What I Wish I'd Known about Raising a Child with Autism: A Mom and a Psychologist Offer Heartfelt Guidance for the First Five Years

What I Wish I'd Known about Raising a Child with Autism: A Mom and a Psychologist Offer Heartfelt Guidance for the First Five Years

by Bobbi Sheahan, Kathy DeOrnellas

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Bobbi Sheahan, mother of a child with autism, and psychologist Kathy DeOrnellas, Ph.D., did not write this book to lecture you on how to parent your child. Instead, they offer themselves as your scouts in the field, who have valuable information to share from the moment you realize your kid is different (My, what a quiet baby I have!), to the self-righteous moms on the playground, to holding your marriage together and the realm of routines. They candidly tackle ASD issues such as: Picky Eating Bedtime Battles Potty Training Speech Delays Discipline Early Intervention Sibling Rivalry And much more!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781935274681
Publisher: Future Horizons, Inc.
Publication date: 10/01/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 209
Sales rank: 1,001,358
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Bobbi Sheahan is a mom who teamed up with her child's psychologist to write What I Wish I'd Known About Raising a Child With Autism: A Mom and a Psychologist Offer Heartfelt Advice for the First Five Years. She wrote this book to spare other parents some of the pain, discouragement, and confusion that can accompany the early years of parenting a child who has or may have autism. This is her third book.

Kathy DeOrnellas, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist who worked closely with the Sheahan family for many years. In addition to having a private counseling practice, she is also a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology, a National Health Service Provider, and a Professional Art Therapist.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Our Journey from Cluelessness to Partial Enlightenment
Chapter 2: Autism 101
Chapter 3: In the Beginning
Chapter 4: The Causes of Autism
Chapter 5: The Basics ... with a Twist of Autism
Chapter 6: My Kid, She’s Not Much of a Talker
Chapter 7: My, What a High Pain Tolerance You Have ... and What Sensitive Ears
Chapter 8: What Can I Do about These Weird Behaviors?
Chapter 9: Reading, Writing, and Lining Up Her Toys
Chapter 10: If I’ve Told You Once, I’ve Told You a Million Times!
Chapter 11: My Child and Other People
Chapter 12: Talk about It
Chapter 13: There Is No Finish Line
Bobbi’s Annotated Bibliography
About the Authors


What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"I would recommend this book without reservation. It serves as a good book for those who are considering that their child may be autistic, or have children newly diagnosed as autistic. This book would be a good beginner book for parents who want to know about autism, and a great source for further reading on the subject."—Stephen M. Donahue, M.D.

