3.05.2010

Leaving You Well Informed. But Definitely Leaving.

February ground me into a fine powder, especially the last two weeks. And I was relatively lucky - I did not have pneumonia, nor kids with pneumonia. But I was still operating below capacity, which is why I'm only now passing along this important information about the very best current literary and online resources for autism families:

The lucid and insightful Kyra Anderson, co-editor of the new autism and parenting collection Gravity Pulls You In, recently let me interview her for BlogHer. I cannot stress how valuable I found the collection of "perspectives on parenting children on the autism spectrum," how touched I was by the parents' love for their children, and how much I wish this book had been available when Leelo was first diagnosed. Here's Kyra on why the book needed to be:
"Vicki [Forman] and I started talking about putting together a literary collection of writing about parenting kids on the spectrum where the writing was about autism and wasn't about autism, where the stories transported us to somewhere deeper, somewhere transformative. We thought about how many families were affected by autism and all the people whose lives intersected with theirs: extended family, neighbors, friends, teachers, therapists. We knew we couldn’t be the only ones who'd want to read it."
I am greatly enjoying the privilege (such a privilege) of interviewing strong smart advocates like Kyra, Vicki Forman, Alison Singer, plus Yantra Bertelli, Jen Silverman, and Sarah Talbot for BlogHer, and  hope you enjoy reading what they have to say.

My (and your) next BlogHer interview treat is Susan Senator, who through Making Peace With Autism was the first person to give me permission to focus on Leelo, not just his diagnosis. Susan has a new book coming out at the end of the month, The Autism Mom's Survival Guide. It is another much-needed dose of positivity for autism parents. If you have questions for Susan, please leave them in the comments and I'll do my best to incorporate them into the interview.

As long as we're talking about the very best literary resources for parents of kids with autism, I have to plug Bertelli's, Silverman's, and Talbot's My Baby Rides the Short Bus, and not just because it includes a story of mine. Though My Baby Rides the Short Bus focuses on all kinds of quirky kids, not just those with autism, its stark honesty and examples of advocacy in action complement Gravity Pulls You In's love and grace and The Autism Mom's Survival Guide's cultivated positivity. (Bonus: Jennyalice and I are going to be reading our stories from MBRTSB next week, in San Francisco. Please come!)

I recommend all three books as a set, for anyone who loves or works with a person with autism, but especially for parents of children with a new diagnosis.

Another resource for autism parents and families is the latest issue of Disability Studies Quarterly, which focuses on autism and neurodiversity. The list of contributors is impressive, and includes my friends Susan Etlinger and Kristina Chew. Please pass it on to anyone who needs a good autism resource now, or while their (your) three books above are on order.

I'll tell you what else is helpful for autism parents (or indeed any parents): taking a break. I'm hightailing it out of town this weekend, and I'm dragging two autism mom friends with me. Two very smart, sexy, also extremely tired autism mom friends. We're roadtripping to Los Angeles. We're staying at the damn Beverly Hilton (super discount mojo FTW!). We're going to my brother-in-law's amazing new restaurant in Culver City, and we're meeting three other smart sexy friends there. We'll go see museums. We may see tar pits. I suspect there will be as much sleeping as drunk tweeting. But I'm not taking any autism books with me, no matter how fantastic.

8 comments:

  1. You go girl Have a blast! Hoist one for me.

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  2. Giggling with excitement...Also trying to figure out how to become smart and sexy within the next 36 hours.

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  3. now THAT sounds amazingly fun and freeeeeeeeeeeeee!

    have a stupendous time!

    i've got my AMSG and MBRTSB on order.

    i raise my glass to you and all the amazing autism moms out there!

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  4. You go have fun! AND enjoy every moment of it!

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  5. Rebecca5:04 PM

    Whew, when I read your title, I though you might stop blogging,what I relief to know you just need a much needed and deserved break!

    I feel the same, tonight my husb and I are on our way out to dinner, we finally found a respite worker we and our kids love. And sunday my husb is taking the kids to his parents place for the day and I will be home all alone!!!!!!! Ah, silence is golden.

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  6. Have fun, girlfriends! You deserve a break.

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  7. We are having the best time ever! Having the best discussions and learning so much from each other. Susan didn't steal Jen's covers last night (though I'm sleeping with Jen tonight and can make no such guarantee). And dinner tonight with Vicki & TC & my SIL ... we're so grateful for this mini-alternate-reality vacation. :)

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  8. I had a bit of a panic too, thinking you were going to stop blogging. Whew!

    Glad you are having fun on a much-needed break. :)

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Respectful disagreement encouraged.

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