AUTISM UNCENSORED: Pulling Back the Curtain

AUTISM UNCENSORED: Pulling Back the Curtain

by Whitney Ellenby


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“And when in the grips of a public tantrum, amidst the horror and humiliation of him shrieking and splayed out on the floor while strangers recoiled in shock, my mind lurched towards an inescapable truth—that I want out from this nightmare. I want out from this child.”

So begins the turbulent ride of one parent’s decision, crafted in despair and desperation, to abandon traditional interventions for her autistic son in favor of a “hands on” approach of repeatedly exposing her son to real-world settings. Autism Uncensored is an unrestricted portal into the mind of someone who had no intention of sacrificing her career or life for Autism, unaware of the many ways it would irreversibly redefine both. As she clarifies at the outset, “this is not the story of a miraculous breakthrough or recovery,” Zack is still very much autistic and always will be. It is instead the true, real-time account of her decision to allow Zack to indulge in the very behaviors that formal therapies sought to extinguish, to disclose Zack’s diagnosis in public settings, and to repeatedly expose him to real-world situations and override his tantrums regardless of public ridicule or scorn.

Autism Uncensored goes where no other book dares—revealing the private disgrace and self-blame about having a “defective” child; the near disintegration of marriage; the failure of the traditional behavioral interventions; and the mercenary way in which service providers prey on parents’ desperation for a cure. It is a personal manifesto about how a socially integrated life is attainable regardless of whether a child overcomes the major limitations of Autism, sparking a new conversation which goes beyond simply accepting persons with Autism for who they are, but considers pushing them beyond their comfort zones to learn who they are capable of becoming. An unstoppable ride with jolting twists and turns, Autism Uncensored will leave you exhilarated, informed and still gasping for air.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781633934139
Publisher: Koehler Books
Publication date: 04/15/2018
Pages: 344
Sales rank: 683,662
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.77(d)

About the Author

Whitney Ellenby is a former US Department of Justice, Disability Rights attorney whose writings have been published in The Washington Post, a law review periodical, and the U.S. DOJ website. She is the author of "Divinity vs. Discrimination: Curtailing the Divine Reach of Church Authority," Golden Gate University Law Review (1996)), as well as an amicus brief on behalf of the U.S. DOJ Disability Rights Division regarding discrimination against mobility-impaired individuals in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). She is the proud parent of a son with Autism and founder of "Autism Ambassadors," a charitable venture through which she runs exclusive recreational events for over 600 families impacted by Autism in the Washington, DC/Maryland area, including a Sensory-Friendly showing of the world-famous "Gazillion Bubbles Show." She is an expert on Autism and has testified before the Maryland Senate on disability-related issues, is a member of the Developmental Disabilities Advisory Council for Montgomery County, MD and serves on the University of Maryland Autism Spectrum Disorder Advisory Board. Whitney's expertise is steeped in her extensive disability law background, personal experience with her own son, and over 10 years of serving children, teens and adults with Autism of all ages through her "Autism Ambassador" events. Her monthly "Ambassador events" have been featured in local t.v. news, The Washington Post, Bethesda Magazine, and The Bethesda Gazette. Whitney was most recently honored with an "Autism Awareness Proclamation" and "Community Leader" award for her advocacy and dedication to the disability community of Maryland. She has what she describes as a "healthy obsession" with all things Autism.

Table of Contents

Flashback 1

Ugly Truth 7

Ironic Gestation 17

Thoroughly Vetted 28

New Beginnings 39

Tough Audience 44

Thank You, Doctor 54

A Toxic Womb 67

Picture a Staircase 76

40 Hours 87

Positive Reinforcement 93

Don’t Fret 103

Still Life 110

Modern Leprosy 118

Marriage, Interrupted 128

The Futility of a Flat Page 134

Indulgence 140

Inconceivable 148

The Scarlet “A” 154

Moments of Clarity 163

The Eclipse 169

The Commodization of Hope 178

Rewrite the Fairytale 189

This is Going to Hurt 201

Pull Back the Curtain 208

Let’s Make a Deal 219

Male Rockette 226

Bittersweet 233

“You Bad, Little Z!” 241

Alchemy 252

Master the Kingdom 260

“Why Does Zack Eat Play-Doh?” 263

Burden-shifting 274

Re-entry 281

Meet the Ambassadors 285

Epilogue 291

With Gratitude 322

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AUTISM UNCENSORED: Pulling Back the Curtain 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Ron Sandison More than 1 year ago
Autism Uncensored is one of the top ten best books I’ve read on autism and I have read over 300 books on this topic. I highly recommend it to every parent who has a child or children on the spectrum also teachers. The strength of this book is Whitney Ellenby’s transparency sharing her own experiences of both the beauty and ugliness of autism. I love her description of her son’s meltdowns and taking him to the theater. Ron Sandison, founder of Spectrum Inclusion and author of Parent’s Guide to Autism: Practical Advice. Biblical Wisdom.
FayJac More than 1 year ago
Wow! What a book! This was an amazing trip down the lane of autism. This book pulls back the curtain on autism and gives a very good and detailed description of what it is like living day by day with a child with autism and the very real frustrations, guilt, despair and struggles involved with taking him out into the real world and trying to decide which method to try to help him. This book is definitely uncensored and gives you a real look into the life of an educated mother who had to quit being an attorney to focus on her child and give him the best outcome she could. She describes the intense loneliness of being a mom of an autistic child and the hatred and then sometimes acceptance and support of onlookers as she tried to prepare her son for the “real world.” This is an excellent book and a real eye-opener into the world of autism. Every child is different and the author explains this and does not pretend that this is a manual or guidebook, but wrote this book to increase awareness and encourage other families with autistic children. I would encourage everyone to read this book, whether you have an autistic child or not. It will definitely increase awareness of autism which is prevalent everywhere.