When my friend Beth Sandland, who lives in another state, told me that her son Jake was autistic, I was surprised because she rarely talks about him doing anything unsual. However, the more I've talked to her about it, the more interested I've become in this fascinating disease.
Responding to an ad on a writer's site, I wrote an article about Jake and submitted it to a compilation book titled, "Voices of Autism." I don't know yet if they'll accept it, or how long it will take to find out, but it's out there.
A couple of nights ago, Beth IM'd me and said that she had an idea for a book for me to help her write: "The Mommy's Survivial Guide to Autism: What everyone should know but no one tells you." This will be the first book of its kind, telling parents everything they need to know about the disease in a language they can understand (no scientific mumbo-jumbo). They'll learn what steps they need to take and how to exercise their rights. Just as important, they'll learn that it's ok and normal to feel the way they're feeling! The book will be mostly written from Beth's perspective and will include stories about Jake, which will inject some lightheartedness while giving parents a preview of what is to come.
We also want to include a few stories and tips from other parents, particularly of older autistic children (7 and older, including adults) since Jake is only 6. If you know someone who would want to participate or has an avenue for marketing this book, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep in mind that we won't be able to use everyone's stories.
I am hoping to finish this project by the end of the year or shortly thereafter. I think this will be the boost that my career needs and I humbly thank Beth for letting me be a part of it!