AUTISM UNCENSORED: Pulling Back the Curtain

AUTISM UNCENSORED: Pulling Back the Curtain

by Whitney Ellenby
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: 965,942
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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