Out of the 11,600 children who were born today, some 171 will be diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). Receiving this news can be heartbreaking for parents whose fondest wish is to have a healthy child. Marguerite and Howard Elisofon were first alarmed and then overwhelmed when their daughter Samantha was diagnosed as being on the Spectrum. The family’s struggle to understand ASDs and find the optimal interventions—in the days before internet resources and autism parenting groups—are at the heart of the compelling memoir MY PICTURE PERFECT FAMILY: What Happens When One Twin has Autism by Marguerite Elisofon (Central Park Publishers; April 4, 2016).
Sometimes there’s a book you read that hits closer to home than you think, that’s what happened when I read the book My Picture Perfect Family, this book is about a mother who had premature twins, the son thrived when the daughter was way behind the brother. For this family, they had no idea why they had to get her checked and find out what’s going on. This is a family story that’s dedicated to helping their daughter, succeed in everything she does. She went from a 10-year-old who made no eye contact and talked to her make believed friends and turning out the lights in the office.She made it through and blossomed into a beautiful 18-year old who went on to college.
With a lot of love and encouragement, even someone with Autism can do things like other people. This book does open their doors to the family life; they also open the door to the events, feelings, and family dynamics of raising an autistic daughter. We end up learning what the cognitive and emotional variations of spectrum disorders are in a way that no clinical approach ever could.
A lot of this book I can relate too, Devon is the severe margin of Autism,has come a long way, and we encourage him all the time to do things, we want him to try and do things on his own. MY PICTURE PERFECT FAMILY paints an engaging and at times heart-wrenching picture of the courage it takes to raise and advocate for a child who is far more than the sum of her ever-shifting diagnosis. Elisofon details the therapies, treatments, school searches and day-to-day victories of a little girl who so desperately wanted to fit into the world that didn’t understand her. She shares the considerable challenges met by the entire family including Samantha’s twin brother, Matthew. And she reveals the eventual triumphs as Samantha grows into a young woman who discovers a hidden gift for singing and pursues a college degree.
Loved reading this book made me feel so not alone. Would you read this book, or do you have someone with Autism in your life.?
You can get your copy here.