One of those people is Pamela Bryson-Weaver. Two of her three children have special needs: John, her youngest son, has autism and Joshua, her eldest son, has Tourette's and ADHD. As a mother of an autistic child, she set out to learn as much as she could about this condition. That moved her from just a mom trying to help her son to becoming a parent advocate and a go-to mom on autism. Her sage advice, wisdom, knowledge, and expertise as an advocate for autism, speaker on autism, head of non-profits, and now an author on autism, led her to want to share her knowledge and understanding of autism and its affect on families.
As part of her ongoing efforts to help, she offers Living autism day.by.day: Daily Reflections & Strategies to Give You Hope and Courage. Freedom Abound Press published this book for the express purpose of supporting parents and caregivers dealing with autism spectrum disorders day in and day out.
A share of the proceeds from book sales will go to a resourceful new website--LivingAutismNow.com--which offers FREE membership.
I had a chance to interview Pamela to learn more.
Why did you write this book?
This book is dedicated to individuals who are still in the verge of accepting autism in their midst. I’ve been on the same road once and would wish to impart my wisdom to my readers on the roller-coaster autism ride. Having a child or a member in the family diagnosed with autism can be an overwhelming feeling, and often, they face a plethora of emotion which sometimes can be confusing, overwhelming and overpowering. Living Autism Day.by.Day hopes to bring them courage to face the inevitable, hope for blessings that come with this predicament, and enough love for acceptance.
What sets it apart from other autism-focused books?
Most autism books I’ve read in the market are focused on the negative signs, of treatments and therapies, of “curing”, and of accepting the diagnosis without coming to terms with the emotions and apprehensions that usually come with it. Terms used on these books can also be difficult to understand. My book, however, is written in an easy-to-understand language, in a unique journal-like 5-minute a day read. It addresses the harsh realities of autism encountered by a parent, a caregiver, a family member, or a friend by giving them a way to cope and an eye-opener for the blessings that lies beneath.
What things do caregivers need to know when faced with a diagnosis of autism?
It cannot be denied that having someone you love diagnosed with autism will feel like being punched in the gut—real hard! But, often, we are so focused with its challenges, burdens, expenses, and other negative aspects that make it even more overwhelming as it is. It is in knowing what to do and how to address the overwhelming layers of emotions and the ambiguity of expectations that come with each diagnosis that will help pave the way for family members and caregivers to gain more insights leading to more profound awareness and full acceptance of this unique disorder.
How can friends and family members support parents of kids with autism?
Having someone who holds your hands and offers a shoulder to cry on or even an ear to listen when the going gets tough can be reassuring. More than ever, their understanding and support is a much-needed respite for parents or families who have just gone through the ordeal of being told that their child or brother/sister has autism.
I, as an autism advocate and a Mom who had gone through that winding path, offer not just my wisdom via my book but also through a free website--- www. livingautismnow.com. This free website provides the best available resources, information and services that these families need. It is also meant to create a community for support and empowerment.