A parent with ASD can provide his or her children deep love and support, along with a perspective on the world that is wonderfully unique.
At the same time, the emotional and physical demands of parenting can be taxing for someone with autism.
Growing Together Across the Autism Spectrum tackles a topic that has received little attention: the relationship between a neurotypical child and a parent on the spectrum. As such, this illustrated children's book provides a conversational starting point for families with a parent on the autism spectrum. While narrated from the perspective of a boy whose father has ASD and a mother who does not, his thoughts and questions apply equally to other variations of this family structure.
While an ASD parent craves order, reason, and predictability, the experience of parenthood is inherently chaotic. This book fills a critical gap in resources for children and families with parents on the autism spectrum. It takes children's feelings of love, confusion, and worry seriously and promotes mutual respect, affection, and accountability among family members. Overall, this title reflects the importance of every family member's commitment to growing together.
"As a parent of a child with high functioning autism, family member to others with ASD and a social worker, I found Growing Together to be a pioneering work. It is truly the first of its kind, not only for families with a parent who has autism but for readers of all ages and degrees of understanding about ASD. Written with such warmth and candor and a sense of humor to boot the book employs a gentle, non-threatening, interactive style to facilitate growth of the reader s personal insight. It also fosters a sense of compassion and empathy for each person involved in the family dynamic. I love that the book dwells at least as much on the positive aspects of ASD as it does on its challenges, leaving the reader filled with hope for their family s future and with acceptance of themselves and their loved one with ASD. This is an exciting new resource that will educate and enrich the special needs community and will enliven the hearts of friends and family alike."--Amy Coughlin Maloney, BA, QDDP, social worker
"A wonderful message of acceptance, Elizabeth Marks has written a thoughtful introduction to the fascinating world of having a parent with ASD. Her charming illustrations and gentle look at the strengths and challenges of being a parent with ASD will help to give children an honest understanding of their experiences. Marks celebrates the diversity of relationships that children can have with their parents while emphasizing that they are loved. A must have for every family, therapist and teacher!"--Sherry A. Moyer, MSW, Executive Director, Keystone Autism Services, Pennsylvania
Elizabeth Marks, MA, museum exhibition curator and graphic designer, grew up with a passion for the arts and humanities and perused these interests through college, graduating magna cum laude from Lawrence University, with a BA in English. About six years ago, when faced with a spouse on the autism spectrum, a child in need of an explanation, a family in need of dialog, and no readily available resource on the topic, she decided to do what was familiar to her create a story.
Together, we're always better. More fun, too.