All I Can Handle: I'm No Mother Teresa: A Life Raising Three Daughters with Autism

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Overview

"Dr. Spock? Check. Penelope Ann Leach (remember her?)? Check. What to Expect When You’re Expecting? Check. I had a seven hundred dollar Bellini crib for God’s sake! I was perfect. And so was Mia when she was born . . ."

...and so begins Kim Stagliano’s electrifying and hilarious memoir of her family’s journey raising three daughters with autism. In these stories, Stagliano has joined the ranks of David Sedaris and Augusten Burroughs with her amazing ability to lay everything on the table—from family, friends, and...

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All I Can Handle: I'm No Mother Teresa: A Life Raising Three Daughters with Autism

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Overview

"Dr. Spock? Check. Penelope Ann Leach (remember her?)? Check. What to Expect When You’re Expecting? Check. I had a seven hundred dollar Bellini crib for God’s sake! I was perfect. And so was Mia when she was born . . ."

...and so begins Kim Stagliano’s electrifying and hilarious memoir of her family’s journey raising three daughters with autism. In these stories, Stagliano has joined the ranks of David Sedaris and Augusten Burroughs with her amazing ability to lay everything on the table—from family, friends, and enemies to basement floods to birthdays to (possible) heroin addictions—eviscerating and celebrating the absurd. From her love of Howard Stern to her increasing activism in the autism community and exhaustive search for treatments that will help her daughters, she covers it all. Always outspoken, often touching, and sometimes heartbreaking, Kim Stagliano is a powerful new voice in comedic writing—her “Kimoir” (as she calls it) will be a must-read within the autism community and the literary world at large.

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Editorial Reviews

L.A. Times
“Inspiring.”
Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Laugh out loud funny!”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781616080693
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
  • Publication date: 11/1/2010
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 1,439,180
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Kim Stagliano is a nationally recognized autism advocate and speaker. Although autism typically affects boys, Stagliano is in the unique position of having three daughters with full-blown autism,
which has made her and her family the focus of national media attention. She is managing editor of ageofautism.com, the nation’s first daily web newspaper about the autism epidemic. She writes for The Huffington Post, is on the editorial staff of The Autism File magazine, and is a feature writer for Spectrum Magazine. She speaks at national autism conferences and has appeared on Good Morning America, ABC News, Fox News, and blogs around the world, as well as in The Chicago Tribune and The National Catholic Register. A former sales and marketing executive, Stagliano lives in Connecticut with her family. Her website is kimstagliano.blogspot.com.

Jenny McCarthy is a world-renowned autism activist, mother,
and bestselling author. She splits her time between Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, and California. Her books include Belly Laughs, Baby Laughs, Life Laughs, Mother Warriors, Healing and Preventing Autism, and Louder Than Words.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v

Foreword vii

Introduction 1

Well, How Did I Get Here? 12

Chinese Food Always Leaves Me Hungry 22

When Did You First Know? 27

Sex Time! 40

Howard Stem Every Day 42

Always on Our Toes 48

Bella's Birthday Blues 51

What Does Autism Look Like? 56

A Career Takes Root 66

It's a Small World. But a Big Hotel 71

Now Entering the Age of Autism 80

The Autism Marriage: Soul Mates or Cell Mates? 90

A Paper Mitten on the Giving Tree 96

New Word; The Stagtastrophe 100

The Things We Do for Love 107

The Little Green House 115

The Middle Child 125

Up, Up, and Away 133

Don't Ask. Don't Tell 139

Another Night in the Holiday Inn Express 147

Does Heroin Feel This Good? 154

Dr. Wakefield and the Anti-Vaxxers 159

Mother Superior 114

Beef: It's What's for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner 181

You've Got to Fertilize the Roses 186

My Turn 191

Author's Note 203

Encore 206

Kim's Gluten-Free Family Recipes 211

References 211

Glossary of Terms 218

Book Club or Classroom Questions 220

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 15 )
Rating Distribution

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(9)

