A while back, I announced that I was releasing my first book, I Am An Autism Parent. Well, it’s finally here! I’ve spent much of the last year working on this book, and I’m happy to finally get to share it with you.
It’s available now on the I Am An Autism Parent web site or via the signup form at the bottom of this post. It’s free; all you have to do is sign up to get it. (For those of you with quick trigger fingers, if the site still says the book is coming soon, just ignore it.)
The obvious question is why spend that much of your life writing a book? My answer is pretty straightforward.
I’ve seen a lot of fear in the eyes of so many autism parents, including my own. I believe with all my heart that we are stronger than those fears and the challenges we each face, but I know convincing ourselves of that is another story.
We build our strength by claiming both our identity as autism parents and this journey we are on. I Am An Autism Parent is in many ways a statement of faith, the story of the parent I am trying to become.
To tell you the truth, I’m tired of all the negative language about autism. It would be dishonest to say that this journey isn’t challenging, but it’s also a pathway to discovering joy, beauty, wonder, and just how awesome your child is. I set out to write I Am An Autism Parent as a way of helping us all find renewal and open our eyes to all this possibility.
This book also is at one level an experiment. I’ve been searching for the last year for some way to respond to all the fear, shaky hope, exhaustion, and loneliness that is part of the lives of so many autism parents. Our children are certainly not at any fault here, and neither is autism itself. We struggle because often we are ill-equipped and ill-prepared for the challenges we face on this journey. We struggle because the stakes are infinitely high. These are our children after all.
When your child receives an autism diagnosis, we don’t get a manual. We make it up as we go along. We give it everything we have because this is about our beloved children. We don’t want to fail them, but we often feel like that’s exactly what we’re doing. We feel like we’re never able to do enough, like we’ll never be enough.
I wrote this book as a way of supporting and encouraging other autism parents and to help you discover the strength that already lives within you. We don’t need to sugarcoat our lives, but we simply can’t survive drowning in all the negativity we easily find around us. We have to be honest about the challenges, but we can become stronger than the challenges are hard, and we can be open to all the possibilities our futures have in store for us.
So, why am I giving I Am An Autism Parent away? Three main reasons:
- I believe in what I’ve written. If the feedback I’ve received so far is any indication, this book will make a difference to autism parents. Because of that, I want as many parents as possible to have access to it.
- I focused much of my work on parents whose children have recently received a diagnosis. I know how terrified I was then, and I want to reach out and support those parents. This is the best way I know to do that.
- Like I said, this is an experiment. My foremost goal is to help other autism parents discover how to bring forth the best within themselves. This is how we’ll overcome the variety of challenges we each face and grow to be the kind of parent we want to be for our children.
Our mission as autism parents is to help our children grow into the fullest expressions of themselves. To do that, we need to bring the very best of who we are to this journey. If I Am An Autism Parent helps even a few parents achieve this, then I will be grateful for the opportunity I’ve had this year to write it.
As I said, I Am An Autism Parent is available as a free, downloadable PDF at http://www.IAmAnAutismParent.com or via the signup form below. You should be able to read it on a number of tablet devices and your computer. It’s probably a bit long to be printed out, but you are welcome to do so. And, of course, by all means share it with other parents!
I’d love your feedback on it. Just e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I may not be able to respond, but I do read every message that comes in.
Thank you to everyone who has supported me on this project. You are each gifts to me. May the words in the book encourage others as you have done for me.