Akins and her husband adopted twins that they later found had developmental issues. The boys were on the fetal alcohol disorder spectrum and were finally diagnosed with autism. More disorders were diagnosed later, such as apraxia of speech. This was in 1998 when awareness of the autism disorder was just beginning. There was little was known about it and there were no support groups.
Akins reveals her own feelings and struggles, knowing that they had adopted children with disabilities. She writes about what it meant to trust God, to believe that He was good and would sustain her. She writes about understanding the spiritual battle involved.
I appreciated Akins helping me understand autism. She included suggestions for someone like me helping and supporting families with autism. She wrote of wading through the “cures” and controversial treatments people suggested. There are good ideas for how churches can support families with disorders too.
For those with autism in the family, she writes about navigating the educational system when those with disabilities were mainstreamed. She shares tips on interacting with experts. She has suggestions for dealing with the sensory cravings, the use of medications, working with medical staff, and more.
I recommend this book to family members of those with autism. I also recommend this book to readers in general. A 2007 study showed autism to be the fastest-growing developmental disability. (46) If you want to understand the disability or learn how to help and encourage those dealing with it, this book will give you good insight.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Karla Akins is the co-minister with her husband at Christian Fellowship Church in North Manchester, Indiana. She has over thirty years in ministry and over forty years of teaching experience in homeschooling, private school, and public education. You can find out more at http://karlaakins.com/.
Kregel Publications, 224 pages.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.