Monday, June 11, 2007

Why I Wrote A Book

This book is my effort to “pay it forward.” We are one of the lucky ones - we were able to get top-notch evaluations, therapy, and biomedical treatments in our area.

Children with Autism are my favorite people. After all, my son is one of them! My wish is for all parents out there to find answers for their child. So, I felt the desire to share my learning with others with the hope it contributes toward their success.

When my son became almost indistinguishable from typicals, I wrote an article and submitted it to one of the top parenting magazines. I was so excited to share the news! I wanted everyone to know that recovery was possible, and that there were answers out there. There are ways to address these social deficits!

The magazine wanted to run the article, but required real names and real photos of my son. They didn’t understand that we couldn’t do that because my son would then live with a stigma and not be judged as an individual on his own merit. I had no choice but to put my son first and decline.

Because I was so frustrated, I posted our timeline from birth to diagnoses, and later recovery, using an alias at Never would I have guessed that within a couple years, my website ranked #1 on the Google “Autism recovery” -- search page.

Although it was great that the info was getting out there, it saddened me that this information wasn’t coming from the American Academy of Pediatrics or the National Institute of Health. In fact, the majority of the top websites ranked for the keywords “Autism recovery” are also parents like myself.

As my website gained popularity, I suddenly found myself returning emails from fellow parents with questions about our experiences. I began to see that the same questions were being asked. I collected those answers which became the book you are now reading. This book is an extension to the website.

It has been eight years since my online life began. The good news is there are so many recovered kids and kids making huge gains! Autism awareness has tipped to mainstream thanks to Autism Speaks, Jenny McCarthy, and all of our hard-working Autism practitioners and parent advocates that put themselves out there day after day.

I hope High Functioning Autism: Advice From A Mom, From Diagnosis to Recovery is helpful to you. The book cover and table of contents are posted here on the right side of this homepage for your review.

I wish you all the best in maximizing the potential for your children. Ashley