Miracle Milestones is a saga of life, with its ups and downs. It is
a story of love, hope and acceptance of the unusual as "normal."
The mother writes the family's own history of how they survive and
what they are living through in the unfoldment process of
discovering one child has autism, another born with cystic fibrosis
and another son has asthma. After ten years, they have adjusted to
their "normal" daily lives now, having experienced so much pain and
insecurity, yet they have found no cures. Despite all the anguish
of a life filled with disappointments, life can have many rewards.
This story is about decisions, toughness and support in the care of
a child with autism. Unlike many books, this one is without an
ending as Taylor, an autistic boy, is still very young.
Taylor has made progress and is a special person, but the general
population does not know how to relate and communicate with him.
All people can better understand this illness where the child
appears to be perfectly normal, but can't understand what you are
saying. This book can help the people directly affected by autism.
It will also enable the grandparent, the aunt, the close friend and
the neighbor understand the complexity of this disorder and better
comprehend how daily life works and impacts on the family, much
more general information is given from other sources. The
co-author, a writer who initially knew nothing about autism,
provides the more general questions that outsiders have and reacts.
Amazingly, the number of children with autism has been on the
increase, some say even as many as 1 in 500.
Our hope is that others may benefit from this real family's
experiences of pushing through problems, despair and shattered
dreams and gain strength from their humanness. We hope our book
helps people find inspiration, comfort and hope to get past fears
of making it through the bleak circumstances of life filled with
constant vulnerability and change. It is possible to live one day
at a time and find the joys in the small miracles.
This book is written for the lay reader in a conversational style
which makes it accessible to a general audience. It is unique in
that it is written in the voice of a member of the extended family,
while also presenting the point of view of the mother of a child
with autism in a series of email excerpts. In many ways, this is a
typical story of a child with autism: the early months when
everything seemed fine, the delay in language development, parental
denial that something was wrong, the search for a diagnosis, and
the confusing ups and downs of development which so characterize
autistic spectrum disorders. Especially useful is that the child's
progress is clearly presented as resulting from a lot of hard work
on the part of parents, professionals and the child himself. This
is not the story of a miracle - it is much truer than that. It is a
fine-grained tale of the realities of life with a child who has a
challenging and puzzling disorder, but who is still his unique,
loveable self. Parents of children with autistic spectrum disorders
will recognize themselves and their families in these pages.
Dr. Elizabeth Seagull, Pediatric Psychologist, Professor Emeritus
Michigan State University.
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