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Sort by: Showing all of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2014

    I normally love non-fiction but this was no good.  I do have a d

    I normally love non-fiction but this was no good.  I do have a daughter on the spectrum so the book looked really interesting.  I did see the forward was by Jenny McCarthy and that should have stopped me but... I did read it cover to cover and questioned why I did so with each new chapter.   Probably the most troubling portion of the book was her assertion that  autism is definitely more common now because she didn't grow up with people on the spectrum.  WOW!  That is amazing that she can think back on every individual she grew up with and remember  each personality so clearly that she is certain of her assertion.   This is just the biggest flaw in the book, there are others!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2013

    My favorite autism book!

    One of the very few books that made me feel better instead of worse as an autism mom. Bless you for sharing your story and giving other autism moms of daughters the comfort that they are not alone!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2012

    And I thought having one child on the spectrum was hard.

    Inspiring. She might not feel like a Mother Teresa but in sharing her story and blessing those of us who live with her reality everyday is very Mother Teresa. It nice to not feel so alone in this struggle. I think every mom of an autistic should write their story...maybe then the masses will listen.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2012

    WOW!

    As the mother of developmentally disabled 15 year old and step mother of two autistic children ages 8 and 12, I was glad to read a book told with the same humour and zane I approach everything with. Would I go back and do it all over and never have my children certainly not! But do I wish they would miraculously be cured or at least be able to keep themselves safe in the bath tub ABSOLUTELY! Kim kudos to you for having the guts to tell your story amongst so many opinions.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 15, 2011

    A realistic story of the joys and sorrow of autism

    As the mom of several children on the spectrum myself, this book hits close to home for me. I have been told I have a "need to label my children" and that no one could "have so much in one family". Kim Stagliano proves this wrong in spades. I found myself laughing and crying as I read her story. Whether or not you are personally affected by autism, Kim's book is a real inspiration. I can't wait for the sequel!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2010

    A fast and entertaining read

    This is a personal but not tragic or overly pretentious look into the life of a woman who is challenged by three daughters with Autism along with the usual struggles of life, love, marriage and developing our sense of self.

    Kim Stagliano makes us laugh even when its uncomfortable and is never sanctimonious about the drudgery and heartbreak that comes with autism. As a parent of one on the spectrum I know that you modify your life in a way that cannot be easily understood by those outside the experience. This book is a bridge into it for those that dare, and should dare.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 23, 2010

    Highly Recommended

    The first thing I thought when I read the last page and closed the book is that this is an entirely original work. The stories are real, the voice is personal and so the humor and tone are never derivative. And there's a lot of humor in this book. On the broadest level, it's an easy read, but easy in the Twain tradition, where you realize after reading that a spoonful of humor made the medicine go down.

    As a fellow autism parent x 2, I recognize the authenticity of the author's experience by the use of gallows humor alone: the kind of bootstrap humor it takes to face the loss of health and threatened futures of multiple injured children, all without collapsing and lowering one's guard against the constant threat of mishap, misunderstanding and outright disaster. Someone uninitiated might expect the writing equivalent of muzak and drippy, mildly touching tales modeling stock "acceptance" and self-satisfied "endurance". But the love the author expresses for her children is not bland and comfortable-- it's passionate and balances on a razor's edge of loving children as they are, while never forgetting what was robbed from them.

    Coming from the same real place of that gallows humor is a brutal directness in places which is staggering in places. For the safety of her children, the author must face certain realities and she will not spare you, though she doesn't simply drop the bomb without pointing to potential solutions. And like any great, humane work, the reader is not left alone with their frightening revelations. The author's voice is a friendly one, if bracing and unflinching: whatever your perspective, whether you agree and understand or whether you don't, she's been where you are and she's generous with redemption. Read this book and get yourself some-- you'll be laughing on the way.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted September 1, 2010

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    Posted June 9, 2013

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    Posted January 23, 2011

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    Posted March 29, 2011

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    Posted November 23, 2010

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