“On December 26th, 1990 Marguerite Elisofon gave birth to premature twins: Samantha and Matthew. Marguerite and her husband soon noticed their daughter lagged behind her brother in ways that scared them. Samantha, they learned, was on the autistic spectrum. Most “experts” weren’t optimistic about her chances for leading a normal life and prepared the Elisofons for the worst. But Marguerite and her family refused to accept these limitations. Twenty-three challenging years later, Samantha graduated from Pace University . . . cum laude!”
Being on the spectrum, and parenting four children on the spectrum gives me a unique and often conflicting perspective. First, it is disheartening reading how the neuro-typical world views autistic children, and I am greatly saddened by it, and at the same time I identify with the struggles that parents doing their best to raise children on the spectrum whether they themselves are on the spectrum or not. It seems that being an autistic mom I have a unique lenses in which to view my children, but the world around is not blessed with the same vision.
A few months ago I was asked to read a manuscript, a memoir of woman raising an set of twins, where one of the two–Samantha–is autistic. As I read, I found my self tearful in places, cringing in others, and nodding my head in many places. The story reflects both parental fears and triumphs raising a child on the spectrum. I have experienced many of the same moment…
BEST AND MOST TRUE LINE EVER: “Samantha is unhappy, and she is never unhappy alone.” That was the moment that I nodded my head, and looked at my 5 year-old and said, “oh ya, that is soooo him!”
Today, Marguerite Elisofon’s book, My Picture Perfect Family has released! I encourage you to hop over to Amazon and take a look, read a sample, purchase a copy, and support this wonderful woman who so courageously poured herself into those pages to share her story. As many of you know, I can personally attest to how difficult it is to put your raw emotions, your life story, and your heart and soul out in the world for all to see! This my friends, is what autism awareness is all about, about encouraging, accepting, and supporting one another.
More About Marguerite’s Book from Amazon:
”In My Picture Perfect Family, Marguerite tells her family’s courageous story.
At the end of the twentieth century, when the current supports for children on the autistic spectrum did not exist, Marguerite and her family pioneered their own path. They encountered “special” schools with questionable methods, naysayers telling them to lower their expectations, as well as their own worst fears of what Samantha —and their family—might become.
But nothing could shake Marguerite’s determination to hold her family together, and nothing could deter Samantha’s tremendous persistence, boundless energy and drive to succeed. Addressing not only her disabilities but also her talents, the Elisofons discovered Samantha was a lyrical soprano with perfect pitch. They encouraged Samantha to take singing lessons at age ten, and she gradually developed a strong enough voice to perform the national anthem at Pace University’s 2014 freshman convocation.
When you hear about autism, it’s often the extreme cases. But the vast majority of individuals lie somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. Marguerite’s memoir is an inspiring account of how an “ordinary” family faced the challenges of raising a child with disabilities and achieved extraordinary results.
My Picture Perfect Family is a universal story about the struggles and successes of a family determined to leave no child behind. It’s a tale of unconditional love, a portrait of authentic parenthood, and a message of hope to all families.
Most of all, it’s a true story about never giving up on your child, or your family.”