Stars in Her Eyes – Navigating the Maze of Childhood AUTISM –
A book review by author Elizabeth Becker.
As I read Dr. Linda Barboa’s and Elizabeth Obrey’s new book, Stars in Her Eyes; Navigating the Maze of Childhood AUTISM, I found myself wondering, “Where was this book 25 years ago?”
That’s because 25 years ago I was navigating the maze with my son, trying to understand his combination of communication difficulties, his diet, his sensory difficulties, and trying to manage my home life while trying to find what services were available for my son. “Stars” covers these basics. The topics that all autism-parents really need, from understanding the red flags of communication, sensory and social skill deficits to resources, home life and dealing with all the other relationships of family and friends. Stars holds your hand and walks you from one concern to the next in a simple, straight-forward approach that makes you feel as if the authors are right there with you, ready to help.
I was totally immersed in the section on communication as that is where my son has the most difficulty. I found myself nodding in agreement and remembering the days of trying to help him write a complete sentence, initiate a conversation, and even learn the meaning of everyday phrases.
“The importance of communication is felt in every aspect of a child’s life.”
I couldn’t agree more.
Barboa, (whose background includes speech pathology, psychology and early childhood education) discusses each topic in the book and includes four contributing author perspectives: a speech pathologist, a teacher, a parent with 2 children on the spectrum, and a psychologist (whom also has children on the spectrum). Each response is honest and direct – their explanations of what they have observed, what they used and how they feel is refreshing and easy to digest.
I really could have used a book like this back in the day – one that discusses various diets, choosing the right school, behavioral interventions, navigating an IEP meeting, respite care, sibling dynamics and even sheds light on that protective cloak all members of a family with an autistic child seem to wear.
Oh, how I could relate to words of an older sister as she talked about her brother’s first day a college,
“The day he went to college, I pulled his roommate aside and described autism and ended it with, ‘If you hurt him I will find you.’”
Yes, I could picture Matt’s older brother, Christopher, doing the exact same thing.
This is the book you want if you are an autism parent, especially if you are just beginning your autism journey. This is not just another book on autism, this is a must have. Stars in Her Eyes is guidebook, a reference book, and an absolute joy to read.
Liz Becker, the author of Autism and the World According to Matt: A collection of 50 inspirational short stories on raising a moderate / severe mostly non-verbal autistic child from diagnosis to independence has been an autism-awareness advocate for over 26 years. Her website, “World According to Matt”, a Top 30 Autism Blog for Parents (Babble, 2012), reaches 82 countries with over 4 million Facebook “Likes”.
She has been a guest on Hour of Joy, Autism-Live, and Everyday Autism Miracles. Loz is also an Author-At-Large for the Autism Support Network, a Guest Speaker to parent support groups across the country and a consistently featured speaker for various college programs and community outreach programs.