Susan Senator joins the discussion today to talk about her journey with having a son on the spectrum. Susan is an author, blogger, journalist, and public speaker living in Brookline, Massachusetts. She has three sons, the oldest of whom is in his twenties and has severe autism. Nat was diagnosed with autism at age three, back in 1992, what she calls The Autism Stone Age. After many false starts and different school programs, Nat did finally reach his stride at a vocational school for people with autism. He learned how to work and how to function fairly independently. Now he lives in his own apartment with a caregiver, and he works 5 days a week. She learned that with autism, never say “never.”She has been been publishing op-eds, commentaries, articles and essays since 1997, on disability, parenting, and living happily, in places like the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, Exceptional Parent Magazine, Family Fun, and Education Week. She has appeared as a guest on the Today Show, MSNBC, ABC News, PBS, NPR and CNN. She is the author of Making Peace With Autism as well as The Autism Mom’s Survival Guide. Her third book is, Autism Adulthood: Strategies and Insights for a Fulfilling Life.www.susansenator.com
Susan Senator called in to the show to talk about her book, "Autism Adulthood - Strategies and Insights for a Fulfilling Life."
KUCI: Get the Funk Out
Autism AdulthoodStrategies and Insights for a Fulfilling LifeBy Susan Senator, Foreword by John Elder Robison“In this book, like her others, the wonderful Susan Senator gives voice to those who are too often voiceless—folks with ASD who seek what they deserve—lives of purpose and possibilities.” —Ron Suskind, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and bestselling author of Life Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism."In her frank and deeply touching new book Autism Adulthood, Susan Senator shares the intimate details of her journey with her son, Nat, as he takes his first steps toward maturity in a society that offers few resources for people on the spectrum after they "age out" of the meager level of services provided to school-age children. She faces the big issues – housing, employment, relationships with siblings, finding trustworthy caregivers – head-on, and offers practical strategies for giving young autistic people the best chance to lead happy, safe, and secure lives, mapping a pathway to the future that offers autistic people and their families real hope, rather than false hopes built on misguided promises of a cure. By doing so she offers a blueprint for a world in which people at every point on the spectrum are treated as fellow citizens who deserve respect and the ability to make choices, rather than as puzzles to be solved by the next medical breakthrough.” —Steve Silberman, author of NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity“Senator hits the nail on the head once again…This is a must-read.” —Library Journal“As an emotional resource, Senator’s book is excellent.” —Kirkus “Mothers, fathers, and siblings should read this honest account of family life with autism.” —Temple Grandin, PhD, author of Thinking in Pictures and Emergence: Labeled Autistic for Making Peace with Autism“From the introduction, Autism Adulthood: Strategies and Insights for a Fulfilling Life will bring you to that dark place parents of young adults with autism fear. But just as quickly, Susan offers practical advice through story-telling and concise, how-to strategies that will leave you feeling optimistic, hopeful, and back in control—all any of us can ask for. A thoroughly readable and important book.” —Arthur Fleischmann, author of Carly's Voice: Breaking Through Autism “A brilliant book.” —Tim Shriver, CEO of the Special Olympics, for The Autism Mom’s Survival Guide“Autism Adulthood is a book I will be recommending to every autism parent I know. Senator is as warm as she is wise, as thoughtful as she is knowledgeable, as compassionate as she is informative. Her rallying cry of “All we can do is love each other” will resound in any parent’s heart. Senator loves fiercely—which means she does everything she can to ensure the best life and future for her adult child with autism. This book will inspire the rest of us to do the same for ours.” —Claire LaZebnik, coauthor of Overcoming Autism, with Dr. Lynn Kern KoegelAutism. It’s a scary word, and one that parents are hearing more and more. Beyond the trauma of the initial diagnosis, the difficulties with finding the right schools and educational programs, and the toll it takes on the whole family looms something far more uncertain and terrifying:What will happen when my child grows up?In her new book Autism Adulthood: Strategies and Insights for a Fulfilling Life (Skyhorse Publishing, April 2016), Susan Senator takes the mystery out of adult life on the autism spectrum and conveys the positive message that even though autism adulthood is complicated and challenging, there are many ways to make it manageable and enjoyable. From her own son with autism, now in his twenties, she has learned to “never say never.”Autism Adulthood features thirty interviews with autistic adults, their parents, caregivers, researchers, and professionals. Each vignette reveals firsthand a family’s challenge, their circumstances, their thought processes, and their unique solutions and plans of action. Sharing the wisdom that emerges from parents’ and self-advocates’ experiences, Senator adds her own observations and conclusions based on her long-term experience with autism. Told in Senator’s trademark warm, honest, and approachable style, Autism Adulthood paints a vivid and thought-provoking picture of many people grappling with grown-up, real-life autism. Senator’s is the only book of its kind, as real families share their stories and their creative solutions.About the AuthorSusan Senator is a writer, an activist, and the mother of three boys. Her books include Making Peace with Autism and The Autism Mom’s Survival Guide. Her son Nat, now in his twenties was diagnosed with autism at the age of three, and she has been advocating for people with autism ever since. She lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.
Welcome to the #PlayUnified Podcast – formerly known as “Sports is the Catalyst” – where we meet at the intersection of sports, disability, philanthropy, entertainment and community building. Listen as we discuss why sports is such an important part of life, community and social change. Guests will include local sports figures, government officials, small business owner and figures within the Special Olympics movement. In Episode 5, we get to speak with Susan Senaor, a writer, activist, and the mother of three boys. Her oldest son Nat was diagnosed with autism at the age of three in January 1993. Nat is a Special Olympics Massachusetts athlete.