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

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


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781616084592
Publisher: Skyhorse
Publication date: 10/01/2011
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 696,929
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.60(d)

About 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, 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

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.

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

What People are Saying About This

Carolyn Smagalski

"With The Beer Journal, you will have a documented log of those that titillate, those that infuriate, and those that seem unfamiliar. As your experience increases, you may revisit the ones you have spurned, finding them to be more satisfying as your own personal growth expands. Chris Wright hit it 'on the mark' with this little gem."--(Carolyn Smagalski, The Beer Fox, Bella Online)

Customer Reviews

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All I Can Handle 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
mlschmidt on LibraryThing 10 months ago
What a brave, funny woman. Amazing how she can be so positive, inspiring, and informative, she has quite alot on her plate. I agree with her that there has to be something triggering this epidemic of autism, it would make sense that mass vacinations could be the cause. Her book is very well written, leaving the reader with lots of information to think over.
jaidahsmommy on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Oh, where to begin... this review is guaranteed to be long, so I apologize ahead of time.First of all, I can not imagine what it is like to have three children with Autism. I would not be able to handle that. It is obviously a very, very stressful life. I do, however, have a special needs son with some similar traits to Autism so I am not completely unaware of the life.That being sad, I just could not get into this book. When I first read about it, I could not wait to read it. I understand the stresses of having a child with special needs and all the extra work and understanding that you have to put into parenthood. It is not easy, I know that for a fact. The reviews promised a serious matter with a comedic tone. I'm sorry, but I didn't find her very funny. Yes, she made light of her situation and tried throwing in some witty analogies here and there. I found them annoying. I don't know what it is, I just couldn't get into it. In part of the book, Kim dedicates a page as "Sex Time" and writes a short paragraph about finding time for she and the husband to have adult time alone. She is debating on writing this chapter and at the end says "I can write this chapter. Turn the page." Now, the following page is blank, so either she couldn't go through with it and made a bad joke, or she is referring to the next chapter, which is what I assumed. Now, assuming she is talking about the next chapter, I was expecting something else along the lines of how it is possible to still find time with your spouse when you have three autistic children demanding all of your time. And I guess I was expecting a little private details too, the way she was hyping it up. But when you turn the page, you find the next chapter, which is about Howard Stern. I'm sorry, but millions of people like Howard Stern. Just because you are some lonely housewife in the suburbs does not mean you have to keep it a big, dirty secret. That is pretty much how she describes it. Once again, pretty annoying.The next issue I have with the author, is the husband's seemingly lacking interest in helping her with the children and her just letting it be. After years of him taking off to play golf and not being around to help when she most needs it, she finally breaks and yells at him. I'm sorry, but if during the week of our wedding and my husband is playing golf everyday and not helping me with preperations and leaving me to do it alone, I wouldn't take that as a good sign. And i am also pretty sure I wouldn't let him go play golf just because he told his brother he would if my child was having seizures all day. I think I would demand he stay and help with that and the other two children who also needs constant attention. But no, she doesn't put her foot down and stand up for herself. But then throught the book, she can talk about her and her husband's feel of "Catholic Guilt" or "Catholic sense of duty to each other" Why does having guilt about stealing from a store have to be because you are Catholic, or why does wanting to honor your marriage by staying to gether and working things out have to be because you are Catholic? Can you not be a good person and feel guilty about something or want to be there for your spouse without being Catholic? Ugh.There are also a lot of mistakes in this book. Mostly just a few typos here and there, but in one of the chapters Kim describes a neighbor, Matt, talking to his autistic son. But then a few paragraphs later he is referred to as Mike. I didn't catch it at first, but then she goes on to talk about Mike's wife, and I couldn't figure out who Mike was. Then I realized the mistake. It was pretty confusing at first. Also, Kim also repeats the same information several times. She talks several times about vaccines being exempt from medical liability, without offering any new information each time. It is very redundant. This happens a few times with different subjects. Overall, I am very disappointed with this book. I could definitely relate to t
TulaneGirl More than 1 year ago
So I *almost* didn't read this book because Jenny McCarthy wrote the foreword, but I'm glad I did. Ms. Stagliano has a way with words and is an engaging storyteller. Despite the subject matter, there were times where I forgot I was reading about a woman struggling to raise three daughters with autism and instead thought I was reading a page out of Good Fellas. Her prose and vernacular is just so North Eastern she, quite figuratively, transported me to Boston. I also really liked how she kept it 100 talking about the struggles of raising three girls on the spectrum. She didn't sugar coat it, and in fact, spoke out about those who do gloss over the dirty details of life. Her love for her daughters, and her protectiveness over them come shining through. So why 3 stars and not 5? Because her POV, laid on quite heavily at times, can be overbearing and overwhelming for someone who doesn't agree with her. I wouldn't say she's pushy about being an anti-vaxxer. And, in fact, does not consider herself to be one. And yet, there is a tone to her book that strongly implies that no rational person who reads the literature could possibly be okay with vaccinations and/or the vaccination schedule pushed by pediatricians. She's also incredibly dismissive of pediatricians themselves and places a lot of blame on them for not having the amount of knowledge she believes they should have about autism and early intervention. She's very opinionated about science, research, doctors, big pharma, etc. And who's to pass judgment on that? She is raising 3 girls with autism. Still, some chapters were a little too preachy to get through and I couldn't wait to get through the sermon so that I could hear more delightfully told tales about her life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
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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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Janet_Edghill More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Cation More than 1 year ago
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.