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

by Kim Stagliano, Jenny McCarthy
4.1 16

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All I Can Handle 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
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.