Got a kid (or an adult son or daughter) on the autism spectrum? Got a few minutes? (Ya–I know–that’s all you’ve got.) Read and relish any of the essays or poems from Gravity Pulls You In–Perspectives on Parenting Children on the Autism Spectrum, edited by Kyra Anderson and Vicki Forman (Woodbine House).
I read this book in a hospital waiting room–waiting to visit my dad. While I read, I alternately smirked, laughed out loud and got teary. But among the stressed out souls in the critical care unit, nobody even noticed.
I loved this book. Unlike many essay collections, the writing doesn’t try to be uplifting, inspirational or transformational. (Although sometimes it is!) Instead, articulate thoughtful parents describe snippets of life with their kids. And they ponder what it all means. Co-editor Anderson describes the question that the writers address: “What does my child need and how can I provide this without losing my own connection to that which grounds and sustains me?”
In beautifully crafted language, the writers tell it like it is. And as you read, you nod. You think–yes–my kid does that too. And, yes–I feel that way too. You feel affirmed. And you know you’re hardly alone in the parallel parenting world of loving our kids with ASD.
As “Drama Mama”–mom of an 8-year-old daughter with ASD writes:
“Autism doesn’t scare me. It pisses me off sometimes. It makes me sad. It makes me frustrated and lonely and challenged but it does not end my life. It does not stunt my daughter, because she is still laughing and skipping and loving, really loving, her life.”