All I Can Handle I’m No Mother Teresa by Kim Stagliano

Oh, God. Not Another Book About Autism.

This is the opening introduction of Kim’s book. My close girlfriend gave me this book as a birthday gift. She felt that I could handle the book (pun intended). I loved it! I finished the book within two days of receiving it and in order to do that, I brought it everywhere I went just so that I can read it during any free time that I could squeeze out. Kim’s honest and funny way of writing this memoir about raising her three daughters with autism gave me the strength to carry on my journey as well.

ISBN-10: 1616084596 ISBN-13: 978-1616084592
ISBN-10: 1616084596
ISBN-13: 978-1616084592

You can purchase the book from Amazon for US$11.25.

I got to learn about the term “curebie” from Kim. Curebie means “an autism parent who believes that, in our lifetime, we will be able to bring our kids to a point where they blend in with their peers and can live full, independent lives – through a combination of medical treatment, therapy, schooling, and a rosary that stretches from Connecticut to California” (2010, p27). I wish that C will be able to live independently as well. I guess all parents in this world wish that for their kids except the journey might be tougher if the world isn’t open to accepting them.

In Kim’s book, she writes about her journey with her daughters, her unexpected career that bloomed out of “autism” and her journey with her husband under the chapter she titles, “The Autism marriage: Soul Mates or Cell Mates”. I particularly love her title on ‘A Paper Mitten on the Giving Tree’.

By now, I’m starting to cry. Mark and I had dropped off gifts for the Giving Tree every year since we’d been married. We’re on the giving team! Not the receiving team!

Through reading it, I have learnt that it is alright to ask for help and also be open to be helped. Sometimes, as parents, or just humans, our pride stops us from doing a lot of things.If you wish to be inspired or just want a good read, do purchase the book. You can find out more about Kim and her family from her website: www.kimstagliano.com

My Reflection

It’s interesting. Before I know that C has autism, things related to autism interest me as an educator but not to the extend whereby I would cling on to them. Since knowing about C’s condition, I feel closer to parents with kids with autism. I don’t need to really know them as a best friend, but there are times when just meeting one from across the room when you see them dealing with their child, you just know, and often, that bow or smile is all that matters. That simple, “It’s OK!” just softens the heart and makes it easier.

Talking to them makes life more assuring, it’s like we know how one another is feeling. I love talking to FL, this parent whose child is on the same spectrum as C. With others, I need to explain more. With her, I don’t have to. She gets it. I love the

Yah yah yah, C does that too!

Likewise, with many others, when we talk about experiences with our child, the assurances and joy in just knowing that “There’s another kid out there manifesting the same behaviour” somehow makes the journey easier. I can’t seem to explain why.

I feel a sense of strength when I know of bloggers who have autism and how they manage to crave out a life for themselves. Through blogging, I have gotten to know many amazing people with autism, some have their own radio shows, some writes, some even teaches in schools as well. They are all doing well and I want C to be able to do it too! If that means I’m a curebie, so be it!!! I say it loud and clear for everyone to hear!

I feel a sense of hope when I watch videos on Teds or movies which showcase people with autism thinking that with the exposure, they will be acknowledged as being part of this world in a real sense. Not in this world, but part of this world. Like what Martin Luther King said,

I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today

This is my version:

I, too, have a dream, that my child with autism, like many others out there, will live in a nation where they will not be judged by the neurological disability that they have but by the content of their character, by who they are as individuals, by their ability to live and breathe like any other individuals. I have a dream today.

As I’ve mentioned many a times, if we go together, we can go far. I will help my son, not tomorrow, but today.

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