Early on in our gifted-twice-exceptional-suddenly-unexpectedly-homeschooling-journey, I stumbled upon Shawna Wingert’s blog, Not the Former Things. I immediately connected with Shawna’s story. I fell in love with her writing, her honesty, and her overriding love for her boys. I identified with her struggle and her journey. Yes, we were on different paths, but we shared some similarities and when I read Shawna’s words, I knew I was not alone.
Many gifted children are on the autism spectrum. Sometimes, it’s unclear whether a gifted child is also on the autism spectrum. And, due to the overlap in characteristics, some gifted children are misdiagnosed with ASD. Asynchronous development can lead to difficulties relating to peers, behavioral outbursts, intense/atypical interests, sensory processing difficulties, and anxiety.
Now, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that my parenting journey and hurdles are the same as Shawna’s. They are not. And yet, I can relate to so much of Shawna’s family story.
So, when I heard that Shawna had a book out, I needed to read it.
*Disclosure: I received a copy of Everyday Autism at no cost, in exchange for a review. In truth, I asked Shawna for a copy because I knew I would love it and I knew my readers would relate to her story. And, because Shawna is a total sweetheart in real life, she said yes!
If you follow Not the Former Things, you’re already aware that Shawna writes from her heart. Shawna’s stories are raw and full of honesty and love. In this age of mommy wars and Pinterest perfection, Shawna’s stories are a breath of fresh air. Yes, she shares the love and joys of motherhood, but she also shares those ugly moments.
Everyday Autism is a beautiful, honest, and at times gut-wrenching book about motherhood and autism and learning challenges and family. It’s a story about understanding and judgment, joy and sorrow, triumphs and challenges. If you are the parent of a child on the autism spectrum, I’m sure you’ll see some of your story here. Everyday Autism is a great way for others to understand autism spectrum disorders. But, also, this is a book about motherhood.
Motherhood is hard. In some cases, for whatever reason, it is really hard. Shawna gets that, she lives it, and through her book you will realize that you are not alone. Yes, your path may be different than hers, but we are all united together in trying to be the best moms we can be right now, in this moment. Sometimes we falter, but we wake up fresh each morning with renewed hope and faith and love.
Shawna is an amazing mom who is navigating motherhood, autism, dyslexia, and other medical issues with grace and love and faith and hope. Her story is inspiring. Everyday Autism is a welcome addition to my bookshelf, and I am honored to have the chance to share it with you all today. I’m thankful that I stumbled upon her site early in my gifted/2E journey, for she has helped me more than she knows.
Who inspires you?
All too often, parenting can feel like a lonely venture. I always say, “What did folks do before the internet?!” because parenting certain populations must have been so much harder. I am thankful for sites like Shawna’s, and a host of others, because they have helped me on our journey. I’d love to hear who inspires you- share here!
Cait co-hosts The Homeschool Sisters Podcast and is co-founder of Raising Poppies, a community for parents of gifted and twice-exceptional children. Cait is also founder of the Family Book Club at My Little Poppies, a fantastic community of book-loving parents and the Gameschool Community at My Little Poppies, a vibrant community of gameschoolers.
Cait is a contributing writer for Simple Homeschool. Her work has also appeared on The Huffington Post, The Mighty, Scary Mommy, GeekMom, and many others. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram
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