Meltdowns. Rejection. Bullying. All of these words are associated with autism. As the story opens, Jeff Howard races to the emergency room to find his wife battered by their autistic son. Jeff’s plans for his success and family start falling apart and the reality is that life is hard. But It’s harder when you have a child with autism. And you can’t run from it. Jeff’s journey from denial to acceptance is poignant and honest. Jeff must let go of his ambitions and embrace a different way to live. To find peace the family must be able to pull together and work as a team to make a better life for them all. Through the process, the family learns some new words to associate with autism: courage, acceptance, and joy.
|Publisher:||Melissa Campbell Rowe|
|File size:||357 KB|
About the Author
Dance of Joy is Melissa's first book. Like lots of people she has had the story in her head for several years. She wanted to write a fictional book about families learning to live with autism to shed light on the struggles families face. Her older son was identified as being autistic almost 25 years ago Over the years. she read lots of books about autism mostly informational and an occasional biography. But there was nothing about the day-to-day living with a child with autism. Dance of Joy provides the glimpse into a family's life and concerns as they deal with autism through the characters of Jeff and Meredith. She hopes this book brings understanding to families with a child with autism and enlightenment to the grandparents, aunts and uncles, and friends. She is currently working towards providing social networks for adults with autism in her community. And, of course, she is working on her next book.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is an emotional story about a family with an autistic son, Tucker. He faces bullying in school which causes him to react violently and be expelled. His mother, Meredith, is at her wit's end. Dance of Joy is not just about an autistic child and some of the challenges he faces, but it gives readers a close look at the siblings and parents lives, too. I wanted nothing more than to jump into the pages and relieve Meredith so she could rest. I adored her character because she never stopped fighting for her son. She was his biggest advocate. This story was wonderful for many reasons, but I truly appreciate seeing these challenges through the different perspectives of the family. The author clearly depicted the emotional, physical, and mental struggles they each faced.
This is a difficult book to read but is approached in such a way that even through all the pain and despair there is a vision of hope. We begin in the emergency room .. Meredith has an eye injury. She is waiting to see the doctor and has left her son Tucker in the waiting room .. enter husband Jeff. All Meredith wants to do is drift off to sleep and forget what happened. Jeff promises to take Tucker home to put him and their daughters to bed. It’s when we realise Tucker was actually responsible for Meredith’s injury that it becomes apparent this isn’t an ‘ordinary’ happy family. Tucker is becoming violent, moody, causing arguments with his sisters, getting into trouble and eventual expulsion from school. But is it all done intentionally or has Tucker got deeper issues ? Meredith wants to seek help for her son, Jeff is in denial saying he is ‘just a boy’. This gripping tale highlights the difficulties faced by families when a member has special needs. The frustrations at dealing with the system, the lengths they need to go to protect themselves and Tucker. The inevitable strain on the marriage but also the realisation that the smallest glimmer of hope can result in a ‘Dance of Joy’. There will be plenty of people who read this who have a child with autism who nod in agreement with all that is happening and for those that have no experience hopefully it will enable a little more tolerance and understanding. I think I gained a lot from this book and it was a memorable read. Thanks to the author and Sage’s Blog Tours for giving me the opportunity to give my honest opinion.