Brian and Deborah are parents of a 24 year old on the autism spectrum. Their son, Devin, has just obtained his Associates degree in Accounting from Dakota County Technical Association in Minnesota. Brian and Deborah have worked tirelessly for over twenty years to bring Devin to his full potential.
When did you first start writing?
I recall a class in my senior year of high school, 30-odd years ago, which I believe was titled Creative Writing. The class project was to be a novel of significant length. Now, as a 17 year old, 'significant length' was a hundred or so pages; handwritten. After all, this was before personal computers, and my typing skills were such that it would have taken an eternity to convert my handwritten into a neatly typed work. The title was Firestorm and was basically focused on a government research program gone bad that caused a phenomenon whereby a localized storm of fire would appear, seemingly at random geographical locations. The cause, the ensuing cover-up, and the eventual climax when a solution is discovered are all part of the story. It was my first and final foray into fictional writing, and I may someday have the time to clean it up, create a typed manuscript and publish the story.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book, Parents As Detectives, is a handbook to help parents of children on the autism spectrum work through the maze of often conflicting therapies to help children with autism. Twenty-three years of experience, trial and error, and path-searching to help my son with Asperger Syndrome (a high-functioning form of autism) has given my wife and I a perspective on the process that is required to find the right path, a process rooted in the investigative work of a detective, and the work of a scientist. I discuss the observe - record - hypothesize - test process needed to make continuous progress in helping a child reach full potential. I also make the point that there is no cure for autism, just as there is no cure for freckles or Down's Syndrome. Also missing are the heart-warming anecdotes and stories. There are many to tell, but parents at the end of their rope, unsure where to make the next turn, need a concise handbook. The stories are great, but, at least for me, I wanted help. There are many places to commiserate and get emotional support, and the handbook makes no intent to bury the key messages within story-telling prose.
Helpful approach for parents of children on the Autistic Spectrum. Parents As Detectives provides signposts for a journey through research, observation and action, helping to guide a parent through the maze of physical, biochemical and psychological challenges associated with children on the spectrum.