Raising five children would be challenge enough for most parents, but when one of them has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, life becomes a bit more chaotic, a lot more emotional, and full of fascinating glimpses into a unique child’s different way of thinking. In this moving memoir, Carrie Cariello invites us to take a peek into exactly what it takes to get through each day juggling the needs of her whole family. Through hilarious mishaps, honest insights, and heartfelt letters addressed to her children, she shows us the beauty and wonder of raising a child who views the world through a different lens, and how ultimately autism changed her family for the better.
“Joe and I haven’t really considered a strategy for explaining to Jack that he has autism; we figured it will be apparent when he’s ready to know. But I have a feeling that the time is coming soon, because slowly but surely Jack is learning that he’s not quite like all the others.” The Cariello children-first introduced to us in the heartwarming memoir What Color is Monday?-are growing up. And while their parents struggle with the same things all parents struggle with, Carrie and Joe have an added challenge: When and how do they tell their kids, including Jack, that Jack has autism? In this brilliant sequel culled from her many essays and articles, Carrie Cariello shares with us how she and her husband show Jack that he is not alone, that there are others who know, understand, and love him for exactly who he is.
Testimonials/Praise for Carrie Cariello
“Every time I read something Carrie writes I am deeply moved. I laugh, I cry, I mourn with her and in the same breath feel equally encouraged. The world needs more women like Carrie who are willing to be honest about the joys and struggles of raising children. It is in that honesty that other moms like me, find their own grace.” Rachel Hollis, The Chic Site
“The adventures of Jack and his family are brilliantly weaved throughout these pages. The laughs and the tears are all here. The quirks of confidence and the darkness and the fear of a family navigating a terrifying world are here, too. However, Carrie will hold your hand with grace, humor, compassion, and empathy, and stand between you and harm’s way in all those dark places you must travel.” Jordan Capell, Father and Blogger
“Cariello’s autistic son, Jack, sees days of the week as colors; fixates on shampoos, birthdays, cars, and calendars; and is animal phobic. Here, she grants readers intimate access to his unique mind; quirky, sometimes frustrating, behaviors; and his special personality. Cariello intuitively sensed “something was amiss with adorable little boy,” specifically “language deficiency,…limited eye contact,…horrific outbursts”, and his inability to seek comfort. She and her husband, Joe, were relieved to have a diagnosis, and moved quickly to obtain services. Cariello shares her family’s more humorous and trying experiences with swimming and karate lessons, the YMCA, water parks, and a Disney cruise, all with five children, ages 3-9. She also discusses how she and Joe learned to cope with marital stress and her struggle to make therapists, teachers and the world see Jack “in all his autistic glory,” not simply as “the child.” Ironically, Cariello explains, “in my quest to help him reach his full potential, I’m actually reaching my own”; she reflects on her tenacity, and choosing to “embrace, not conquer” autism. “Publishers Weekly