take part in loud and crowded activities with her daughter. Rachel continues to do well even homeschooling her daughter while working from home.

However, the effort it takes to overcome abuse from her childhood, ignore her sensory issues, and work at social situations finally takes its toll a few years after she divorces and remarries. Increased sensitivity to her environment causes a temporary home bound status while she and her husband strategize to find solutions. Rachel’s determination again pulls her through this, and she finally reaches a place of acceptance of who she is and becomes an advocate and inspiration for those on the autism spectrum.

Giveaway:

The winner will receive a copy of The Uncharted Path: My Journey with Late-Diagnosed Autism by Rachel B. Cohen-Rottenberg.

The book is available from Amazon.com.

Due to postal charges only United States residents may enter this contest.

Rules for Entries:

  1. You may leave a respectful comment on this post for one entry.
  2. Starting on April 15, 2010, you may mention this post and S-O-S Best of Best Book Reviews and Giveaways http://tinyurl.com/3pzn135 on Twitter and either include @dswalkerauthor in the mention or send me a message proving you did this for two entries.
  3. You may like my Facebook Page, Delightfully Different and mention S-O-S Best of Best Book Reviews and Giveaways begins April 15th at Help! S-O-S for Parents while indicating your interest in this book for two entries.
  4. Post comments at all three sites to receive ten entries into the random drawing.
  5. All entries must take place before 12 midnight Hawaii Standard Time on April 30, 2011 to be eligible to win.
  6. At least one of your comments must include an active e-mail address so I can contact you if you win.
  7. If I do not have a way to contact you or I do not hear back from you within three days, you will forfeit your win and another winner will be chosen.
  8. The winner will be announced on May 2, 2011.

As soon as the winner’s information is received, I will email their information to Rachel B. Cohen-Rottenberg, who agreed to donate a copy of her book and mail it to the winner.

Disclosure/Disclaimer: I reviewed this book from a copy I purchased through Amazon.com.  No compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about the book!

Thank you to all those who entered this contest.  The winner is Melody of Life’s Twisted Stitches!  Melody I sent you an e-mail tonight.  Please respond with your mailing address before May 5, 2011 to claim your prize. 

Trust Is a Fragile Thing 14

Every Child Deserves Acceptance and Love

This is a picture of my innocent child with her grandfather in a shared moment of happiness.  She did not get to know her wonderful grandfather because this was his last birthday.  This child like every child on earth deserves understanding, acceptance, and love.

How Do You Recover Lost Trust?

Two days ago the Word Press post-a-day topic was a question.  “How do you recover lost trust?”  The bonus promote was:  “If someone lets you down or betrays you, how do you learn to forgive?  And can you possibly learn to trust them again?  Why or why not?”

I have repeatedly mentioned that I believe in forgiveness.  I have explained why in prior posts so I am not going to repeat myself today.  You can click Forgiveness and Gratitude from the menu at the top of this page for more information. However, I do want you to understand that I too still struggle with forgiveness as my child still struggles with the effects of being misunderstood and with the effects of past bullying.

One of the effects is lost trust. My child lost trust in doctors because doctors misdiagnosed her when she had classic traits of Asperger’s and  sensory sensitivities from the time she was a toddler. We took her to these doctors. We listened to their poor advice before I finally said enough and took her for a full evaluation with a neuropsychologist where we first heard the word Asperger’s.

More Trust Lost

Our family was just starting to mend when bullies made things worse. This resulted in more lost trust as we had to force her to go to school on the advice of the school and the psychologist. We tried to convince her to switch schools the following year; however, Asperger’s makes change difficult and we did not insist because the school worked with us.

Prayers and Education

I pray everyday for help to forgive those who hurt my child. I am not sure how to get trust back, but I believe forgiveness will help. This is why I wrote the book. That is why it is so important to educate others.

Please help me educate others so no more sweet innocent children are misunderstood or mistreated.

Addendum

My daughter left the school of her dreams after this publication when an English teacher single-handedly decided that my daughter was too “high functioning” to have Asperger’s. This same teacher reported my daughter as a disciplinary problem when she missed school due to sinus infections with laryngitis brought on by stress.

This was while the school counselor and I were trying to help my daughter with issues related to the long-term effects of bullying and still having to deal with those involved. The combination of the teacher’s attitude and the other things she was dealing with caused my daughter to shut down. Yet, she managed to bravely tell the school dean of her decision to withdraw from the school due to their failures. You can read about it here: Gratitude for Inspiring Daughter. That was almost two years ago and during that time I have helped my daughter with symptoms of PTSD while working to forgive all the people who failed her including us.

She is on the mend and dreams of going away to college to escape Oahu and start fresh. You can help her accomplish this goal by sharing our story and purchasing my novel. Right now her dream college is out of our budget. BTW We live on an island in the middle of the Pacific, so the only way she can go away is to pay out-of-state tuition.

Letters to Turn the White House Blue 5

What do you think would happen if everyone who blogs about autism spectrum related issues or who reads about it sent a letter to President Obama asking him to do this for two nights?  The nights are April 1, 2011 and  April 2, 2011 in honor of World Autism Awareness Day on April 2, 2011.  I’m not sure where the idea started.  I first saw it on Facebook.  It might have originated at the Word Press site, Light the White House Blue for Autism. Yesterday I saw a post from Ms. Sergeant Major after AK Butler Try Defying Gravity brought it to my attention.  This inspired me to write my letter which I am posting below.  It is easy to contact the White House if you feel inspired to help too.

Mr. President,

I want you to know that I do appreciate the efforts you have made to help shine the light on bullying as my child on the autism spectrum was also a victim of bullying.  Therefore both of these issues are very dear to my heart.

My daughter’s autistic traits were there when she was a baby, but they went unnoticed until she entered school and even then she did not get the correct diagnosis until she was ten. Our experiences prompted me to write a short novel to educate others about girls on the spectrum in hopes of teaching tolerance of differences. I am asking you to please help me to get the word out by turning the White House blue on April 2, 2011 to shine awareness on Autism in hopes that this light will help someone else avoid our fate.

Mahalo for your help,

D. S. Walker