Love, tears & autism
By Cecily Patterson
Ark House Press, 2011
How do we face the challenges that life throws our way? Where do we draw our strength?
Some of my best friends have daughters or sons with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) so I was very interested in this easy to read Australian book. I was riveted by the story of this mother as she describes the highs and lows of her journey. She writes with bravery and breathtaking honesty about the physical, spiritual and emotional challenges she dealt with after her son Cameron was diagnosed with autism.
She describes the process of getting a diagnosis, the search for information and help, the therapy they chose, how her family coped with it all and how she struggles to adjust to the unimagined twists and turns of her life.
The chapters are interspersed with short reflections on a relevant matter. The content of these reflections covers familiar territory for families of children with disability, for example “How other people react”, “Labels” and “How much can you cope with?” Reading about this is instructive for us all. They also focus on ASD-specific topics, including specific treatment approaches like The Relationship Development Intervention Program. The book provides resources for the reader to follow up.
Cecily’s book is not just for families of children with autism. It is for us all. This story is one of isolation and desperation, persistence and inner strength, acceptance and love. It gives us insight into the daily struggles of many families. This is also the story of Cecily’s profound faith and her relationship with God.