Saturday, 12 May 2012
[We here at Revelife love our partner site, Autisable! Today we wanted to feature a post from Joel, the editor of Autisable, because he recently had an amazing experience getting to meet and talk with author Virginia Breen, whose story of facing obstacles and challenges while parenting an Autistic child is an inspiration to us all.]
Finding one's voice in society is enough of a challenge when you can speak. What if you couldn't speak, couldn't say the words verbally? What would you do then?
I had an opportunity last week when I was able to meet with Virginia Breen, co-author of the book, "I Am In Here". An incredible book that intertwines the poetry and insight of her daughter, Elizabeth, along with the struggles she went through as a parent trying to figure things out on the journey of Autism.
But that my friend, is only part of the story....
For those that know me, I'm always on the look out for books that are written by people with a lot of experience dealing with Autism. After all, I'm a father of a child with Autism, and I want to learn more about my son. Of course I read more about the book at the books website - http://www.iaminherebook.com/
To my delight I find out that the book isn't just written by the mother (which is in itself very good), but also includes writings from someone who is on the spectrum! Let's just say that, to me, is icing on the cake. Not many books by non-verbal people on the spectrum are readily available. If you find or know of one, please leave a comment.
So, I get a tip about this book - and find out that the book has it's own facebook page - HERE. I leave a message via the fanpage sharing how I'd like to help promote the book - as I know those in the Autism Community would love to read it.
The response via facebook was great - "Joel, Thank you for reaching out to us! We would love to talk with your community about I Am In Here and its message of hope. How would you like to do that? If you would like to email me, my [e-mail] address is _____________. Have you read our book? If not, I can send you a copy"
To which I respond - "Thank you for all you are doing for the Autism Community. I haven't read the book, but would love to. I am always encouraged when a person with Autism shares their talents - it makes me smile knowing that one day my own son will shine brighter than he is now. Here's my e-mail address and where you can send the book...."
Now, here's where it gets interesting. The address I provide is in Virginia Beach.
Here's her response - "Well, I think you were meant to be hand delivered this book! I’m flying to VA Beach tomorrow to be on The 700 Club."
Now is that coincidence? or divine appointment? I'll leave that up to you.
In any event....
The next day I met with Virginia Breen, and we discussed about our kids and what we each do for the Autism community - what treatments we've tried with our kids (what worked and didn't work....etc...)
It was funny to note how many people we know. While she is discussing a conversation about Carly Fleischmann's mom, I know her dad. We both had that level of understanding that only parents dealing with Autism could know...
and Yes, the Autism community is more connected than ever before. Suffice it to say, the world got a little smaller - and that's ok with me.
I received that copy of the book, and can only say that it's a must read. It provides hope and encouragement - along with some practical insight.
It was a brief meeting, but it's always a pleasure meeting people on the front line sharing their journey with Autism.
As for her time on The 700 Club? Here's the show:
Have you ever had the opportunity to meet someone who inspired you? What does it mean to be able to talk face to face with someone who understands some of the challenges you face?