'An excellent book from start to finish, this story chronicles one year in the life of an autistic eleven-year-old-boy. Written with candor and honesty by Nicholas' mother, Jennifer, the diary touches on the bad days as well as the good. It also sheds light on the toll that raising an autistic child can take on a parent, as well as the obstacles and milestones that Nicholas meets along the way... the faith, hope and love that the Overton's have is reflective in every page. Because this book is written by the parent of an autistic child as opposed to a physician or counselor, the reader is more able to fully absorb what life is like for the Overton's. A must-read for any parent or family member who has or knows a child who is autistic.'
The various responsibilities and rewards that accompany parenthood provoke strong emotions, and with an autistic child, these feelings are often both heightened and contradictory. Starting and ending on the eve of her son's birthday, the date that also marks the anniversary of his diagnosis, Jennifer Overton uses the key calendar events in the year to discuss the roller coaster of emotions that accompany life with her autistic son Nicholas. Among many episodes, she describes the disappointment on her wedding anniversary as she realizes that Nicholas may never marry, the frustration on Mother's Day that comes from parenting a child without hugs and kisses, and the fear on his first day at school that while she may love him unconditionally, the wider world may not be so sympathetic. Using dialogue, narrative, letters and pictures, this book is a powerful account of what it is like to mother an autistic child, which puts a much-needed human face to autism amid all the overwhelming myths and facts that surround it.
Jennifer Overton graduated from York University, Toronto with a Master's Degree in Theatre Performance and has been a professional actor, director and educator for over twenty years. She lives with her family in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
1. Nicholas' birthday: A letter to my son. 2. Hallowe'en: Trick or treat? 3. Remembrance Day: Trivia quiz. 4. Christmas: A visit to Oma's. 5. New Year's Day: Please stand by. 6. Valentine's Day: Roses are red. 7. Grandpa's birthday: Grandpa's story. 8. My birthday: The gift. 9. Good Friday: Battle fatigue. 10. Easter: Acceptance. 11. Our wedding anniversary: Pick your parents. 12. Mother's Day: Our age of innocence. 13. Moving day: Great expectations. 14. Father's Day: Heirloom. 15. Canada Day: O Canada we stand on guard for thee. 16.Summer Vacation: The agenda. 17. David's birthday: Case of the missing parents. 18. Labour day: The five stages. 19. Grandparent's day: Knitting. 20. Thanksgiving: Small miracles. 20. Nicholas' birthday: The conversation. Postscript.