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Raising Brandon is a manual for parents who have children and adults with autism and special needs. The book informs, educates, and offers hope to a generation of parents struggling for answers. Whether you are just starting out with a newborn and you sense something is wrong, or you have an adult child with autism or special needs and you do not know what to do, Raising Brandon will guide you to the answers you have been looking for.
Raising Brandon is filled with practical strategies, answers and solutions that will make life easier for you and your children, no matter their age or stage of development. It offers help, hope and inspiration to parents who do not know where to turn. You will be provided with the proven tools to help you work with your children's limitations. Rather than just thinking about what to do, now you can make positive results a reality.
Raising Brandon follows Starr's life from the birth of her younger son, Brandon, through his diagnosis of autism, untreatable epilepsy, and severe learning disorders. Her goal was to help him live his dream and become an independent adult. "When most people hear the word autism, they associate it with a child," says Starr. "But like Brandon, now thirty-six, our children grow up, and we want them to not only survive in the world, but to live well. As parents, we have much to learn about ourselves in the process."
Intended for parents of special needs children as well as care providers, the book's chapters tell a particular story and reveal what the author has discovered. Where the book really shines is where Starr describes in detail how she created innovative ways to empower Brandon when professionals said independence would be impossible for him to achieve. She had to dig deep within, to change and empower herself first in order to help her son succeed. Raising Brandon not only guides parents on how to cope but also how to become a more conscious and evolved human being in the process. "Being conscious is the secret to success," says Starr. "I would have never thought that by helping my son succeed that I would be helping myself at the same time."
Another message close to Starr's heart is made loud and clear throughout the book. Although her son was diagnosed with epilepsy and learning disorders at the age of nine, it was not until he turned thirty-two that Starr discovered Brandon had a form of autism called Asperger syndrome. She stresses how early intervention is key, but Starr knows firsthand and shares, "It is never too late to get help for your children There is Hope. Brandon is living proof that anything is possible!"
Amalia's candor about learning to meet her adult son where he was, not where she wanted him to be, will touch many parents of children with developmental and sensory processing difference. --Carol Kranowitz, The Out-of-Sync Child
Amalia Starr is a motivational speaker and family consultant who specializes in supporting parents of children with autism and special needs through workshops, seminars, and private sessions. Utilizing a background in sales and marketing, she was the host of a cable show dedicated to parents who had children with special needs. Her results-based approach focuses on empowering both parents and their children to reach their full potential. As a mother, she has devoted more than thirty-six years to developing the skills to empower her son, Brandon. He has been living on his own successfully, enjoying his independence, for more than twelve years.
215 pages. 2009