Thank you for having the courage and taking the time to share your story! It is very emotional to read. As a parent, I can relate to so many parts of this story, even though no one in my immediate family has autism. And I feel that I have a deeper understanding of the experiences of individuals with autism and their families. I love how your story is told from so many perspectives. I learned the most from Chapter 38. It shows me that autism is trulya lifelong journey even when so much work and progress has been made. Thank you for teaching me.
I was fortunate enough to read an incredible story by the family of someone I am familiar with. The book is a true insight into the life an someone with Autism (Lindsey) and her family.
A little back story before I write what I thought of the book. As many of you know, when Alex was given the label of a child with autism, he refused to accept it. He denied he had autism and didn't even want the word used in his presence. Nothing we did could get him to understand it wasn't a bad thing, that it just meant that he would have to learn things differently. For years we struggled with his inability to accept a great part of who he is. That was until the third grade, when he was introduced to a wonderful young lady named Lindsey Moreland and her Aunt Linda Wagner.
I could go on and on about Linda, but for this post I want to concentrate on Lindsey for this blog. Lindsey has autism, has over come many challenges, and has shown many that a label of autism doesn't define who a person is.
When Alex entered thee 3rd grade, he got the privilege of being in Mrs.Wagner's class. I soon realized she was more than just a teacher. Within days of Alex starting the 3rd grade, Lindsey came to the class and spoke about who she was. When she announced she had autism and was going to school to become a teacher, something clicked with Alex. After school I received a class from Linda telling me that she saw an immediate change in Alex. He sat up taller and was paying very close attention to what Lindsey was saying. Then when the kids went to work at stations, Lindsey made her way to Alex and the started talking.
From there Alex connected with Lindsey in a way that I never thought he could bond with anyone outside our family. He opened up in ways I had dreamed of, but didn't expect to ever see. He started to ask questions about autism and rather or not certain things he does is because of it. Being able to sit down with my son and talk to him about autism was a moment I will always remember and be grateful for.
Now for the book by Lindsey and her family. I had looked forward to reading it since I heard it was being written. It was better than I could have expected because it was truly honest. That is the problem with many books about autism and families you live it, they are sugar coated and don't show how autism effects not only the individual with autism, but the family as well. In Lindsey's story, her mother, father, sister, and grandmother each explain from their perspective. It doesn't flow like many prefer a book to flow, but that is another reason it makes it so special because that is how those who live with autism often see things. Going with the flow can be difficult.
One of my favorite chapters is 38 because it shows how when those with autism are discombobulated it is very difficult for them to do what comes easily for them at other times.
But what I think people should take away from this story is more than just hope. Honesty doesn't make you a bad person, it makes you a real person. Also, autism is not a disability, but an ability to do things differently, see things differently, experience things differently, and an ability to reach others in ways that someone who doesn't have autism can.
Lindsey wants to change how people see autism... in my opinion, she has done so and so much more. If someone can change one person's viewpoint, that person can then change someone else. For me, she changed my son. What better way to reach others than to help someone who is walking down a similar road but refuses to accept something that is such a keep part of who they are? If those with autism can't accept who they are, how are others to change their negative view? Lindsey, rather she knows it or not has a voice and a talent to reach not only those outside the autism community, but those within it who struggled like she did.
Autism: A Family Lives Beyond the Label - The Lindsey Moreland Story is inspirational, encouraging and gives hope to any child or adult with autism and their family! It also shows the circle of love and compassion surrounding Lindsey and her family through the never ending support of family, friends, educators and service providers lifting her up to be all she can be. Lindsey and her family’s story of extreme challenges has risen to greater depths of hope!
I loved that we got to hear the different stories from each family member in addition to Lindsey. Thank you for giving us hope.