Susan's Blog

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Reasonable Ideas

I have found the book I want to read next: Reasonable People by Ralph Savarese. Read this bit from his website and you, too, may feel the same.

Ralph and his wife Emily, an autism expert, adopted DJ, an abused autistic boy, when he was six. Ralph’s writing about the adoption alone takes my breath away. “We were not infertile,” he says, trying to explain to the multitudes of people who could not believe anyone would do such a thing. Nor are they saints or martyrs. Nor were they trying to avoid adopting a child of a different race. It was simply that they had a connection with DJ, from Emily’s work, and he needed them as much as they needed him.

My heart leaped when I read this. This, that he describes in his essay, is exactly how I feel. You and your child connect. It is that simple. God, goodness, hope, foolish optimism — whatever you may call it — are all involved in this dynamic. But it is through our own work (and, of course, God, or good luck, energy, magic, dedication, whatever else) that we make something positive of what we end up with.

You reap what you sow, but it takes a particular kind of wisdom to actually feast on what you’ve harvested.


I just finished it! And I enjoyed it. I heard the author on NPR this summer and bought the book.

What little DJ went through — abandonment, abuse of all types — is unbelievable.

But the author does seem a bit condescending — both on-air and in the book — that everyone else isn’t eager to foster/adopt a child with autism like he and his wife did. Frankly, he did have the benefit of a spouse who is an autism expert though.

— Cathy in CT

— added by Anonymous on Wednesday, October 24, 2007 at 5:59 pm

Love the reap what you sew quote .. May need to borrow that one!

We saw him at BC last night and he was an incredibly effective speaker. So passionate, so hopeful. It really helped me see Jack in a different light…although I’m a little afraid of reading the book. Sometimes I have difficulty shaking the sadness..

Thank God for heroes like YOU and him…

— added by Judith on Wednesday, October 24, 2007 at 6:11 pm

I love this book. Like Look Me In The Eye it proves how bright and engaged our kids are – even when their autism “hides” them from the world. Ralph was kind enough to send me a copy to raffle off at the LI conference last weekend. I was happy to do so. His cover sort of looks like the boy on YOUR cover turned around, maybe that means something?


— added by Kim Rossi Stagliano on Wednesday, October 24, 2007 at 8:48 pm