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What I Wish I'd Known about Raising a Child with Autism: A Mom and a Psychologist Offer Heartfelt Guidance for the First Five Years 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
19vatermit64 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What I Wish I'd Known about Raising a Child with Autism: A Mom and a Psychologist Offer Heartfelt Guidance for the First Five YearsFuture Horizons (2011)Actually, this is a book PREVIEW. This book will be available soon.Before starting, I must make a few disclaimers. One is that I was asked to preview this book by the author. I was delighted to be asked and am not receiving any type of compensation for this blog entry. Second, although I am a physician, I do not practice any specialty which addresses the diagnosis and management of autism; however, I do have a lot of experience with autistic children. As a pediatric anesthesiologist, I care for autistic children who require anesthesia for surgical, dental, and other procedures. More importantly, as a parent, I was blessed with an autistic child for fifteen years. Carolyn and I were blessed with our third son, Theodore, who passed away in April, 2008. This experience, as Bobbie Sheahan would say, does not make me an expert, but does help when reviewing this book.In addition, this book represents my views and not those of my employer.What I Wish I¿d Known About Raising a Child With Autism was written by Bobbi Sheahan, a lawyer who is presently a stay at home mom, and Kathy DeOrnellas, Ph.D., a psychologist who treats autistic children. Mrs. Sheahan has a daughter, Grace, with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who is now seven years old. This book was inspired by the many challenges she faced in searching for a diagnosis as well as a treatment for Grace. This book was written to help those parents who are beginning to notice that one of their children appears to be `different` and don't know what to do about it. As Bobbi Sheahan says in the preface, ¿we are here to hold your hand as you walk through a door that you and your child didn¿t choose....¿ Another reason for writing this book was to reassure parents who may feel overwhelmed with the behavior of an autistic child. To finish the sentence quoted above, ¿...come on in, there are lots of us here waiting for you.¿This book consists of thirteen chapters, and both authors contribute separately to each chapter. Mrs. Sheahan writes mainly from her own experience and research in dealing with Grace, while Dr. DeOrnellas provides her expert opinion to corroborate what Mrs. Sheahan has stated. I really appreciated this; especially when references cited in are listed at the end of each chapter. I don¿t like reading things where it appears that data has been `pulled out of midair.¿The first three chapters deal with the basics of autism. In chapter one, Mrs. Sheahan relates some of her family background as well as the circumstances of her pregnancy and birth of Grace. She describes how Grace was different from her older sister, how she was quiet and easier to manage as an infant. Chapter two is all by Dr. DeOrnellas, with terminology and statistics discussed, including the cost for the treatment of autism. That was rather sobering. In chapter three, Mrs. Sheahan begins to realize that Grace is different, and talks about the difficulty of coming to grips with having a child who is not considered normal. Finding a professional who could help her was very difficult, and the lessons learned from that effort are discussed in this chapter as well.Chapter four has a section in it called `a completely non-scientific discussion of the origins of autism, with no conclusions reached.¿ This is a good description for this chapter. Some of the theories mentioned are very thought-provoking.After this journey into the theoretical, the fifth chapter delves into the practical - and sometimes unsavory - aspects of parenting an autistic child. Food preferences and abnormalities, such as pica are discussed, as are challenges with maintaining good oral hygiene. The extensive efforts needed to childproof an autistic child¿s house reminds me that raising an autistic child involves all members of the household, especially the siblings.Chapters six, seven, and eight
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A wonderfully helpful book. We are not alone in this.
ConnieHammerParentCoach More than 1 year ago
The author of this book graciously welcomes you into her home, her life and allows you to observe her struggles and her victories. She shares much that is useful, supportive and wise especially to parents of a child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). These tips and ideas are not stuffed down your throat but carefully served on a platter for your choosing. Author, Bobbi Sheahan is clear that this is what has worked for her up until now and every child is different. As Bobbi continues on her own journey it is apparent that she will continue to explore what works best for her child as she encourages you to do the same. ¿You will figure out what works, and when it stops working, you will figure out something else. Start believing this and your world will change.¿ Her gentle encouragement and thought provoking questions are guaranteed to help you find your own path on this challenging journey. This author writes with a wonderful sense of humor despite the serious subject matter covered so be prepared to smile. She also sprinkles some wonderful comments and stories from other parents throughout the book and offers the added bonus of professional expertise from Kathy DeOrnellas, Ph. D. whose comments provide parents with an expert¿s perspective on issues such as elopement, potty training, various types of therapies, diet, sensory issues and much, much more. This book is a wonderful affirmation for parents. Those who pick it up will not be able to keep their head from nodding up and down or back and forth in agreement or acknowledgement ¿ confirming thoughts they had or situations they experienced with a feeling of relief that, phew! ¿I am not the only one.¿ Or ¿I am not going crazy.¿ Simply put, this is a must read for anyone who is touched by Autism. In order to better survive your own journey with Autism you need to take this 250-page journey with Bobbi Sheahan and Kathy DeOrnellas, Ph D.
ALilly More than 1 year ago
Bobbi Sheahan's newest book, what I wish I'd known about raising a child with autism is one of the best and most poignant stories I have read to date. Her love and her "Grace" show through in each page she writes. With the help of Bobbi and DR. D, I, as a teacher of special education/special needs have not only learned so much more than I expected but came away with a better and different understanding of what family's deal with on a daily basis. I am so much more prepared to teach these angels because of this understanding. The statement "When you have met one child with autism, you've met one child with autism" is so true. Bobbi's humor (although she may not see it as clearly as I do) combined with Dr. D's vast knowledge of kids on the autism spectrum is what sets this book apart from others in the field. Once I started reading Bobbi's story, I could not put it down. I read it in less than twenty four hours. It is amazingly moving in parts and in other parts I laughed until I cried just picturing the dilemmas presented in the book. Her unique writing style will take your breath away and keep you interested through all its 250 pages. It is entertaining while bringing home all the points necessary for understanding daily life with a small child on the spectrum. It is certainly a true read and a better one could not be found! Whether you are a parent, a caregiver or a teacher, this book is the ONE book that you must read!
seasonCA More than 1 year ago
This is a fantastic resource! The conversational style makes it easy to read, yet it's filled with so much practical information. Parenting children with autism comes with many challenges and unknowns. This book gives a window to view one family's experience; with an expert's insights woven throughout. Parents will get an idea of some of the unique challenges to parenting child with autism, as well as the reassurance that they are not alone. This book is not just for parents, either. If someone in your life has a child with autism, read this book. You will better understand and be able to support the parents and their child.
MrsDanner0607 More than 1 year ago
This is a helpful read for anyone with a child diagnosed with any form of Autism. Most books seemed to be directed more toward boys with autism and so I was happy to find one about a girl. This book has many tips and suggestions that the author has used or witnessed that has been helpful for me and my daughter. Highly recommended! Great easy read. I did not feel like I was reading a research paper. It was personal and easy to relate to.