It's Time To Get Excited!

It’s Time To Get Excited!

I spent most of today on the couch, hiding under a pillow. Ryan’s been running a high fever all weekend, and my body is fighting whatever he has; I feel like I got sideswiped by a truck.

From under my pillow, I heard Stu trying to get my attention, saying “Honey, it’s time to pull yourself together and get excited.”

I peeked out. Stu was holding the world’s most thrillingly beautiful padded manila envelope. Inside were six paperback copies of Ben Has Autism, Ben Is Awesome.

“It’s your book!” he cooed.

My book.

  Please excuse the mess. And the unwashed hair. Ah, screw it, no excuses. Deal with my mess!

Nearly two years from when I had written it.

My first book. In my hands.

Yeah, you know I cried. It would be a more surprising story if I hadn’t.

I read it, pointed out the things that weren’t exactly as they were supposed to be, breathed, sniffled.

My book.

Instantly cured for the moment, I showed a copy to Ryan. I showed him my name on the cover. He read the dedication: “For Ryan.” I read to him. I read him the book I wrote for him and for kids like him. I don’t know if Ryan liked the book, but he paid attention, which is as much as I could hope for on the first read of a new book. I imagine we’ll be reading it again. He made a monster face when Ben made a monster face. He made an elephant sound when Ben made an elephant sound. He seemed to identify with Ben – they have a few things in common, you know…

Artwork (c) Rebecca Rivard
As I read the word Autism aloud, I wondered if my message would actually get through to Ryan. I imagined other parents struggling to say that word in the presence of their ASD children for the first time. I hope this book will make that conversation easier to start.

Ben Has Autism, Ben Is Awesome is available direct from Jason and Nordic Publishersin both paperback and hardcover. Pick one up for a child in your life, or donate a copy to your local school or library!

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Meredith Zolty
My kid is great! And he has PDD-NOS and ADHD (e-i-e-i-o). The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Watch us navigate the world of neurodiversity at
Meredith Zolty


My kid is great! And he has PDD-NOS and ADHD (e-i-e-i-o). The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Watch us navigate the world of neurodiversity at

0 thoughts on “It’s Time To Get Excited!

  • November 20, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    Congratulations! Very exciting accomplishment!

    All parents have unique stresses as the result of raising children, but what is being done to help parents cope?

    My name is Crystal Lee, and I am a doctoral student in clinical psychology at Baylor University. For my dissertation I am studying stress and ways of coping with stress in parents. My hope is to use the data from my dissertation to create an effective way to help parents cope with stress.

    I am looking for parents of children ages 5-12 in three categories:

    1. Parents of children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder
    2. Parents of children with Type 1 Diabetes
    3. Parents of children with no diagnoses

    If you meet the above criteria, please take this survey, which takes 30-45 minutes to complete:

    If you do not meet the above criteria, please consider forwarding the survey to any parents you know that fit the above criteria.

    People who complete the survey can participate in a drawing for one of three $50 giftcards to Additionally, people who refer others to the survey get their name added into the drawing for each person they refer.

    Thank you for your time and help,

    Crystal Lee, M.S.
    Doctoral Student
    Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
    Baylor University


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