Given the daily challenges of raising a child with autism, it’s easy for parents to lose sight of themselves, for their marriages to weaken or fall apart, and for their overall quality of life to plummet. Studies indicate high rates of depression among autism moms and that their depression does not usually subside with the passage of time. Susan Senator interweaves her own experiences raising an autistic child with the voices of parents, researchers, and professionals in the field to offer guidance and encouragement: Parents can take care of themselves while taking care of their children. Parents and families can have good lives even if their children aren’t “cured.” The Autism Mom’s Survival Guide is unique among books about autism in that it is not primarily about how to parent an autistic child. Instead, it is written for the challenged parents themselves, understanding them to be individuals who need to find fun, happiness, validation, and fulfillment now—in the midst of struggle and hardship—in order to be healthy and whole. Topics include strategies for:
• handling feelings of despair and hopelessness,
• caring for your marriage,
• finding a good balance between accepting your child and seeking new treatments,
• understanding the challenges of autistic adolescence,
• looking toward your child’ s adulthood.
“Autism parents should keep this book close by for comfort and reassurance. Professionals will get a glimpse into the daily struggles facing the families that come through their offices. Susan has done us all a real service.”—Eileen Costello, MD, coauthor of Quirky Kids
“This brilliant book offers a wealth of insights and advice on finding personal happiness and contentment while parenting a child with autism.”—Tim Shriver, CEO of Special Olympics
“Every parent of a child with autism should read this book. It’s honest and hopeful in equal measure, a rare feat in the world of special needs.”—Claire LaZebnik, coauthor of Overcoming Autism
“Senator knows well and writes eloquently about the real journey—both the sorrow and the joy—of being the mother of a boy with autism.”—Karl Taro Greenfield, author of Boy Alone: A Brother’s Memoir
About the Author
Susan Senator is the mother of three boys, the oldest of whom has autism. She is the author of Making Peace with Autism, a memoir of her family’s struggles and triumphs. Her writing on autism has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Boston Globe. She has been featured on the Today Show, CNN, MSNBC, Voice of America, and NPR.