If you haven’t read Wit & Wisdom from the Parents of Special Needs Kids: Mostly True Stories of Life on the Spectrum yet, today I’ll give you some reasons to check it out.
I asked my friend Penny over at Growing up Homeschooled if she’d review it for me. She has a daughter with autism. I wanted her perspective. She said, “Sure!” so I mailed her a copy. Here’s a snippet from her review:
When the book arrived, I had the sensation that something big was about to happen in my life.
I waited until the children were in bed to open the book and read.
You can read the rest of her review here.
Author and new-friend Bobbi Sheahan happily agreed to review Wit & Wisdom as well. Here’s a bit from her review:
What a great idea for a book, and well done! Editor Lynn Hudoba brought together dozens of bloggers who are parents of kids with autism and turned them loose. Reading Wit and Wisdom was like settling down with a cup of coffee and a roomful of friends. It was also a great introduction to some really great writing. I can tell I’m going to be addicted to some new blogs.
You can read the rest of her review on Amazon here.
There are over forty contributors to Wit & Wisdom. None of us had read what the others had written until we got our own copies in print. I laughed. I cried. I nodded my head a whole ton. The variety of writing reminds me of the spectrum our children share–a spectrum, each one different.
The one that affected me the most was titled “Similar.” Of course I cried. I can’t even place my finger on why it made me cry. Spectrummy Mummy wrote:
I notice the girl spinning as we first enter the park. There are two of these spinners at this playground, and they are part of the reason why I’d brought Pudding, my 4 year-old aspie, and her brother to play here. It is a multi-sensory delight, with sand and wood chips, things to climb, places to hide, swing, and, of course, spin. Pudding ran immediately to the unoccupied one. The other girl was spinning at great speed, and not getting dizzy. I smiled at the mother hanging close by, waiting to be needed. That was familiar.
…With my two occupied, I’m at liberty to observe the girl now, who is no longer spinning. She is older than Pudding. Her language seems good as she talks to her mother, but she makes no effort to speak with the other kids playing nearby. She is content filling a bucket with sand, dumping it out, and repeating the process. Before long, her mother sits down and encourages her to make actual sandcastles, like I knew she would. That was familiar too.
I sit down and take advantage of a moment’s peace to quickly send their father an email. . . .My device catches the girl’s eye, and she comes bounding over. She doesn’t look at me. She is far too close, completely unaware of the boundaries of personal space. All too familiar. I smile at her, and ask if she’d like to look. Impulsively, she touches the screen. Her mother comes running up and apologizes. I tell her there is no need; my own kids touch it all the time. She needs to learn, insists the mother. So familiar.
She continues the scenario, relaying how she ventures into using spectrum terms like hyperlexic and pragmatic language to let the other mom know she understood. They have an instant bond. “I see the realization dawn on her that I am an affiliate of the autism mothers club.”
I think that’s when I cried. Realizing again that I, too, am an affiliate. Another moment of grief. But some grief was for the other moms in the affiliation.
But I’m also thankful for those moms. And that’s why you should read the rest of Spectrummy Mummy’s story and the others in Wit & Wisdom. It would make a great Christmas present for any parents you know with autism spectrum children. You can find it here on Amazon.
Are you part of the affiliation? Do you recognize other members when you’re out and about?