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Manny is not like other children. He doesn’t talk. He doesn’t leave the house. His parents desperately try to arrange their world so that Manny does not get upset. Because, when he does, well, the aggression was getting worse. Too many times Tomas had to leave work to rescue his wife from the havoc of their son’s meltdowns. At ten, Manny was becoming difficult to handle.
Passing by a bakery made all the difference. There, they met people who understand autism, along with its strengths and challenges. They learn ways to help Manny communicate and socialize and to have his needs met. Dare they consider letting him go to school? Does Manny belong? You bet.
Meet Kyle, Ben, Mel and the other characters you read about in the award-winning Amazon bestseller Autism Goes to School and see how they’ve grown and progressed.
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Dr. Sharon A. Mitchell has worked as teacher, counselor, psychologist and consultant for several decades. Her Masters and PhD. degrees focused on autism spectrum disorders and helping kids to reach as high a level of independence as possible.
In a March 2014 announcement, the Centers for Disease control released their latest statistics on autism. One in sixty-eight American children has an autism spectrum disorder and one in every forty-two boys. Every teacher will have a child with autism in their classroom. Every coach will meet a child with autism. If autism has not touched your family, it will affect your friends or neighbors.
When parents, especially mothers, receive the news that their child has autism, they spend countless hours researching the subject, usually at night, after an exhausting day. There is a lot of information out there, much of it by competent authorities. But after a hard day of work and family responsibilities, who wants to read a textbook?
Writers are admonished to show, don’t tell. Kids with autism learn best when shown rather than “talked at”. Why not write a book that shows how a family and a school help a little boy with autism? Does a book have to be hard slugging for the reader to learn new things? Does learning have to be tedious? What if you could just read a good story and still gain ideas to try?
So, the novel “Autism Goes to School” was born – a light read aimed at a general audience. Yes, life with autism has its struggles, but there are strengths as well and the fun parts that any family experiences. The book’s full of the challenges inherent in autism plus strategies that make life easier for all concerned. It’s a story about a single dad doing the best he can.
Autism Runs Away will be published in June, 2016. Six year old Ethan has autism. When things overwhelm him, he takes off, much to the consternation of his parents and teachers. Join the kids and staff of Madson School as they learn and grow and welcome others with special needs into their midst.