November 1, 2013

Raising Autism: Surviving the Early Years

Posted in AMT's Faves, Fun Stuff, Life's Little Moments, My Take on Autism tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 9:54 am by autismmommytherapist

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It’s done! Five days ago I pushed the “I accept” button on Amazon’s self-publishing program, Create Space, and yesterday my memoir, Raising Autism: Surviving the Early Years became available to the public.

Yes, there is (at least) one very large glass of wine in my immediate future.

I’ve written about the book before, so I won’t go into lengthy detail again, but I have to admit to all of you it’s a huge moment for me, plus a relief to have it finished. I started it seven years ago when I shipped my first child off to full day school, wrote about a third of it when I was pregnant with the second one, then hurried to finish it just in case our last child would ultimately be diagnosed with autism as well. The “just in case” came true, and I put the book on hold to once again work with one of my kids, and finally had time this year to see it published.

As I mentioned before in my first piece, all the profits will be split between four autism organizations- namely Autism Speaks, Parents of Autistic Children (POAC), Someone Special Needs You (SSNY), and my son’s school. I’m hoping I get to write some big fat checks to these worthy organizations who have all played such a big part in Justin’s and Zach’s progress and happiness, and by extension, our family’s.

Please consider purchasing it (it’s available on Amazon, the CreateSpace eStore, and will be available on Kindle in about three weeks) and/or spreading the word to anyone you think might be interested in reading it. I promise my sense of humor comes through, and I pinky swear it’s not a “weeper”. Simply writing our story was incredibly cathartic for me- my deepest wish is that it will help those of you in the autism community as well.

Below is a brief excerpt from “Raising Autism”, a review, and links to where you can purchase the book. As always, a huge thank-you to my readers for their continued support, it means the world to me!


Excerpt from Raising Autism:

“Raising Autism” is the story of how my eldest son and I survived his early years without dissolving entirely the fragile and tenuous bond we had crafted with one another since birth. It is the story of how his father and I made every difficult decision, from choosing his schools, his therapies, and even to where we would ultimately come to reside, while constantly agonizing over whether we had made the right, and often irrevocable, choices. It explains how his diagnosis called into question everything I thought I knew about myself and motherhood, and challenged me to consider exactly what I was willing to surrender for my child- career, geography, friends, and perhaps my known self. This hard-won knowledge would sustain me through not just my firstborn’s diagnosis, but ultimately through my second child’s as well.

Over time I have learned to embrace the altered landscape of our dreams, to measure the depth of my love for my sons, and most importantly, to reconcile with their diagnosis and move on with my life. I’ve named this book Raising Autism for several reasons. In part the title harkens to the often Herculean task of simply getting through the day while encountering the myriad of challenges autism presented to our family. I also called it Raising Autism as celebration for those parents able to conjure a different concept of family, of what it means to love, respect, and take pride in their child while simultaneously rewriting a new version of the rest of their lives as well.

This is our story.

Review for Raising Autism:

“It is a thing of beauty that McCafferty constantly finds some way to draw poetry out of her daily experiences, dealing with her sons’ autism…She expresses herself with a fine mix of candid humor, wit and grace… Her unique parental insights and perspectives make “Raising Autism” an excellent piece of literature for thousands of parents out there who are experiencing autism’s double-edged sword of confusion and wonder for the very first time…”

– Vanessa Ira, Managing Editor, Exceptional Parent Magazine

Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Raising-Autism-Surviving-Early-Years/dp/1484912616/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=138…

Link to CreateSpace eStore: https://www.createspace.com/4264622

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March 9, 2012

Exceptional Parent Magazine and Brick Township High School/Gratitude Attitude

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 1:04 pm by autismmommytherapist

Absolutely ridiculous amounts of gratitude to write about this week…

First, major thanks to Vanessa Ira and the staff at Exceptional Parent Magazine for allowing me to publish an article about my fundraising play, “Raising Autism”, which will be produced for POAC Autism Services.  It is an honor, and I am so appreciative!

Second, a note of deep appreciation to the staff at Brick Township High School, as well as to Colleen, my “sound and lights person”.  Mr. Biblheimer and Jennifer Roebuck, employees at the school, were instrumental in helping me figure out exactly how we’re going to pull off the first show.   It’s just six weeks away, it will go by quickly.  Thanks to all for their cooperation!

April 5, 2011

Gratitude Attitude

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , at 9:13 am by autismmommytherapist

Where to begin?

First, I would like to thank Laura Apel, and the editors at Exceptional Parent magazine, for giving an unpublished housewife her first break in the April edition of their online publication. In case you don’t subscribe, you can see my little name and a blurb about the piece right here. Thank you EP!

I would be remiss in today’s Gratitude Attitude if I didn’t thank everyone who contributed both financially and by their presence to POAC’s first 2011 walk-a-thon this past Saturday, April 2nd, on World Autism Awareness Day. It was a tremendous thing to watch thousands of people stroll around a stadium in hopes for a better future for their children. Thank you (and special thanks to my Mom for helping out)!

Last, but not least, to all who are turning their porch lights blue this month, my gratitude. Anything (legal) done to enhance awareness of autism is wonderful in my book. Many thanks!