In a Van Down by the River: and Other Adventures of a Born Again Aspie

In a Van Down by the River: and Other Adventures of a Born Again Aspie

by Dana Longpre

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In a Van Down by the River: and Other Adventures of a Born Again Aspie by Dana Longpre

This is the adventurous story of Dana Longpre who’s life began at her Grandma’s house. At three years old Dana and her sister moved with their mom and her girlfriend across town. After eight years of living in this lesbian relationship, Dana’s mother broke up with her girlfriend, and then got back together with Dana’s biological father. Unfortunately he had many destructive habits, including drugs. Then her family left everything she’d ever known to travel across the country in a van all the way to Alaska to homestead with her family. After living in a campground for three months and finally moving into a tiny travel trailer with no heat or plumbing, the anger and abuse of her father became too much. It was at this point Dana and her sister were moved into the foster care system. Dana moved eleven times in three and a half years, which included two hospitals and a group home. During this difficult journey Dana found hope and healing in Jesus Christ, but as she matured through her adult years, she discovered that the pains of her life were overshadowed by something that always made her “different”. Here ability to blend in with social settings masked it for many years, but after her son came into the world “different” she began to put the puzzle together. “Different” soon became Asperger’s Syndrome (autism) for her son, and later she realized, for herself. This is Dana’s story of pain, hope, healing, and discovery.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781936417698
Publisher: Pilot Communications Group, Incorporated
Publication date: 04/04/2012
Pages: 244
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Dana Longpre received a B.A. in Psychology with honors at Corban University (Salem, OR) in 1999. She has worked in group homes and contained classrooms with foster children and children with autism as a Behavioral Specialist for eight years. She and her husband also worked together as Youth Leaders for three years. Following this Dana came home to be with her son Nathan and home school him. She still enjoys being Nathan’s teacher, and on the weekends is writing music and leading worship for the elementary kids at her church. In her spare time she loves to go to the park with her husband and son, and when not having family time, she writes music and praise songs for all ages.

Read an Excerpt

“In spite of all our enthusiasm our trip was stopped short six hours after starting… Dad and Steve were yelling for us to run out of the bus and into a ditch. “The engines on fire!” they shouted. They really thought it was going to blow! The boys got the fire out, but the bus was dead. We had to walk into town and buy a used twelve-passenger van. Little did I know that when we got to Alaska this would be my actual home.”

Table of Contents

Dedication 4

Prologue-Just a Note: Aspie? 8

Part I My Adventures Begins 11

Lake Shore Drive 15

North Lincoln Road 17

Separation 25

Thirteen 26

The Lie 31

The Trip 33

Across the Border 38

Living in a Van Down by the River 40

Poverty 41

Abandoned, Rescued, then Abandoned 48

Crazy Now 52

Left Out 57

Meeting the Man of Light 58

Unwanted 62

Drugged Up 63

Withdrawal 64

The Other Side 65

Painful Insights 67

A Fresh Start 70

Unwanted Again 89

Finally Wanted 93

Letting Go 99

Off to College 100

To Burn with Passion 103

Now We are We 103

The Drawning 104

Helping Sara 107

Crash! 110

John 3:17 117

Meeting Nathan 120

Part II Living on the Spectrum 129

Asperger's Syndrome 133

Social Comprehension and Integration 134

Sensory Processing and Integration 139

Rigidity in Behaviors 147

Obsessions and Compulsions 148

Time and Structure 150

Giftedness 150

Ultimately 155

Part III Closing 157

What I Know For Sure 161

Epilogue 165

Appendix A Causes of Autism 173

Appendix B Scriptures that I Love 177

Appendix C Books that Changed Me 181

Appendix D Ministries I Support 187

Appendix E My Favorite Hymns 189

About the Author 191

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In a Van Down by the River: and Other Adventures of a Born Again Aspie 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sandra Heptinstall Dana Longpre’ grew up knowing she was “different”, but could not figure out what it was. Her home life was terrible and Dana and her sister were taken away from her mom and dad. Then it was a life from one foster home to another. She had been moved eleven different times in three and a half years that included two hospitals and a group home. Then she heard about Jesus and His saving Grace. She learned it was so much better to live the way He wanted. To give Him all the love that she had, knowing He loved her deeper in ways we can’t even begin to imagine. God gave her courage to keep going. Dana married a special man named Joe. Joe helped her with her unknown problems. He could help her to calm down when something threw her day off. She had a list that involved times for everything. If things on the list were not met she would begin to have a melt-down. Then they had a beautiful baby boy they named him Nathan. It is because of Nathan that they learned why Dana was different, and discover Nathan had the same thing. It is called Asperger’s Syndrome. This book is special to me as I have a grandson who is nine-teen and also has Asperger’s. I believe that God sends us special angels who can help so many people. To me, Dana is one of those sent from above. If she had not gone through so much we might of never known about it. You are my angel Dana. I also like the songs that you have written.