An Interview Kim Stagliano on Autism, Acceptance and Hope on A Conversation of Hope.
National Autism Association Conference Hosts Talina

Anne Dachel Reviews Kim Stagliano's All I Can Handle I'm No Mother Teresa

All I Can Handle Small Managing Editor's Note: Thank you to everyone who has read and reviewed the book so kindly.  If you would like me to send you a signed bookplate you can pop into your copy, email me at kimstagliano@gmail.com with "bookplate in the subject line." Let me know if you need an extra for a gift - shameless hint.  If you could leave a review at AMAZON HERE that would be really helpful too. Tell your friends and family about the book - I think, hope and pray it might just make a wee difference for our kids and our families too. I promise, you won't need a Prozac to read it! My website is Kim Stagliano with events and an excerpt.

By Anne Dachel

I couldn’t wait to get my hands on All I Can Handle, I’m No Mother Teresa, by Kim Stagliano.  I’ve been in constant touch with Kim for several years via the Internet. She does an incredible job with our website, Age of Autism.  Mostly I was curious.  I wanted to know the details about her life raising three daughters with autism. 

I have a struggle when it comes to parents whose children have severe autism.  My 24 year old son John has Asperger’s Syndrome.  He’s a diagnosed savant, is very gifted on the computer, and drives a car.  He and his friend Robert have driven to Chicago to go to rock concerts and to Minneapolis to pick people up at the airport.  He’s been all over the country with me.  I depend on him a lot.  There’s little he has in common with children who can’t talk or who are still diapers as teenagers.  It leaves me with a big feeling of guilt when I think about how much misery I’ve been spared.  And I hate to think about what my son might have been turned into if he’d gotten the full vaccine mercury load that kids born in the 1990s got---kids like Kim’s daughters.

Kim’s narrative is easy to read.  A lot of it reminds me of a piece by Jean Kerr or Erma Bombeck.  But hers is real life. 

When I got the book, I wrote to Kim and said that I was reading until 3 am the first night I had the book and I laid awake until 5 am thinking about what I’d read.  (I did however get those two important hours of sleep just before my alarm went off at 7 am.)

Kim and her husband Mark are each Italian and Irish.  I think this combination made her the gutsy writer that she is.  She has more fun with similes and metaphors than anyone  could possibly imagine.  Her sense of humor turns her story from a tragedy into something enjoyable to read. 

 

There were places in the book where I just had to laugh out loud and the places where I wanted to cry.  It made me think about my great hero Abraham Lincoln.  Being President during the worst carnage in our history didn’t dim his wit.  He always loved to tell jokes.  To those who disapproved of his lightheartedness in the midst of the Civil War he once said, “Gentlemen, why don’t you laugh?  With the fearful strain that is upon me night and day, if I did not laugh, I should die.  And you need this medicine as much as I do.”

Maybe it’s this way with Kim.  If she couldn’t see the ridiculous in her struggle, she wouldn’t be able to go on.  Her story is not a tragedy.  It’s a heroic tale of parents living with the impossible and surviving.  While Kim recounts the descent into autism that she witnessed after mercury-containing vaccines took their toll, hers is not the story of a vendetta against a clueless medical community oblivious to the destruction happening all around us. 

All I Can Handle is an account of what it’s like living with autism---times three.  I’d call it a MUST READ.  I feel better about what I went through with my son and his doctors and the school system after reading it.   It brought back endless memories and makes me feel real solidarity with all the parents who understand exactly where Kim is coming from.  “This medicine,” as Abe Lincoln said, is what we all need.

When Kim and Mark were wed, they planned for the perfect marriage.  No one could have foreseen what lay ahead for them.  They had three darling daughters, Mia, Gianna, and Bella---all eventually diagnosed with autism.  There are pictures in the book and the girls look gorgeous. (And I’m not just saying that to be nice.)  Anyone glancing at their childhood photos can see that they’re on their way to becoming classic Mediterranean beauties.  And this is the hardest thing about this story.  These girls were never meant to be disabled as they are.  Their potential, developmentally and intellectually, was taken away from them as it was from hundreds of thousands of victims of autism. 

Kim’s story of financial setbacks and autism landmines took her to many places she never could have imagined.  Through her work, she’s touched the lives of thousands of people she never dreamed she’d ever be in contact with--were it not for autism. 


Kim’s been given a mission that she wasn’t expecting.   She doesn’t think she’s a Mother Teresa and neither do I.  But I’m quite sure she’s something like a Joan of Arc--an ordinary woman facing an impossible task—in her case, A Warrior Mom.

Kim writes at the end of the book, “I know that I am not living in some sort of dress rehearsal.  It’s showtime every morning I wake up.  Some days I’m living in a comedy, others a tragedy, and once in a blue moon, a romance.  I just can’t think of myself on ‘hold’ until some sweeping change affects me.”

I think this is the essence of Kim’s story.  Regardless of what life has flung at her, she’s never given up. 


