The pronoun “he” is used extensively in this book only for the sake of clarity in writing to avoid the repetition of he/she and because boys are most often affected by autism (only 1 in 4 children diagnosed will be a girl). This book absolutely relates to both sexes. The term Autism Spectrum Disorder and Autism are used in this book to describe all children on the autism spectrum that are affected by the disorder. It is again a matter of clarity for the reader.

The term Individual Education Plan (IEP) has been used to include all of the various titles of the same document throughout Canada and the United States. The author recognizes that the names of the document vary in many provinces, territories and states but they are all in essence, individualized education plans.

Who is Jennifer Krumins?

Each child’s birth changes the face of the world and brings with it new hope and a fresh beginning. Never could I have imagined what gifts my children would bring to my life: passion, clarity, and purpose. But life also has a way of delivering the greatest gifts wrapped in the disguise of grief. When our second child was diagnosed with severe autism, our life as we knew it (and planned it) changed dramatically. My husband of 16 years and I have learned the most important lessons in life through these difficult times: stay close, act on your instincts, stay positive and keep the faith. Riding the tidal wave of autism is a voyage of a life time but the rewards are profound and immeasurable. This is not to diminish in any way the heart -wrenching, exhaustive and heartbreaking nature of autism but we refused to look at it that way.

Even through the tears, we knew that our son was here to teach us something. Individuals with autism have gifts that they bring to the world. Sadly, the world doesn’t always recognize these treasures. Our own son and the students that I have had the privilege of teaching have made me take a hard look at what I value and what I believe about purpose and fulfillment in life. They have collectively taught me that getting ahead doesn’t always bring real happiness but looking into the eyes of a child that finally conquers a that is pure joy! My kids have taught me to really tune into my senses; truly feel the sun on my skin and the smell of a spring day. My kids have taught me to slow down and really look at even the most seemingly insignificant things in life and see their glory with new eyes. I have learned that our productivity doesn’t make us loveable; we already are. Our purpose in life isn’t about financial gain and material prosperity; it is about accepting ourselves and being at peace with the essence of who we are; living our lives for the sake of bringing some peace and light to others. My kids with autism have taught me more than I could hope to teach them. Yes, they have brought me frustration, exhaustion and sometimes pain but, over and above that, my students and my own children have pushed me to greater understanding, higher levels of learning and elevated awareness of the gifts that surround us and live in us.

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