The Best Kind of Different: Our Family's Journey with Asperger's Syndrome

The Best Kind of Different: Our Family's Journey with Asperger's Syndrome

4.5 22
by Shonda Schilling
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Until the summer of 2007, the word Asperger's, was not a part of Shonda Schilling's vocabulary, but that summer changed everything. By then, her household was in chaos as her son Grant spiraled out of control. His acting out and refusal to listen had grown to epic proportions, but even worse was his apparent inability to relate to the people around him. None

…  See more details below

Overview

Until the summer of 2007, the word Asperger's, was not a part of Shonda Schilling's vocabulary, but that summer changed everything. By then, her household was in chaos as her son Grant spiraled out of control. His acting out and refusal to listen had grown to epic proportions, but even worse was his apparent inability to relate to the people around him. None of the Schillings' other three kids ever acted like Grant; his behavior wasn't just unruly, it was irrational.

Complicating matters was the fact that Shonda's husband, Curt, was constantly on the road pitching for the Boston Red Sox, so he wasn't always around to see Grant's behavior firsthand. Seemingly everyone Shonda encountered had an opinion—"he's too spoiled," "he needs a good spanking," "he needs more discipline"—but it was a disastrous first attempt at summer camp that told Shonda something was definitely wrong. It was then that a neurologist diagnosed Grant with Asperger's syndrome—a form of high-functioning autism that, in recent years, has been found in children who at first glance appear disruptive and difficult.

Now in The Best Kind of Different, Shonda details every step of her family's journey with Asperger's, offering a parent's perspective on this complicated and increasingly common condition. Looking back on Grant's early years, she describes the signals she missed in his behavior and confronts the guilt that engulfed her after she came to understand just how misguided her parenting had been before the diagnosis. In addition, she talks about the harsh judgment she's faced from people who don't buy into the diagnosis and how she's used passion and information to fight the ignorance of others.

Celebrating Grant's successes and learning from his setbacks, Shonda demonstrates how Asperger's forced her and her husband to reconsider everything they thought they knew about their son and each other, but in the end, it has made their marriage and their family stronger and happier. A tribute to Grant's strength and a candid glimpse into a family coming to terms with its differences, The Best Kind of Different is an intimate portrait of two parents struggling to understand the complex beauty of their son.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061986833
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
03/23/2010
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

