"Let us always be reminded that we are super men and women, chosen to take this incredible journey that can only get better. Stay on course. Embrace that challenge… We will beat the odds."

Being a parent is a hard job, especially when the children are young. Being a single parent makes the relationship more complex and time-consuming. Finally, coping with children with disabilities makes this even more demanding. Samuel—author, professor of mathematics, trained singer, and single mother of two sons diagnosed with autism—states that raising them well is possible and can bring a lot of satisfaction.

Both her boys were diagnosed early. The older, Joseph is quite high functioning. He can dress himself, do house chores, and perform well in school, etc. The younger, Paul, has never spoken, despite years of speech therapy. While he is learning to communicate with signing, it had taken him a long time to be potty trained. They also have other medical issues, which require treatment.

This memoir/self-help book is full of optimism and exclamation points. If she can do it, so can you, Samuel insists in each chapter. This, of course, requires patience, empathy, money or good insurance for medical visits, and practically giving up a personal life. Faith in God helps her. The author offers short examples of what she has done in certain situations. The parent’s role never ends, apparently, but with patience, individual attention, love, organization, and adjustments to expectations, daily life is manageable, even enjoyable.

Samuel notes, “ Early intervention is critical for our children’s development. The earlier a child is diagnosed, the greater the chance they have of reaching milestones.” Only one or twice in the book does the author hint at the fact that her life is much more wearing than that of many other parents. At times, the reader wishes Samuel were more balanced in her reflections. Samuel’s book will most probably make her readers feel more fortunate and able, after they glean her pieces of advice.

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