Second Winner! Finding Lina from Skyhorse Publishing
Finding Lina A Mother's Journey from Autism to Hope, is a memoir that AofA readers will relate to from the opening pages to the loving and upbeat afterword. It's a story of challenges, seeking answers, how a family copes and evolves (not always in a fairytale fashion) and most of all - love.
Lina's Dad is Skyhorse Publisher Tony Lyons. This is important for a few reasons. His life and love for Lina spurred him to create a home for autism books within the Skyhorse Parenting category that might otherwise never see the light of day from traditional publishing. That's so important to our community. Books like Callous Disregard from Dr. Andrew Wakefield, Cutting Edge Therapies for Autism by Ken Siri and Tony Lyons and All I Can Handle I'm No Mother Teresa by Kim Stagliano.
Lina was a precocious toddler—charming, chatty, joyful. At the age of three, in the aftermath of her second MMR vaccine, first came a seizure, and then, to her parents’ horror, the loss of Lina’s ability to play, use language, and control her impulses. Over the next few years they continued to lose Lina. She communicated her acute discomfort by biting, screaming, hitting, laughing maniacally, and throwing violent tantrums. As a single mother, with the help of her ex-husband, Helena Hjalmarsson tirelessly pursued every possible avenue to find a diagnosis, and more importantly a treatment, for her daughter, and the search continues to this day. Lina is nine.
Special schools, restrictive diets, sensory stimulation, relationship-based therapy, gastrointestinal links, homeopathy, and allergy treatment are all explored in detail. Hjalmarsson finds out what helps Lina and what doesn’t. She introduces sign language to Lina. She engages in lengthy daily intensive one-on-one sessions. With the help of her ex, angelic babysitters, Lina’s exceptionally empathetic younger sister, and supportive friends, Hjalmarsson manages to create a meaningful life for Lina, and for herself—a life of love and transcendence.
Lina, for all her challenges, has much to teach, and Hjalmarsson is a receptive student: finding joy in moments of connection, learning to live in the present, taking nothing for granted, accepting what others find unbearable, and finding a strength and spiritual base for inspiration and healing.
Unflinchingly honest and courageous, Finding Lina will open the eyes and hearts and minds of all parents, whether they have a child with autism or not.
Please leave a comment to enter the contest to win a copy.
I am an avid reader and read whatever I can about autism and how to help Noah recover. As I am now a single parent of two boys w/ no support from their dad, a free book would be a God send. Thank you for all that you do AOA.
Posted by: Michelle Wandrack | September 18, 2013 at 09:39 PM
I am so looking forward to ready this book. Both my daughters have suffered mercury toxicity and have come full circle with detoxification. We understand what it is like to have children regress and them to come out of this "fog" they call autism, developmental disabilities and PDD. God bless the parents, children and families that suffer in the name of "vaccinating the herd".
Posted by: Susan Willoughby | September 18, 2013 at 08:44 PM
There is hope.
My son was diagnosed at age l0 with Asperger's Syndrome.
The female psychologist at Children's Hospital Oakland told me that the best thing to do was to simply institutionalize him and keep him locked up for life.
But there was one moment that I held onto into his life -- when he asked me at age 2 l/2 years in front of three friends in a very clear and succinct voice "what does extrapolate mean, Mommy?" And the fact that at age 5 he was reading at adult level ("War and Peace" by Tolstoy).
Years of physical and occupational therapy followed, social skills group, cognitive psychotherapy.
Today he is on Dean's List at UC Berkeley where he is a double major -- awarded three scholarships. He plays classical piano (beautifully), draws, sings and acts regularly in community theater. He counts many neuro-typical and non-neuro-typical friends in his life.
He is generous, kind, giving, scrupulously honest and ethical.
He wants to teach history at the university level and there are many people who believe he can.
Keep hoping and supporting your child, find their gifts and strengths. Have faith.
My son still has many challenges but he is an inspiration to so many people that meet him. The doctors do not have all the answers.
Posted by: Renee Skudra | September 18, 2013 at 07:55 PM