Susan's Blog

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Now that I’m editing and rounding my book (got to had it in by May!), I am interested in putting in resources for parents. I’m looking for websites, books, articles, blogs, and products that have helped you feel happier given the context of living with autism. For this section, I am not looking for therapies or approaches you’ve taken with your children; I am not necessarily looking for autism blogs or books, although feel free to mention your faves. But mostly, I am looking for tangible resources that have helped you gain perspective, the actual websites or books, that have helped made you smile. But I don’t mean looking at Dilbert for a laugh or something like that. I mean some kind of site that gives you info and pointers for inspiration and empowerment, leading you to feel happier and more productive a person.

These sites don’t even have to have anything to do with autism, but maybe they have helped you gain perspective about your happiness and your child. Girlfriend’s Guide to Toddlers? Cosmopolitan, to make you think nasty about your partner?

Maybe you don’t get what I mean. Send something in, anyway. You never know, it could be just the thing that helps someone else get a handle on their happiness.

Send it to or feel free to post it here! And thank you!!


For myself I love to read pretty much anything, especially V C Andrews books, Cosmo, parenting books. I love watching What Not To Wear,Jon and Kate Plus 8, Nanny 911, How Clean is Your House? and I find Bridezillas hysterical.

— added by cameramom on Saturday, February 14, 2009 at 2:48 pm

I’ve been enjoying Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project.

I’ve come to realize that working on my own happiness as a process, as a way of living is important. If I neglect it, then I start to neglect my own self care and the whole life, family, autism situation seems so much more difficult and bleak.

I made my own list of happiness ideas and try to check each week that I am actually doing them.

My the way, I just finished reading your book Making Peace with Autism. Thank you; it was a tonic I needed.

— added by Livesay on Sunday, February 15, 2009 at 11:51 am

Thank you! Livesay, that is very much what I am looking for!

Cameramom, your suggestions I can put into a different chapter, about specific fun things people do.

Thanks, all!

— added by Susan Senator on Sunday, February 15, 2009 at 12:39 pm

Have you read that book “Shut Up About your Perfect Kid”? It’s a good read for those of us who have experienced some “perspective”

— added by Anonymous on Sunday, February 15, 2009 at 4:40 pm

There is a book that I have found truly wonderful. It is called “Autism and the God Connection”. After I read that, I felt so much more appreciation and acceptance of Nick. That helped me spiritually with Nick.

Others that took a more medical analysis were “Autism for Dummies”, and “Changing the Course of Autism”. These give more info on tests that can be run, supplements and therapies. Lots of good knowledge in their pages.

For fun I have read “George and Sam” and “Road Map to Holland”. I like biographies anyway, so reading about other kids with autism was for nothing but my own pleasure.

For my own happiness, I like simple things. A walk with my oldest son in the snow, going for a long drive by myself and listening to some good ole 80’s hairband rock, and just allowing myself to just BE sometimes. I like putting the kids to bed and then getting lost in some mindless TV shows with a bowl full of forbidden ice cream. Dealing with autism is much easier when I have had a good walk, or a work out at the gym; and that is what Nick needs as much as any other therapies.

— added by Amy on Sunday, February 15, 2009 at 9:06 pm

This doesn’t respond to your question, but I hope you will mention in the book that parents experiencing extreme stress, and all the sleeplessness and feelings of hopelessness that can go with that, may find that anti-depressant meds work to improve their frame of mind. I wish I had known that back in those very dark post-diagnosis days with a nonverbal toddler. I know you also take or have taken them–I can best describe their effect as preventing me from catastrophizing, which I was spending all my time doing back then. It may be “artificial”, but hey, if it works . . . . I know that many people would see this as an unacceptable option or an absolute last resort, but I would urge them to be a little kinder to themselves.

— added by Susan too on Thursday, March 26, 2009 at 5:28 pm

Susan Too —
Absolutely! I have put in things that help people, sans jugement. I am glad that you have found something to help. I have gone that route as well at times.

— added by Susan Senator on Friday, March 27, 2009 at 6:57 am