Gravity Pulls You in: Perspectives on Parenting Children on the Autism Spectrum (Mom's Choice Award Recipient)

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9781606130025: Gravity Pulls You in: Perspectives on Parenting Children on the Autism Spectrum (Mom's Choice Award Recipient)
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(Finalist in the Anthologies/Non-Fiction category of the 2010 International Book Awards, sponsored by USA Book News) View the universe of autism--its marvels, chaos, and life-changing impacts--through the eyes of the contributors to Gravity Pulls You In. In 33 essays and poems, mothers and fathers raising children on the autism spectrum explore their lives in the context of autism's own special gravity, discovering what's important and what they find centering.

Editors Kyra Anderson and Vicki Forman, both parents and writers, have crafted this anthology to encourage a sense of connection among parents and transcend divisive autism politics. The creative group of contributors are accomplished writers, and many also hold day jobs as scientists, professors, teachers, actors, advocates, and therapists. Their slice-of-life depictions are a refreshing departure from the usual diagnosis/grief/acceptance arc of many autism accounts, and serve as a reminder that life is lived in the many small, everyday moments.

Readers are invited into contributors' lives where they're sure to find an attitude, a circumstance, an epiphany they can relate to. Within these accounts of fierce love and keen regard for their unique children, lie moments of exceptional clarity and transformation, such as one mother s story about her full circle reconciliation to a home movie depicting her son's perseverative behavior and another's appreciation for her daughter just as she is or will be. Or the poem about well-meaning but intrusive people who offer advice on how to correct a child with autism and a father's account of a hilarious outing to Hooters with his hip-hop adult son. These pieces are sure to resonate with parents, caregivers, and anyone who's interested in the world of autism.

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About the Author:

Kyra Anderson chronicles life as a homeschooling mom and writer on her blog, thismom.com. Her work has appeared in Tiny Lights, Bust Out, and 100 Hats, among other small presses. Her memoir, How My Son's Asperger's Saved My Ass, is not yet published. She lives in New England with her son and children's book writer/illustrator husband, David Milgrim.

Vicki Forman is the author of This Lovely Life: A Memoir of Premature Motherhood (Houghton Mifflin/Mariner, 2009), winner of the Bread Loaf Writers Conference Bakeless Prize. Her work has appeared in the Seneca Review, the Santa Monica Review, and the anthologies Love You to Pieces: Creative Writers on Raising a Child with Special Needs and Literary Mama: Reading for the Maternally Inclined. She lives outside of Los Angeles with her husband and daughter. She blogs at vickiforman.com

Review:

John Elder Robison says it best in the introduction to this powerful book, '...the autistic condition is really the human condition.' With approximately 1 in 100 children on the autistic spectrum, isn't it time that we, as a community, educate ourselves on the entire range of what having Autism Spectrum Disorder really looks like? Gravity Pulls You In takes all of us, not just those of us with autistic children of our own, through the challenging experience of living and fiercely loving these children. It is chock-full of extremely moving and personal stories dealing with everything from adopting a special needs child to a mother caring for her dying thirty-four-year-old son. Uplifting and heart wrenching--just like life. - --Monica Holloway, author of Cowboy & Wills: A Love Story

Editors Anderson and Forman, both writers and parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), have compiled an anthology of essays and verse detailing experiences with ASD either as parents, teachers, advocates, or therapists. The contributors are experienced writers and parents of ASD children and candidly share their journeys and life-changing experiences. In an enlightening foreword, John Elder Robison (Look Me in the Eye) adds his unique insight as a person with ASD and the parent of a child with the disorder. The contributors also discuss how having ASD as a part of your life can make you reevaluate what is really important.
Verdict: A support group that's always in session, minus the autism politics and competition, at your fingertips! What parents of children with ASD can gain from this volume is a feeling of not being alone and a situation or circumstance that they can relate to as they navigate the world of ASD. Professionals can gain a better understanding of what their clients/patients (and their parents) deal with on a daily basis. An excellent addition to any public library collection. --Library Journal Xpress Review, June 24, 2010

According to the Autism Society of America, autism spectrum disorders are the fastest growing developmental disability; soon no family will remain untouched. While the numbers may be bleak, the personal stories and poems in Gravity Pulls You In: Perspectives on Parenting Children on the Autism Spectrum are wonderfully hopeful and authentic. You'll find no false sincerity in these accounts; the writers lay bare their mistakes, their triumphs, their despair and their hope. Their courage is evident on the page. --ForeWord Magazine, March 2010

According to the Autism Society of America, autism spectrum disorders are the fastest growing developmental disability; soon no family will remain untouched. While the numbers may be bleak, the personal stories and poems in Gravity Pulls You In: Perspectives on Parenting Children on the Autism Spectrum are wonderfully hopeful and authentic. You'll find no false sincerity in these accounts; the writers lay bare their mistakes, their triumphs, their despair and their hope. Their courage is evident on the page. --ForeWord Magazine, March 2010

GRAVITY PULLS YOU IN is a recipient of the prestigious Mom's Choice Award. The Mom's Choice Awards honors excellence in family-friendly media, products and services. An esteemed panel of judges includes education, media and other experts as well as parents, children, librarians, performing artists, producers, medical and business professionals, authors, scientists and others. A sampling of the panel members includes: Dr. Twila C. Liggett, Ten-time Emmy-winner, professor and founder of Reading Rainbow; Julie Aigner-Clark, Creator of Baby Einstein and The Safe Side Project; Jodee Blanco, New York Times Best-Selling Author; LeAnn Thieman, Motivational speaker and coauthor of seven Chicken Soup For The Soul books; and Tara Paterson, --Mom's Choice Awards

What makes this volume stand out, in addition to the superlative writing and honest sharing, are its themes of connection and humanity. While the individuals profiled in the selections do fall somewhere on the autism spectrum, readers will come away from the anthology realizing that, more importantly, all of us, autistic or not, share a common humanity. --Disability Resources Online

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