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A Special Needs Family Fandom Book Review: “I Am in Here.”
Hey, Bubble Blowers and Chaos Mongers! Welcome to the first edition of “Spot’s Thoughts”, where yours truly will share reviews of products, TV shows, movies, books, and so on for your interwebbing pleasure. First up on the list: “I Am in Here.”
And so, without further ado, let’s get this party started!
Authors: Elizabeth M. Bonker & Virginia G. Breen
“I Am in Here: The Journey of a Child with Autism Who Cannot Speak but Finds Her Voice” is a Christian-themed inspirational memoir co-written by a daughter/mother team whose family is “profoundly affected by Autism.”
Through her powerful poetry, 13-year-old Elizabeth forges a strong connection to the world around her and offers us a brief glimpse into her world as she experiences it as a young lady with Autism who is also non-verbal.
Determined to share her daughter’s voice with the world, her mother “Ginnie,” chapter by chapter, uses Elizabeth’s works as a platform and builds upon them, adding her own heartwarming—and at times, heartrending—accounts of their family’s journey through the labyrinth of Autism.
Aimed at an audience of other “Special Families,” this book seeks to deliver young Elizabeth’s message of hope and peace while reminding us that “a family doesn’t have to be normal…to survive and eventually thrive.”
“I Am in Here” Sucker–Punched Me Right in The Feels!
So, yeah…wowzers! I cried during this read. A lot. More than I’d like to admit, guys (#OhMyHeart).
Maybe it’s just me—maybe I’ve gone soft in my old age? 🙂
Or maybe it’s because I saw so much of my family within these pages.
“I Am in Here” Is Very Identifiable, on An Intensely Emotional Level.
–My youngest daughter, now 8-year-old Lil’ Kaos, was diagnosed with ASD some years back. She’s also non-verbal and struggles daily with the frustration of trying to communicate with others. And we struggle as a family when we’re unable to pick up what she’s trying to put down. It’s a horrible, helpless feeling to not understand what your kid is trying to tell you, to not truly know what she’s going through. There are always so many unanswered questions…
If You Have A Non-Verbal Loved One with Autism, You’ll Get “I Am in Here”.
If Not, This Book Provides A 101–Level Crash Course in Non-Verbal Autism Family Feels.
At one point, Elizabeth writes about experiencing the energy of storms physically. It reminded of K’s uncharacteristic behavior during the week leading up to Hurricane Harvey. Meltdown city. Although meltdowns are pretty common for many ASD peeps, K rarely has them outside of medical–type facilities. We weren’t able to track down a specific trigger, but after the storm she returned to her spunky little self. Poof, just like that.
I’d wondered then if she’d sensed the pressure changes in the atmosphere as Harvey approached? Now, after reading Elizabeth’s “Thunderstorms” I wonder even more so."I Am in Here" Is A Book That Not Only Pulls Your Heartstrings, but Also Offers Practical Advice to Special Needs Parents. Click To Tweet
But the part that really hit home for me, guys, was her poem “Me.” She speaks the unspoken to us as readers, reminding us that being non-verbal does not mean having nothing to say, but rather the contrary, that the thoughts and feelings run deep, and they ache to be heard.
Although the rockstar of “I Am in Here” is certainly Elizabeth, in all her poetic glory (I really dig her writing), her mother Ginnie’s certainly no slouch when it comes to wordsmithing her wisdom, either.
Throughout the book, she shares her can-do dedication to making things happen for her family. Her “Show Me” principles, adapted from her Wallstreet career, along with her “How To’s” of relentless parenting, offer up some outstanding guidance on rocking the Special Needs #ParentSoHard lifestyle in spectacular fashion.
But I Have One Tiny Complaint…
I so wanted to hear (read…whatever, you get it) more from Elizabeth!
Seriously, she writes with such an astounding level of concise clarity about spirituality, nature, and such. Indeed, I think she’s said more in just a few lines of a single poem than I’ve ever accomplished in writing pages of essays. She’s frickin’ brilliant. Nicely done, young lady. #RespectAndRockOn \m/
All in All, “I Am in Here” Is A Book of 100% WINspiration for The Special Needs Family Fandom!
- Special needs families, friends, caregivers, and educators
- Readers into Christian inspirational pieces
Read with Caution:
- Special Needs Family Fandom members of newly diagnosed youngsters
*useful info and inspiration for newbs, but could potentially be a little hard on the feels in light of a fresh diagnosis…
Do Not Read:
- People offended by Christian-themed anything
- Wearers of non-waterproof mascara
**Unless you’re going for that whole Heath Ledger-The Dark Knight-Joker look. Personally, I find that look a little heavy for daytime wear, but hey, whatever. No judgment. You do you. You’ve been warned.**