Christine Walker's son was just four years old when he was diagnosed with ADHD, bipolar disorder, and autism. In 2004, knowledge of and resources for childhood mental illness were scarce and Christine was thrust into a lonely maze of figuring out which treatments, therapies, and medications could help her child. In the decade since his diagnosis, Christine often wished for a manual, a guide that would pass on "real deal" mom-to-mom information and tips she needed to sometimes just get through the day and ultimately to help her family navigate this maze with knowledge, grace, humor, and love. For those at the beginning of the journey, this is that manual.
"Chasing Hope is a GPS for any family raising a child with special needs. Written by a parent on the journey, Christine Walker gives not only hope to parents, but simple, effective, and meaningful steps to be part of policy solutions." -Former Congressman John Edward Porter Founder of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus Former chairman of PBS and Trustee Emeritus, JFK Center for the Performing Arts
"Christine Walker's Chasing Hope presents a candid portrayal of an ongoing journey. The trip chronicles her emotion-filled experiences related to seeking answers and solutions for her son who has significant disabilities. Chasing Hope honestly addresses the sadness, disappointment, frustration, and anger. It also captures the hope and happiness associated with her son. This book, which highlights extensive and exhaustive searching, offers tremendous insights to families with children with significant needs. Chasing Hope should be read by all parents, educators, and physicians." -Dr. Tim Thomas Northern Suburban Special Education District Superintendent
"The Zen philosopher Alan Watts echoed the wisdom I've gleaned from the lake. 'The only way to make sense out of change,' he said, 'is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.'" -Phil Jackson (quoting Alan Watts) 11-time NBA championship and Hall of Fame coach
"Chasing Hope is not only a resource for families with children with autism and mental illness, but for policy makers as well. Schuyler's story illustrates a serious policy failure. Mrs. Walker's willingness to share her family's story in such an authentic manner is exceptional, and exemplifies the fearlessness she has shown throughout Schuyler's journey. The resolution of policy failures is only possible when brave families, like the Walkers, give voice to the issues. That Mrs. Walker had to become an expert in Schuyler's condition and the policy options available is heartbreaking, but her commitment to sharing the knowledge she acquired will undeniably help countless families." -Dr. Angela Fontes Northwestern University
"As a health professional and parent of a child with ASD I found myself reliving many of the emotions and feelings that were evoked by this book. The struggle to get the right diagnosis and treatment will strike a cord with parents. Some of the writing was so true to life that it raised the hairs on the back of my neck; reading about how driven a parent can become in this situation was fantastic. The lack of help for these children is an international problem and it is important for health professionals, policy makers, and other parents to hear such stories so that further action can be taken to improve help for future generations. I would encourage everyone who has an interest in this area to read this account and to reflect on the issues raised." -Dr. Khalid Karim Senior Clinical Teaching Fellow, University of Leicester, England Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Leicestershire Partnership Trust, Leicester, England