Over a decade ago, an autism diagnosis had confined Lori Ashley Taylor's daughter Hannah to an inaccessible world. Lori became a tireless researcher, worker, and advocate, and her dedication showed results. There can be progression and shifting on the spectrum, and Hannah has done just that—she has emerged.
Part narrative and part practical guide, Dragonfly provides anecdotal and practical guidance for parents of children with autism spectrum disorder. The author discusses intervention strategies, therapies such as Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), and different medical tests. She explains Autism terminology like hyperresponsivesness and stimming. A classroom teacher herself, she recommends educational accommodations and supports. Busy parents can find practical tips on everything from making friends to Sensory Processing Disorder in helpful sidebars in the text. Taylor's personal experience is supplemented by wisdom from a series of round table discussions featuring other parents of children with autism.
In the summer of 2013, eight-year-old Hannah wrote "Life of a Dragonfly," a poem with repeated parallel stanzas that used the stages of a dragonfly's life as a mirror for her own physical and cognitive development. Among its wisdom was: "Hope rises, and I begin to reveal my concealed wings. I begin to understand language and what I am meant to do."
Taylor has helped her daughter find her wings; in Dragonfly, she gives other parents the tools to do the same.
SubtitleA Daughter's Emergence from Autism: A Practical Guide for Parents
AuthorBy Lori Ashley Taylor, Foreword by Jennifer O'Toole
Published10 April 2018
Dimensions6.00 x 9.00in.
About the author
A special needs mom and autism advocate, Lori Ashley Taylor is founder and publisher of Emerging from Autism, co-founder and director of Hendricks County Autism Support Group, a professional speaker, and a member of Avon School Corporation's Autism Team. Taylor's 24-year career as a classroom teacher includes licensing in special needs, a specialization she brings to the classroom, to leadership and advocacy roles in the community, and to her writing. Taylor and her two children live in a suburb of Indianapolis, Indiana.
Jennifer O’Toole is the author of ASA's 2014 Outstanding Literary Work and bestselling Asperkids series. One of Tony Attwood's "Top Aspie Mentors" and winner of the Temple Grandin Award for Global Contributions, Jennifer has advised the President's Council on Disabilities and keynotes internationally. She was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome in 2010.
—Liane Kupferberg Carter, author of Ketchup Is My Favorite Vegetable: A Family Grows Up With Autism
"This book stands out in its honesty, depth of feeling, and insight into raising a child on the autistic spectrum. It also stands out in Ms. Taylor's practical suggestions for meeting educational, social, and family goals. It is worth reading by parents and by persons interested in autism and its impacts."
—Michael Bernick, former director of the California Department of Labor and author of The Autism Job Club
"I wish this book had been available 25 years ago when my son was born. I have read many books, each one has their own unique purpose and message about autism. Many of my favorite books are mentioned as reference. However, this book I could not put down. I even took notes to use when my son Conner and I speak to newly diagnosed families. I will recommend this book to every family that has joined us in the newly diagnosed journey."
—Sharon Lee Cummings, co-publisher of Zoom Autism Magazine
"I am so impressed about how honest, open, frank, and straightforward Lori Ashley Taylor is in this book. And, in that way, the message is comforting to others. I completely appreciate Lori telling parents to give themselves a break if they didn’t notice signs and symptoms right away, how to help siblings (younger or older) cope, and the other advice and guidance she provides. I highly recommend Dragonfly."
—Dr. Alycia Halladay, Chief Science Officer at the Autism Science Foundation
“Through a weave of stories, flashbacks, and experiences, Ms. Taylor provides honest reflections and lessons learned about her family’s journey with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). She seamlessly integrates views from a diverse parent roundtable to reveal both the shared and unique experiences of those affected by ASD. The writing provides a raw and heartfelt look into both the child’s and family’s emotions, experiences, and ultimate transformation that will impact and benefit not only families starting their journey but also those continuing forward and reflecting back. Caregivers and professionals will gain insight and understanding needed to wholly support this special population.”
—Dr. Naomi B. Swiezy, Director, HANDS in Autism® Interdisciplinary Training and Resource Center
“As a fellow autism parent and school system veteran, Dragonfly resonated with many of my own emotions and experiences. From page one, the author engages us with the story of her family and the transformation they undergo. While my own autism journey began quite differently, I found a profound kinship with Lori and her daughter. The author tells her story with a genuine and charming style that is moving and powerful. Paired with invaluable resources and a wealth of knowledge, this book is both heartwarming and practical. I wish I’d had this book 15 years ago!”
—Kim M. Post, MSE; Autism consultant and founder of autisMentor.com
“When a child is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, every family member begins a journey that can be daunting. This book captures Lori’s journey as she pursues a diagnosis and interventions personalized for her child’s needs. It is an impressive journey as she consults with professionals, family members, and others on the autism spectrum. Having met Lori on this journey, it was clear that she persisted through many stages and moved forward with determination. This book serves as a thoughtful, well-written and realistic guide for other family members. Thank you, Lori, for honestly sharing your story.”
—Dr. Cathy Pratt, BCBA-D, Director, Indiana Resource Center for Autism