Friedrich Nietzsche described folks like Kim when he said, “What does not kill me, makes me stronger.” 

 

She’s able to write, “I love my life.  That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t change the autism part for the girls.  If I had a magic wand I’d wipe the autism right out of their lives like peeling off the skin of an orange.  I know there is sweet fruit hidden under the bitter pith and the rough skin.

“Sometimes I have to fight the pain of going down the ‘what if …’ path.  If I start thinking about all the losses the kids experience---and Mark and me too—my breathing gets too shallow to be healthy.  My heart beats too fast.  I have to remind myself: This is my turn.”

Kim worries about what the future will be like for her daughters but she ends the book with her testimony of faith: “I’m learning to trust in God that I’ll find the right answers because God has answered many of my prayers.

“This is my turn.


“I’m not going to waste it.”

Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism. She was not paid a large amount of cash for this review. ;) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

Autism Grandma

Here's another great review of Kim's new book:

I usually have circles under my eyes. It is a baseline part of my complexion. Today, however, my eyes are puffy as well. I'm blaming them on Kim Stagliano and her new autobiography, All I Can Handle: I'm No Mother Teresa. Last night, as my kids slept, I picked up the pink-covered book and was barely able to put it down before dawn.

Kim and her husband, Mark, have three beautiful daughters. The stair-step sisters have huge baby-doll eyes and bouncing brunette curls of wonder and awe. They bear lovely Italian names: Mia, Gianna and Isabella. And..... they all have autism. Yep. All three. Take a breath.... exhale.... ...process...breathe again. I know, it's daunting to imagine. It's even, yes, book-worthy.

As an autism mom myself, Kim's story didn't shock me. It didn't reveal secrets or uncover mysteries. I didn't run to the internet to google the name of the doctor or the medication or the mix-and-match farm animal game that completely changed the course of her children's lives. But as I cradled her chronicle in my lap in the early hours of the morning, I was overcome with a sense of camaraderie that can only be kindled by the testimonies of an earnest mom slushing around in the same kind of muck as me. Inside the cover was a roller coaster of a saga told by someone resilient, brave and bold. By a mom who perhaps who has seen enough tragedy and heartache of late that she simply has nothing left to lose by saying it all out loud. And the greatest gift of her story is that it will absolutely make you laugh until you cry....(in between gasps of unbelief, I must admit).

Kim is a gifted writer. She is also an relentless advocate, a patient wife, and amazing cheerleader for her girls, an honest pal, a comedian, and a thief (page 103). Brilliantly woven together, Kim words are part memoir, part expose', part essay and part confession. And with three princesses under one roof, you can bet that there is a dash of fairy tale as well. She narrates a story that belongs uniquely to her family of five while also standing high on a platform waving a banner to the rest of the autism community that says "You are not alone".

Thank you to Kim, and to all the autism-parents who reach out, speak up, chime in, press on and just belong.

Sincerely-
Shannon Johnson, Editor
[Foggy Rock: "When Autism is your mountain, you'll never climb alone"]

Benedetta

Pattrons99
Thanks for the links.
Like Hannah my son reacted to his third DPT shot violently enough for me to say enough.

However, his peditrcians made sure he completed the rest of his vaccines without the whooping cough vaccine.

He had DT with polio shots after that along with Hib. According to your link the DT and the DT with polio still have aluminium phosphate and alumunium hydroxide along with thimerosol (MERCURY). I always wonderd about that????

My son did not react to them, not even a small temperature. (Yes I was stupid and could not shake off my education and trust of the medical field).

Both of my kids had the full range of MMR shots with no problem.(Again I was stupid). But no problems. At least from what I could see! Who knows after reading that primate study. Maybe there was damage but not noticable.

patrons99

Benedetta - "BUT I AM NOT LETTING THE DPT SHOT OFF"

Good! I wouldn't let DPT off the hook, either. As of this year, I've eliminated all fluoridated toothpaste. Probably too little, too late. I'm presently hunting for a dentist skilled in removing mercury amalgam fillings without poisoning the patient while so doing. Then I will attempt detoxification using biomed techniques. I'm still pretty low on the learning curve. Better late, than never, I suppose.

Here's a couple of links on DPT ingredients and risks. Depending on the specific DPT vaccine your family received, they may have gotten one with both thimerosal and aluminum...a synergistically toxic combination, added to their pre-existing total body burden of aluminum and mercury.

http://www.novaccine.com/specific-vaccines/vaccine.asp?v_id=9
http://www.novaccine.com/vaccine-risks/index.asp?sv_id=9

“Six month old Hannah Bruesewitz was given a DTP vaccine and immediately started having seizures - over the next 16 days she had 125 identified seizures. Unfortunately, rather than get better after her initial bout with the seizures, Hanna's condition progressively worsened. She is now 18 and her residual seizure disorder has robbed her of her ability to speak and care for herself.”

http://www.injuryboard.com/printfriendly.aspx?id=285260

patrons99

How close are we getting to the LD50 (lethal dose 50% kill) for cummulative total body burden of mercury and aluminum? One day death by lethal injection might well consist of a mercury and aluminum cocktail. How much of the variability in autism regression rates relates to the pre-existing total body burden of mercury and aluminum. I suspect, though it remains to be proven, that the variability in autism regression relates more to the pre-existing body burden of mercury and aluminum, and nutritional factors, than it does to hereditary/genetic factors.

http://www.sailhome.org/Concerns/BodyBurden/Synergistic.html

Benedetta

While on the subject of alumiunium and mercury--- last night I was reading a very good article about CFS. It listed every possible guess so far of why they were sick.

