Raising Brandon: Creating a Path to Independence for Your Adult Kid with Autism & Special Needs (Paperback)
Raising Brandon has become a manual for parents who have children 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 and you do not know what to do, Raising Brandon will guide you to the answers you have been looking for. This book is filled with practical strategies, answers and solutions that will make life easier for you and your child, no matter his or her 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 child'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, intractable 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." Brandon has achieved what the professionals believed to be impossible. He has been living in his own apartment, enjoying his independence, for the past twelve years. Although living alone may not be an option for every child, helping one's child to live the best life possible is every parent's dream. "There are thousands of children being diagnosed with autism every day, and those children will grow up. We need to have the resources in place to help them, and as parents, we need to know what to do," adds Starr. There are areas in the book where Starr addresses the common pitfalls, such as shame, secrecy, and denial. She describes how damaging these can be personally, as well as on the marriage. Further, she provides proven tools for releasing yourself and breaking free to create a better life for you and your family. 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 " Be sure to check out her latest book, I Have Autism...What'll I Do Without You, Mom?
Amalia Starr is a motivational speaker, transition and independent living coach, founder of Autism Independence Foundation, and mother to an independent autistic adult son. She is the author of I Have Autism...What'll I Do With You, Mom? How to Prepare for When Your Special Needs Child Outlives You. As the founder of the Autism Independence Foundation, Amalia teaches Independence Training, which she created for parents so they can help their children reach maximum independence and live out in the world. She also created a program she named the Step-In Parenting Network (SIPN). This program is set up to screen, educate, and teach those who are willing to step into the role of a substitute parent when a special needs child's parents have passed away or when they are unable to care for their son or daughter due to illness or aging. Amalia offers keynotes, presentations, and conducts workshops and coaching sessions worldwide. With more than forty years of experience she has been recognized as a pioneer and trailblazer. Amalia's clients have benefitted greatly from her workshops and training sessions. She also works with parents to create a personalized program for their children. This can include strategies for independence, possible work placement, housing alternatives, and other options. For more information please visit, AutismIndependenceFoundation.org.