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Friday, May 13, 2011

A Heartfelt Review of Lonely Girl, Gracious God


My Review:

When Lauri Khodabandehloo gave birth to her fourth daughter, Karema, she had a “knowing” that there was something different about her, but not the specifics.  Karema responded differently to sound and touch and displayed peculiar behaviors.

Lonely Girl, Gracious God is a memoir about Lauri’s tenacious perseverance, love and faith in a God she knew would bring her through the tragedies and triumphs, as well as the sorrows and joys of raising a child with autism.  It’s also about the struggles and inner strength of a young girl who desperately wants friends her own age as she grows into adulthood.

Lauri’s book is an honest look of what it’s like to reluctantly accept the diagnosis of autism, as well as an inspiration to parents who find themselves raising an autistic child.  It’s raw and real.  It encompasses the testing of the bond between husband and wife and how autism affects the whole family.  It’s not very pretty at times, but her goal was to let others seek comfort through writing about their trials, as well share the knowledge she picked up along the journey.  She’s encouraging, and comes across strongly about how her faith in God was tested and how faithful He was.

It’s a story that will stir your heart with multiple, conflicting emotions as you read the day-by-day struggles and joys of accomplishment.  It teaches empathy for families who are dealing with the unsettling issues of raising an autistic child, and insight to families who don’t understand the difficulties and behaviors of the autistic child.

Although the book is written mainly from Lauri’s perspective, she details the reactions, turbulence, thinking and feelings of each member of the family.

My gratitude goes out to Lauri for being candid enough to enlighten those of us who haven’t traveled this road.

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