Oct 30

ls

When I was a new mother, I used to envy grandmothers. Grandmothers could have all of the fun of the kids, but excuse themelves from the worry. If you are a parent, worry is a familiar state of mind. I have three kids (no grandkids yet) and even now that they are older I worry about them, fret over their set-backs and cringe at their misteps. To be honest, I am a worrier by nature and others might be more casual about this. If yes, I envy them. The real point I wanted to make is that from the experience of many of my friends, I realize that being a grandparent can involve as much worry as being a parent.

The issues that many children face these days is troubling. Bullying is an example, and teachers have told me that there seems to be a huge increase in the numbers of students afflicted by learning disabilities and autism.  I had some knowledge of autism, but learned a lot from a new book which seems to be able to penetrate the confusing world of autism.  It’s a great little book, called The White Bicycle by Beverley Brenna. Bev is my sister-in-law and a very good writer. The book is about a 19 year-old girls’s attempt to establish her independence while coping with this disability using strategies she has been taught over the years.   The book was a finalist for the American Library Association’s Printz Award for young adult literature and is a finalist for the Canadian Governor General’s awards for children’s writing. The cover of the book was created by , a wonderfully accomplished young man with autism, Taylor Crowe.  His story and Beverley’s book are inspiring for parents (and grandparents) who have family members who are struggling with autism.

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