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New Stewie Boom! and Princess Penelope Book Review PLUS! 3 Things Every Autism Parent Should Know

New Stewie Boom! and Princess Penelope Book Review PLUS! 3 Things Every Autism Parent Should Know

 

| YO, THIS IS A SPONSORED POST. |

Disclaimer- I was given a free copy/sample of the product to review and share my experience. All opinions are my own and not influenced in any way.

 

April is Autism Awareness month.

My Evil Plan (HAHAHA!)

I sat down last Tuesday night with my three children on the couch. I pulled out the bookStewie Boom! And Princess Penelope: Handprints, Snowflakes And Play-Dates by Christine Brownstein and had a master plan of dropping a bombshell on my kids about something we have been dealing with as a family for almost a decade now. However, my children had no idea of the secret we had been keeping from them. I intended to use this book as a teaching tool, along with the internet and imagined my children in a round table discussion with me, reflecting on their reaction to the mind blowing news. But cha know…. kids.

Instead after reading the book, our educational and revealing talk ended up like being more like herding cats and meeting a new person every 3 minutes. I was hoping for some…. anything from my children as they learned about the secret our family has. 

Two of our three children have Autism.

We have never spoken about their Autism in front of them. They were both around the age of two when we received their diagnosis. They are now 8 and 10 years old (although if you ask my daughter, she will tell you she is 8 AND A HALF. Dear lord, don’t forget that half). 

After reading the book, I waited for the waves of emotion from understanding by my children to roll in and invelop me like a warm hug. Annnddddd, that didn’t happen. Before I was done reading the book, my son was off the couch and in the other room. My youngest was happily and intentionally being an annoying extra in the video and my middle child was still trying to absorb the knowledge that was just handed to her. I called order in the court and my kids and I looked back at the book.

We started comparing them to Eric. Eric, the little boy in the book with Autism, didn’t like loud noises. My children realized either did they. We moved on to talk about the colorful snowflakes and handprints their teacher used to show how not one person is the same. My son mentioned fingerprints are like that too. My kids were starting to understand. However, all those things are objects you can touch and feel. 

 

See, one of the issues with any child, is teaching them intangible concepts, like Autism. If they can’t see it, smell it, touch it or even lick; it is hard to understand what you are talking about. I started to realize my children were grasping the topic of Autism in other people; which is the main point in the book. But I sat there wondering if they actually grasped the knowledge, that they are Eric. 

However, what if you found this article and your family is just starting on this journey?

I know there are questions you have; but not all will be answered initially. In reality, there will be some that won’t have a answer at all. However, here are a few things I wish I knew during those first steps:

  • Will You Tell People Your Child Has Autism?
    • I don’t upfront. At least I try not to. I don’t introduce my child by saying “This is Sam. Sam has Autism”. Autism doesn’t define who my child is. My kid is “Sam”. There are many personal reasons why and none of them are wrong or right; but those reasons are mine. Make sure you understand yours and stand behind them. 
  • Younger Is Easier
    • When your kid is young, their “quirks” can be attributed to their age. 
      • “I know it’s hard when they throw a fit. But they are only 3” some stranger might say to you.
    • However, at 10 years old, a fit is highly noticeable, could be violent and not easily explained away. I am not one to care about what others think of me or my kids in public; but “parent shaming” has recently become more noticeable when my children’s “quirks” come out. Those fits aren’t as cute now.
  • How, When, Why And If You Tell Your Child They Have Autism.
    • I knew when my kids were two, telling them about their diagnosis was useless. However, deciding on when to tell them was a much bigger issue. My children with Autism are considered “high functioning”. Due to this, I knew they might be able to comprehend what Autism is and how it affects them personally. I saw this book as the perfect segway into that talk. Ugh, parenting. Of course, my plan didn’t go as smooth as I hoped. But what this book did for us was give us a tangible, touchable (and even lickable) object to use when talking about what Autism means to our family. 

While the book doesn’t go into a first person viewpoint of a child with Autism (something I’d love to see from this author), the book gave a simple and uncomplicated storyline for children, teachers, parents and anyone to read. Furthermore, finally society is understanding. 

What was important years ago, when we as parents, first started on this journey was normalizing our children to blend into society. Years later, that has all changed. Now, what is important is normalizing society to understanding Autism.



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