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Laced with humor and compassion, A Pair of Miracles is the heartwarming story of Karla Atkins journey of rearing adopted twin sons, each diagnosed with autism and fetal alcohol disorder. This is more than a moving biography from a mom on the front lines, however. It is a powerful tool, full of practical help for parents, educators, and church members working with children who have intellectual disabilities, speech impairments, and other limitations on the autism spectrum. It is also a challenge to the church to welcome and celebrate all the members of their congregation, no matter their abilities.
Thanks to Karla's determination, faith, and unconditional love--and contrary to doctors' predictions--her adult twins are now able to function independently in many ways. They help their dad install pools, do carpentry work, and serve in the church as ushers, sound engineers, and children's ministry workers. For parents seeking hope, answers, and peace, Karla leads the way to all three down a path she's already been.
Vendor: Kregel Publications
Publication Date: 2017
|Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)|
bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: Over 65Gender: Female4 Stars Out Of 5Moving memoir of raising twins with autismSeptember 4, 2017bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: Over 65Gender: FemaleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4Akins and her husband adopted twins that they later found had developmental issues. The boys were on the fetal alcohol disorder spectrum and were finally diagnosed with autism. More disorders were diagnosed later, such as apraxia of speech. This was in 1998 when awareness of the autism disorder was just beginning. There was little was known about it and there were no support groups.
Akins reveals her own feelings and struggles, knowing that they had adopted children with disabilities. She writes about what it meant to trust God, to believe that He was good and would sustain her. She writes about understanding the spiritual battle involved.
I appreciated Akins helping me understand autism. She included suggestions for someone like me helping and supporting families with autism. She wrote of wading through the "cures" and controversial treatments people suggested. There are good ideas for how churches can support families with disorders too.
For those with autism in the family, she writes about navigating the educational system when those with disabilities were mainstreamed. She shares tips on interacting with experts. She has suggestions for dealing with the sensory cravings, the use of medications, working with medical staff, and more.
I recommend this book to family members of those with autism. I also recommend this book to readers in general. A 2007 study showed autism to be the fastest-growing developmental disability. (46) If you want to understand the disability or learn how to help and encourage those dealing with it, this book will give you good insight.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.
richard r blakeBridgman, MIAge: Over 65Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5An Extraordinarily Touching Account of Facing the Challenge of AutismAugust 30, 2017richard r blakeBridgman, MIAge: Over 65Gender: maleQuality: 0Value: 0Meets Expectations: 0A Pair of Miracles is an extraordinarily touching account of a family faced with the challenges of Autism. Karla Akins tackles questions of faith, of wrestling with God, misconceptions about people with autism, community awareness, advice for parenting, and tools for ministry volunteers working with students experiencing the challenges of developmental disability.
Karla Akins, an advocate for parents impacted by the anxiety, frustration and despair of raising children with autism. Statistics indicate that an estimated one in 68 children are afflicted with an autism spectrum disorder. Akins writes to encourage the increasing number of parents feeling without help and alone.
Her writing is filled with the compassion and understanding of one who has traveled the journey.
Karla is mother of five, including twin boys Isaac and Isiah, (now twenty-one years old), diagnosed with autism. She is a pastors wife, sharing in the ministry of the church and has nearly 40 years of teaching experience, including a degree in special education and a doctorate in Christian Education.
Each chapter of A Pair of Miracles A Story of Autism, Faith, and Determined Parenting is filled with encouragement, valuable information on neurological or cognitive disabilities, functional skills, teaching strategies, important resources, and communication tips. An extraordinarily touching account of facing the challenges of Autism; highly recommended.
A copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.
Sarah PDubuque, IAAge: 35-44Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Wonderful spiritual and practical toolkit for those who care for someone with Autism.August 8, 2017Sarah PDubuque, IAAge: 35-44Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Thanks Kregel for the opportunity to review another book. As a trained elementary teacher with a heart for special needs kids. This book interested me immensely. I'm also a twin, so I love to learn about other twins.
This book is written by an adoptive mother and pastor's wife, and she is a follower of Christ who knows that God will bless her and her family and will faithfully provide the help needed.
This book covers a few different dimensions:
1) It defines autism, shares strategies for navigating school, medical, and other services.
2) It shares personal challenges, struggles, prayers, stories, and successes.
3) It's a spiritual tool kit (as the back cover states.) This, to me, was the most impressive aspect. The first chapters are about self care- recognizing the grief and God's goodness in all things. The author successfully shares how her faith impacted her parenting, how God provided for their needs, and she shares scriptures and thoughts that are encouraging and help ground other people (parents, teachers, helpers,...) who work with kids who are challenged.
4) It offers practical tips that would apply to any parent of a special needs child. She uses section headers within chapters, bulleted lists, and italics very well to make it simple to read, easy to find what you need, in a short amount of time. But her tips are quality, and very valid, and helpful. Especially for an overwhelmed parent new to this frontier and feeling lost or hopeless. Many tips might seem obvious to some, but when you are in the role of parent/guardian/protector for a child who cannot communicate easily or at all, it's easy to forget where to start. (i.e. showering is part of her school routine, as it's not natural or easy for her boys.).
5) Appendixes- these are very helpful, all in one place, and essential for newbies to autism. Occupational Therapy (including tantrum or meltdown chart), Reinforcers/Rewards for school/home, Fidget toys, Functional Skills Checklist, Further Resources (books and websites). These are AWESOME and tried and true.
This book is easy to read and follow, but is a wealth of knowledge and encouragement. It's so easy to find technical books that can loose a parent, and it's getting easier to find spiritual support as a parent of special needs, but to find one that includes both is a rare jewel.
I knew about autism, I've sat at IEP meetings as a parent and as a teacher, I've taught new teachers how to manage behavior in a classroom. This book does it's job well, and was a great review for me to skim parts, and really read parts. But as a parent of a child with different special needs, I found the spiritual principles integrated in her advice- were spot on... represent your child with humble boldness, know you aren't alone, Jesus is there providing an advocate. I also liked her explanations of how to be an 'intense' parent who has high standards for those who interact with her children, but how to identify the right type of people to add to the support team.
It's my joy to read. It's my pleasure to review books. It's a blessing when I enjoy them and find them easy to recommend, but I'm allowed to share my thoughts honestly. Thank you Kregel for an excellent resource I can eagerly recommend to those who need it.