Shonda Schilling and her husband, Curt, have been married for seventeen years. Shonda is a survivor of melanoma, an experience that led her to create the Shade Foundation of America. Curt is a former All-Star pitcher who has won three World Series titles with the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Boston Red Sox. He is also the founder of the video game development company, 38 Studios. Shonda and Curt are also spokespeople for the ALS Association, raising millions of dollars and significant awareness for Lou Gehrig's disease. They live with their four children, Gehrig, Gabriella, Grant, and Garrison, in Medfield, Massachusetts.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Best Kind of Different 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a must read! Shonda captured my attention and I couldn't put the book down. I laughed and cried all while my heart was breaking identifying with the trials of raising a child with Aspergers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My son was just recently diagnosed with Aspergers at the age of 7. Since he was just a infant i knew he was different and accepted the diagnosis of Adhd and grief from his dad dying at age 3. This book help me put my feelings in place. My first book to read on Aspergers and i am glad it was this one. I also have to figure a new way of parenting and helping my sons adoptive dad and brother that yelling at him will not help Nick. I have to catch myself as well. I wish you would write a book on how your older children and husband have had to change and accept. Thank you forqhe well written book that parralled my feelings and journey.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Julie Kirkpatrick More than 1 year ago
While+there+are+numerous+books+educating+people+about+Aspergers%2C+this+is+the+firsst+book+I%27ve+read+tht+expressed+my+fears%2C+marriage%2C+struggles%2C+and+JOYS+associated+with+raising+a+child+with+Aspergers.+++This+book+is+honest%2C+informative%2C+and+realistic.++Having+read+this+book%2C+I+now+see+the+humor+in+my+sons+actions%2C+wait+out+the+frustrations%2C+share+the+emktion+with+my+spouse%2C+and+most+importantly....+know+that+I+am+not+alone.++THIS+BOOK+IS+A+MUST%3B+IT+WILL+MAKE+YOU+LAUGH+AND+CRY+BUT+WILL+GIVE+YOU+SOLICE+IN+THE+FIGHT+FOR+YOUR+CHILD%21%21%21
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Eva Jumper More than 1 year ago
I highly recommend this book. As a parent just finding out there is a name too explain why my son is different and that reason being Asperger's Syndrome...I ran to the nearest book store to find some book to give me a sense of direction. I found two and I bought them both. But Shonda Schilling's book was not only a comfort but is a great tool to give my Friend's and Family a glimpse into my Son's World and How they can meet him there, and what daily life for us is like. I am chosing to pass my copy to each Family Member so they may have a better understanding of Our Beautiful Different Life. If you are just starting your journey or in the middle of it, Buy this now. It is Well Worth the Time to invest in the Precious Book. Thank You Shoda from My Heart.......E.Jumper
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My son was diagnosed over a year ago. I have learned to understand the disease, but it is hard for others that do not live with a child on the spectrum to understand. This is a great book to help outsiders begin to discover Aspergers and the struggle parents go through.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Shonda invites us into her life, home, marriage and family and gives us an inside glimpse of the everyday life in the Schillings family. She is genuine. She has her hands full with 4 kids with ADHD, one with concurrent Asperger's, and a husband just off the road from a great career in baseball. I'm left feeling about her the same way I feel about my closest friends. I appreciated being able to give my son this inside view of what it is like to live in a household where dad makes $12 million/year. Money doesn't buy everything or even what is most important in this life. Thank you Shonda.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book could have been so much better if Shonda spent more time on her journey with Grant's Asperger's instead of her life as a "single parent" as a result of being a baseball player's wife. We all love Kurt, but one does not have to be married to a baseball player to find a husband absent due to a myriad of obstacles including work that keeps him away for weeks and months on end. The major difference is that most of us do not have that kind of money to afford the nanny and housekeepers; or have family who can come running at a moments notice. I was hoping to find a kindred soul in this book - one who experiences the pain and frustrations of every day life with Asperger's. I think it's in there, but there is too much fluff to make this book shine.
JudithLR More than 1 year ago
Very good and helpful information. She found out about her son at a very early age. My grandson has just been diagnosed at the age of 13.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is well-written & informative. I read it before giving it to my daughter, who is in the process of having her son diagnosed with Aspberger's disease. Gave good description of little known disease with a good supply of literature & support groups available. Would recommend for other parents & grandparents.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BearlyNA More than 1 year ago
This book relates to family living with many problem solving facts. I have a great grandson with Asperger's Syndrome and this has helped me understand what we are dealing with. I certainly admire this family for what they have done with their lives. Admiration is what I have for any family that gets through this kind of living. It is never done, but God sure provides the means to cope with life such as this. If you do not get something from this book, I would be very much surprised.
Elijian_11120707 More than 1 year ago
It really doesn't matter if you are directly affected by any degree of autism or not, this book is a MUST read for everybody. This book is the best depiction of what a family goes through when they have a child with Asperger's. It is a wonderful insight as to why kids that look "normal" don't also act what is considered to be "normal." I have a 5-year old daughter with AS (which is relatively uncommon - boys have this more than girls) and she is funny, intelligent, patient and kind all wrapped into a bundle of unpredictability. As I read this book I could relate to almost every moment, every feeling, every excitement and every disappointment. Hats off to Shonda Shilling for being able to share what is feels like everyday to have this type of family dynamic. Thank you for sharing your story and telling everyone that it really is out of your control.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Carolyn1040 More than 1 year ago
This is the perfect book for families trying to get people to understand the struggles we face on a daily basis with these children. The Schilling's could have been sitting in my house taking notes from the way they describe their lives with their son. I have had many laughs and many tears reading this book because I have experienced almost all of the same struggles. I would recommend this book to anyone with Asperger's and tell you will never feel alone again.