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A lot of books about autism have been given to me.  I haven’t read all of them yet.  I kind of pick and choose depending on what mood I’m in.  Many of the books are reference books and many are based on someone’s life.  Most of the books that I have seen are written by a parent of an autistic child. 

Recently my son’s teacher and my mother-in-law both told me about an article in our local newspaper.  It was about a writer who was coming to our small town to release her new book titled “How to be a Sister”.  My mother-in-law suggested that it would be great for me to contact her and get her book.  Hmmm. Get a book titled “How to be a Sister”?  I dont’ even have a sister.

The author of this book titled “How to be a sister”  is Eileen Garvin. She does have a sister. An older sister. A sister with severe autism. In this book, Eileen  narrates her own personal experiences of being raised in a family with her sister Margaret–who has severe autism.  This book is nothing like the others I have read.  As I said before, most books I have read are by the parents of children with autism. There are also many great books written by people with autism. 

What about siblings of children with autism?  Aren’t they affected too?  What roles do they play?  Eileen had a special bond with her sister that naturally placed her into a role as caregiver.  One of the things Eileen mentions is that “siblings of people with disabilities have all the same hardships as parents-only longer”. 

This book describes autism from the sibling’s point of view.  But this book is not meant for just siblings to read. I think everybody should read it. It is witty, humorous, heart-breaking, and affirming all at the same time.  Nothing is sugar-coated in this book. It is the real thing.  I am thankful for this book. I am thankful for the author. I am thankful for her sister Margaret. I am also thankful that my mother-in-law took Alec to the bookstore with her to buy Eileen’s book and have her sign it.  Alec was thrilled to meet Eileen and he was thrilled to know that this stranger knew exactly what he was going through.   http://www.howtobeasister.com/ 

HTBASCover

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