Starting with it could possibly be a type of polio because it has the same symptoms as those that have recovered from polio years ago.

Then it went into aluminium and then mercury.

It also said that aluminium and floride was a bad, bad combination!!!!
I remember that we had well water at the time, so I started to dismiss it --- except our pediatiricians asked what kind of water we had and gave us a prescription for flouride.

I gave my daughter flouride every morning. I still had the prescription when my son came a long too and I gave him some also. BUT I AM NOT LETTING THE DPT SHOT OFF - because it was not untill those shots did we have strokes, high sed rates, and Kawasakis diseaes.

But still it might have something to do with it - along with a virus or two.

Cherry Sperlin Misra

To Patrons 99, This is a very important point you have made today- regarding Al + Mercury and total body burden. Its not impossible that we could learn one day that this is the true heart of autism.
We can see very clearly in India that there is a dose response relationship (hope I understand this correctly) Today I had a conversation with a talented and innovative occupational therapist who treats many autistic kids in New Delhi. I explained to him about the mercury in the vaccines and then I said " You can see it for yourself- You will notice that many of your clients come from these homes: Government employee, Military employee and young doctors. Why is that? Because they go to govt clinics for their vaccines and the govt uses only Serum Institute of India vaccines , which have double the amount of mercury as compared to other manufacturers, and the young doctors take their babies to the govt hospitals for free vaccines. And if you ask your clients for the names of their pediatricians , you will notice that some names come up often and some names never come up. The names that come up are usually the doctors who are using Serum Institute of India vaccines and possibly charging the parents for imported vaccines . The names that never come up are those doctors who use more imported vaccines,
It is also interesting to go back and read what Thomas Verstraeten had to say at Simpsonwood about mercury in vaccines. I believe that he noted that the timing in days after birth could be crucial and up to 6 months was the most crucial. There were a few years here in Delhi in which the private pediatricians used a schedule having 9 mercury vaccines by 6 months of age. During that time my small school saw at least 6 boys with a particular constellation of symptoms- one of which was attacking other kids in the head or eyes. The teachers would keep saying "He always goes for the head" My friend who runs a school in another part of Delhi said that her teachers used the exact same words !! Then the schedule changed and we have not seen boys like that since- though we see more fully autistic kids. The boys of that type used to improve over a year or two . As I understand it, this kind of dose and age response had always been theorized by some.
Thankyou Anne for this lovely book review- so full of thought and wisdom.

patrons99

Wonderful review, Anne. Kim's book is on my Wish List.

Polliwog - after your comment, I reread the piece and found:

"And I hate to think about what my son might have been turned into if he’d gotten the full vaccine mercury load that kids born in the 1990s got---kids like Kim’s daughters."

The single most valuable document any family can keep in a secure location is the vaccination record for each family member. After the fact, without such a document, it can be difficult to reconstruct the timeline.

Your comment makes me think of the cummulative toxic synergy of the vaccine schedules, especially that between aluminum and mercury. The timeline of each jab is critical. The cummulative whole body burden of aluminum and mercury is critical. I suspect that there is a dose-response relationship, which should be demonstrable from data, even flawed data in public/government databases.

I wish that Dr Raymond Obomsawin would re-analyze his immunization graphs and present them by total weight of aluminum, by total weight of mercury, and total combined weight of aluminum and mercury. If a dose-response relationship can be proven, it will be VERY difficult to argue that the benefit of mass vaccination programs outweigh the risks.

Allie90

I have not read Kim's book ( wish list for Christmas). Only know her from her articles and her comments. I adore her! Who wouldn't!
She is a gift to this community, and I pray there are good things to come to her girls real soon. They deserve it.
XXX000

Maurine Meleck

I just finished the book. It's wonderful--honest, witty and has so much heart. She is a terrific storyteller and i felt like she was talking to me. Congratulations Kim. I hope it's a bestseller.

Super review too, Anne.
maurine

Benedetta

My poor daughter - I fear Christmas will put her in a mania like it did last Christmas and she will get into a horrible spending spree.

I have limited her to what she can spen on me for Chirstmas.

I am going to ask her for Kin's book.

I look forward to the time I can sit in front of the fire and read it.

polliwog

Kim, I haven't read the book yet... But I'm puzzled by something in the review. I had heard that your kids were not vaccinated. Were they? Your book is on my list. Thanks

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