Maureen F. Morrell and Ann Palmer are raising two very different children: Justin, a whirlwind of activity and mood swings, who is supervised in a residential farm community, and Eric, quiet and passive, who lives independently at college. The authors give an account of the striking similarities as well as the stark differences in their experiences of parenting children at opposite extremes of the autism spectrum. The two mothers speak openly about their children's diagnosis and early childhood through to adolescence, young adulthood and the day they leave home. They give a moving account of the challenges they faced and the surprising consolations they found along their sons' very different paths in life. Through their friendship and two decades of shared experiences of parenting an ASD child, each has gained a clear understanding of her own strengths and limitations, as well as those of her child. "Parenting Across the Autism Spectrum" offers a personal perspective and practical guidance for parents at the start of their journey with autism, especially those whose children are newly diagnosed.
It also provides useful insights for professionals working with individuals across the autism spectrum and their families.
Acknowledgements. Introduction. 1. Rebuilding life after autism: Ann's story. 2. Rebuilding life after autism: Maureen's story. 3. Balancing family life: The siblings. 4. Balancing family life: Marriage and extended family. 5. Advocating for our children. 6. Taking care of ourselves. 7. Finding our way. 8. Dealing with the public. 9. Accepting our children and ourselves. 10. Letting go: Ann's story. 11. Letting go: Maureen's story. Appendix A: Positive student profile. Appendix B: Student information sheet. Appendix C: Books that made a difference. References.