Dance of Joy is Melissa's first book. Like lots of people she has had the story in her head for several years. She wanted to write a fictional book about families learning to live with autism to shed light on the struggles families face. Her older son was identified as being autistic almost 25 years ago Over the years. she read lots of books about autism mostly informational and an occasional biography. But there was nothing about the day-to-day living with a child with autism. Dance of Joy provides the glimpse into a family's life and concerns as they deal with autism through the characters of Jeff and Meredith. She hopes this book brings understanding to families with a child with autism and enlightenment to the grandparents, aunts and uncles, and friends. She is currently working towards providing social networks for adults with autism in her community. And, of course, she is working on her next book.
Meltdowns. Rejection. Bullying. All of these words are associated with autism. As the story opens, Jeff Howard races to the emergency room to find his wife battered by their autistic son. Jeff’s plans for his success and family start falling apart and the reality hits that life is hard. But it’s harder when you have a child with autism. You can try but you can’t run from it.