In DAISY HAS AUTISM by Aaron J. Wright, one of Arthur and Annie Russell’s children–along with their pet–suffers from an assortment of unusual behaviors that initially no doctor or vet is able to diagnose. But at least daughter and dog can calm each other and are blessed with two people who are committed to loving and advocating for them. However, if readers think acclimating to two out of four family members with autism in one household must be tough, they haven’t seen anything yet. In the face of childhood development milestones missed, the couple (and college sweethearts) ready Magdalena Mae to enter the school system, requesting she be placed in Special Education, where she can receive the attention her condition requires. That’s when the next level of challenges begin.
Since the CDC reports one in about 54 children in the U.S. is now on the spectrum for autism–an estimate that’s increased by 15% within the past few years–readers might think school districts have prioritized dealing with the needs of this growing population. But that’s not what the Russell family experiences in Davis, California, an area renowned for its public schools. While there are probably genetic, along with environmental reasons for the alarming rise in this particular developmental disturbance–reasons families worldwide have been trying to discover amidst corruption and cover-up campaigns–delving into those causes is not the focus of this book. Instead, DAISY HAS AUTISM centers around the day-to-day conflicts of one family just trying to create a life where both their neurotypical and non-neurotypical members can thrive. But in order to do so, systemic bureaucracies filled with corruption and cover-ups must still be battled at every turn. Entities from education to insurance–whose missions are ostensibly to serve the public–seem determined to thwart this family’s best efforts to get what they have paid for (both directly and in terms of tax dollars), and therefore deserve.
and palpable emotions from confusion to unconditional care–overwhelming dedication to just plain overwhelm.
Marvelously crafted, informative, insightful, enraging, heartwarming, and at times even humorous, DAISY HAS AUTISM by Aaron J. Wright is a book that shouldn’t be missed, especially by those who have raised, or are raising, children on the autism spectrum.
~C.S. Holmes for IndieReader