Prior to concentrating on writing, Dr. Sharon A. Mitchell spent decades as a consultant counselor and special education teacher. Her Doctorate and Master's degrees looked at long term outlooks in autism and educating teachers and parents about this disorder. Her passion is helping people with autism spectrum disorders become as independent as possible.
School Daze is the first book in a series set in Madson School. It quickly became an Amazon bestseller and has won two awards. It was followed by these books:
- Autism Runs Away
- Autism Belongs
- Autism Talks and Talks
- Autism Grows Up
In 2017, two more books will join the series - The Autism Goes to School Workbook and the Prequel to Autism Goes to School.
Prequel to Autism Goes to School (coming in 2017)
What were the teen years like for Jeff? What led Mel down the career path she has taken? Find out their early stories in the Prequel to Autism Goes to School.
The Autism Goes to School Workbook (coming in 2017)
Readers who followed Ben and Kyle’s journey in Autism Goes to School have said that they would like a guide to help them follow the strategies that Ben and Kyle try. Of course, not every strategy works for everyone. Remember that once you’ve met a child with autism, you have met one child with autism. While we’re all unique, there is often a core cluster of characteristics that kids on the spectrum share.
The workbook looks at the things Ben did right and the mistakes he made, despite his good intentions. It looks at Kyle’s responses, and then guides you to consider how your child with autism might respond.
There is space to profile your son, daughter or student’s strengths and the areas that pose the most challenge right now.
The guide will help you look at the sensory issues that might contribute to the difficulties and ways to help. It discusses the communicative aspect of behavior and how you can help the child better express his wants and needs in appropriate ways. A self-regulated child is a calmer, happier child.
There are examples of visuals and schedules and space to create your own. And, there is an extensive list of references that will help you guide your child to be as independent as he can be.
on Aug. 31, 2012 :
(Review by Lisa Metlak for Word Vagabond)
Ben Wickens didn't know he was a father, until his ex-girlfriend called him up out of the blue asking for money for medical bills for their son. He was happy to oblige by sending money and adhering to his ex's request that he not be involved in his son's life. That suited Ben, a happy bachelor, just fine. Until the day his ex called him and said she was bringing their son, Kyle, to live with Ben. She was pregnant with her new husband's baby and just couldn't handle the pregnancy and life with an autistic child. From the moment Kyle came to live with him, Ben felt like an inadequate parent. He didn't know how to manage a 5 year-old child. He was initially in denial that Kyle had autism, but was forced to admit and accept his son's condition quickly. With the help of Kyle's new teacher, Ben learned that having an autistic child was not the worst thing to ever happen, and he found a life with his son that changed him forever.
Within the first few pages, the reader is introduced to the reality of a new parent entering a special needs environment. Not only did this book speak volumes about dealing with autism, but it also provided wonderful explanations of the importance for people to learn and understand the condition. Explanations of autism throughout the book are not clinical and difficult to understand; various ways to help an autistic child calm down and be focused are interspersed subtly throughout the book. Ben witnessed a teacher using techniques on a child that I identified as ones used to calm my autistic son. Had I read this book when my autistic son was young, it would have provided tools to my husband and me to work with and help our son.
The only part of this book that is fiction is the romance. Everything else is a reflection of the realities of living with an autistic child. The little details of how Kyle behaves and how he views our world are so accurate, I found myself nodding my head a lot thinking "yep, I've been there." The therapies used in the book are real therapies for autistic children. There is no "cure" or therapy that makes Kyle normal. The true miracle in this book is how the adults react to the child.
Not only did I enjoy this book, but I told my husband to read it and am recommending it to my friends and family. My husband and I were not as fortunate as Ben to have had people explaining the condition to us and helping us help our son. This book is a gentle way of introducing parents and guardians of autistic children to the world of autism and its various therapies to help the autistic child. Thank you, Dr. Mitchell.
(reviewed long after purchase)