Review done by Cara Nitz
Are you a parent of an autistic child or do you know someone who has an autistic child? Maybe you just want to learn more about how autism can change your life when you are touched by it. If any of these resonates with you, I have just the book for you. Lonely Girl, Gracious God is a fabulous book that share a mother's love for her autistic daughter. Chicken Soup for the Soul contributor Lauri Khodabandehloo shares her very personal and heart-tugging story of raising a daughter with autism during a time when doctors were just learning about the disability themselves. Taking us on a journey down the broken road that leads us to the truth of God's overwhelming faithfulness, and His promise to never leave us, she shares the special bond between those who are challenged with a developmental disability and the people who love them.As a teacher, I used to have autistic children in my classroom, and so I am familiar with autism. However, I believe that you cannot understand what being a parent of an autistic child is like unless you are one. I have a very dear friend who has an autistic teenage son, and I find myself hungry to learn more about autism and how it changes your life, so I can be a better friend to her.I borrowed her this book, and she read through it very quickly. Here is what she had to say - "As a mom of a nearly 15-year-old son with Autism, I have seen my share of resources throughout the years. There seems to be tons and tons of information on Autism research, techniques, education, methods, and law. What I have always felt, and always will feel, is that while all of this information is good and valuable, it doesn’t speak to what I really know about autism. Autism, is indeed given to us by God, as a gift.""I was both excited and nervous to see the title of the book, and its subtitle: A Mother’s Story of Autism’s Devastation and God’s Promise of Enduring Love. I was excited just to finally see a resource with God in the title, but, nervous because I knew the book probably contained some heartbreaking, and close-to-home stories. I was correct on both feelings.""Lauri Khodabandehloo recounts the story of her family dealing with all of the twists and turns of Autism. Lauri describes in detail the early signs she saw, but through faith, was compelled to not recognize as autism. To me, Lauri was NOT in denial, she was acting out of faith. At one point in the story, Lauri was confronted by a well meaning individual and told that she suspected Autism in Lauri’s 4th, and youngest daughter, Farema. Although at the time, Lauri could not see what her friend saw, later, through God’s grace, she was able to go admit that her friend was a blessing. That is a repeated theme in my own life that I share with the author. While my heart and brain may think one thing in the present, the future always holds the wisdom and grace of God. My favorite quote from the book is: 'God caused everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them (Romans 8:28).'""While reading the book, I did not really see a sad and dark tale of devastation. Any mother, especially when the mother is close to God, can see that a child’s life may be challenging, but, even hardship is your gift and blessing from God. That is what I felt when I read Lauri’s words. It wasn’t until the end of the book, after recounting all of the fight for progress, then when a drug reaction caused regression, did I feel that devastation. One of the blessings of this book is that Lauri lists all of the prescriptions that her daughter was given. This is cautionary wisdom working! I hope other readers see this and take it as an experience to value the hindsight of this mother. We can take note that we need to listen to God, and that sometimes he speaks to us through others. God definitely spoke to me through Lauri."You can find Lonely Girl, Gracious God at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Borders, and more.*Bring It On! Communications provided me product to review, and I was under no obligation to review if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review in return for the free product.*
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