I don't read "autism books". Having spent every day of the past five years dealing with autism, thinking about autism, living with autism, the last thing I want to do in my free time is read about autism. However, as with everything in life, there are a few exceptions. I do take the time to read medically based books if they come with strong recommendations from my fellow moms dealing with the A word. The other exception is books with a sense of humor. First and foremost among those was Jenny McCarthy's Louder than Words. It blew me away and when I passed it on to my in-laws in completely changed our relationship. They suddenly understood better what I was dealing with on a day to day basis. The challenges and fears that accompany parenting a child you can never begin to understand.
But then there are those people who I can't even begin to fathom what they have to deal with on a day to day basis. Those that whenever I feel sorry for myself I say, "Hey, at least it's as bad as ___________" Today, I want to introduce you to one of those amazing warrior moms who I fill in the blank with. Kim Stagliano has not one, not two, but THREE kids with autism. And three girls to boot. Normally when someone tells me they have three daughters, me, mother of 3 sons, jokingly says, "I'm so sorry." But can you imagine? Three sets of raging girl hormones. And autism to boot. Good Lord!
Kim has shared her journey in a fantastic new book, All I Can Handle: I'm No Mother Teresa (A Life Raising Three Daughters With Autism). I've often flirted with idea of doing a talk or presentation on "The Lighter Side of Autism" or something along those lines. Kim does something similar in her new book. You will laugh along as she describes her dirty little Howard Stern secret. You will cringe as you travel the painful path with her of missed signs. You will experience the frustration of "normal" test results, well-meaning but clueless friends & families, undertrained teachers and a myriad of other experiences.
If you are an autism parent like me, a parent of 3 kids (also like me), someone who is dealing with job insecurities and relocations (yup, we are three for three) or just someone who enjoys a slice of life look at a life less typical, you are sure to enjoy All I Can Handle.
I just realized I keep calling Ms. Stagliano by her first name, Kim, but that's because after reading her book, her blog, her website and being facebook friends for the last few months I feel as if I know her. Not only do I know her, but I like her too. And apparently she likes me a bit as well. Why? Because she gave me a copy of her book to give away to one of you!
Just leave a comment to this post, be sure to give me a way to get in touch with you, and on November 13th (Sparky's 40th birthday!) I will announce a winner. No special requirements, but I would love it if you would hit up one of Kim's sites and give her some love. Because she is no Mother Teresa, but she is a fellow autism mom and we could all use a little more love in our lives.