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Dealing with Autism



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My Book: Dealing With Autism

In September and October of 2014, over a period of 3 weeks I achieved one of my dreams of walking across Spain on the ancient pilgrimage route of The Camino. We would walk for 8 hours daily (sometimes more!) and during this time there was no place to hide from my thoughts. I had the opportunity to reflect on the road we had travelled as a family, not just in regards to Richard and his autism but on every aspect of our life together. I had a chance to think about what was truly important and I was able to appreciate just how many blessings had been sent our way. Without realising, I started creating my book, a book I have called DEALING WITH AUTISM – How I Successfully Raised My Child and How You Can Too. In this book I invite you to join our family’s journey, a journey that is different for every family. I extend this invitation to you as I have learnt so much from the parents who have walked this path before me and now it’s my turn to give back, so that what we learnt through trial and error may in turn benefit you.

This is not a “How To” book it is a “You Can” book

The word ‘success’ is not normally associated with a book title on autism. Words such as therapy, cure, understanding, coping, healing, guide… they are the words I usually see but not the word success. I want to tell you that success can be a part of your vocabulary when you talk about your child with autism. We have had many successes, huge ones in fact and you can too. Obviously we had many challenges which I recount quite frankly in the book but you will have your own successes and they will be different to ours because every child on the spectrum is different. This is not a ‘how to’ book it is a ‘you can’ book. My goal is to empower you in navigating the world of autism.

For Teachers

If you are reading this and you are a teacher, this part’s for you. In the book I challenge schools and the wider community to be more aware of our children’s needs. Chapter 5 is called “If I Ran The School System” and in it I highlight what worked for us and what did not, I also relay some of our interactions and challenges then offer some solutions which I hope educators will consider.

To educators worldwide, I thank and salute you. Teaching is not a career, it is a vocation; we entrust our most precious children into your care and we leave them in your hands for the most part of their waking hours. You help to mold, inspire and educate our children to be the best they can be.

Dealing With Autism – How I Successfully Raised My Child With Autism and How You Can Too is not just a book about autism, it is a story of hope and of empowerment. It tells of how one mother had to dig deep to find the inner strength to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Randa Habelrih’s determination to fight for her son’s rights for acceptance and for the education he deserves is inspiring. Her vision, drive and passion is inspirational as she challenges the wider community to collectively participate in a movement to make this word less lonely and more inclusive for those diagnosed with the autism spectrum disorder. I encourage you to read this book and be inspired to take up Randa’s challenge. It is important that we all play our part in making this world more accepting of children with autism and offer our support to their families. Deborah Thomas

Editorial and Media Director, Bauer Media

Randa writes with passion about her family’s journey through the educational maze with their son Richard. As a professional in the autism field, at times we can often lose sight of the big picture for individuals on the autism spectrum. Randa has an exceptional ability to get us to focus. I am sure that this book will benefit families on their ASD journey around the world, and it will also be a great asset for professionals to assess their own professional practices. Niki Welz

Education and Training Officer, Autism South Australia

This is more than just one person’s story of one family’s journey with autism. It is brimming with lessons for anyone with an interest in this. It is also a must-read book about life, because all families have to deal with whatever challenges life throws at them. The book is also an important resource for professionals. In addition to highlighting their role in providing specific expertise, it can only enhance their appreciation of the families they are dealing with—their needs, their hopes, and their aspirations. It raises community awareness of the enormous challenges around autism while describing a lived experience of love and hope. It is a highly relatable true story. We couldn’t put it down. Ron and Mavis Pirola

Prof Ron Pirola OAM MD FRACP and Mrs Mavis Pirola OAM BA Dip Ed Chair-couple, Australian Catholic Marriage & Family Council

This is an honest, accurate account of the journey experienced by individuals and families living with autism. It is often said that it takes a village to raise a child; indeed, each one of us has a responsibility to care for all of those in our ‘village.’
I would recommend this book to educators, medical practitioners, and anyone who desires to be better informed about living with autism. Jannene Althaus

HPE Teacher (P-12)

Having a child diagnosed with autism can be devastating. Not only is it difficult for the child, it is also difficult for the parents. I am certain this book will help parents of newly diagnosed children to better understand some of the battles ahead, prepare with the benefit of someone else’s experience, and find reassurance that they will get through it. More importantly, this book will help family and friends better understand these challenges and enable them to better support the family. Randa and Richard have been instrumental in paving the way for other children. This is a must read for all parents with children on the autism spectrum and for educators globally. Ruth Evatt

Fellow Autism Mum

Randa Habelrih’s book is a powerful reminder that the mystery of life burns just as brightly among the least apparently capable of us as it does among the most apparently beautiful, rich, famous and influential.
I recommend it to all as a testimony of love and witness to the beauty of every human person. Peter Rosengren

The Catholic Weekly, Sydney

This is a powerful and must-read book! It’s packed full of essential tips and tools to help you navigate the challenges that can arise in your life and your relationships. Darren Stephens

Former Chairman, Mars Venus Institute