Monday, August 27, 2012

One in Eighty-Six Children Has an Autism Spectrum Disorder

In a March 2012 announcement, the Centers for Disease control released their latest statistics on autism. One in eighty-six American children has an autism spectrum disorder and one in every fifty-four boys. Why should you care? If autism has not touched your family, it will affect your friends or neighbours. Every teacher will have a child with autism in their classroom. Every coach will meet a child with autism. 

When parents, especially mothers, receive the news that their child has autism, they spend countless hours researching the subject, usually at night, after an exhausting day. Author Sharon Mitchell knows. She's been there. Even though her Ph.D. focussed on autism, she tires of pouring through heavy textbooks and weeding through the material on the internet. Parents who are hanging on by their toenails or busy teachers don't have the time either. They need a break, yet still want answers and hope. Rather than a textbook, what about a novel?”

Mitchell wrote this book for such parents and teachers - a light, entertaining novel with romance that shows, rather than tells, yet still offers strategies and information on autism. Her novel is set in a typical school and shows strategies that can work at home and at school. Most of all, it provides a light read. 

From the book's description:

After suddenly receiving custody of his five year old son, Ben must learn how to be a dad. That fact that he'd even fathered a child was news to him. Not only does this mean restructuring his sixty-hour work week and becoming responsible for another human being, but also his son has autism. 

Enter the school system. Under the guidance (and bullying) of a gifted teacher, Ben and Kyle take tentative steps to becoming father and son.

Teacher Melanie Nicols sees Ben as a dead beat dad, but grudgingly comes to admire how he hangs in, determined to learn for his son’s sake. Her admiration grows to more as father and son come to rely on Melanie being a part of their lives.

What do reviewers say?

  • "School Daze" Entertains, Entrances & Educates: 3 for the Price of One!

  • This wonderful book is about a Dad, Ben, meeting his autistic son Kyle for the very first time, when Mom dumps him suddenly on his doorstep, saying she can no longer take care of him. Through the eyes of Ben, we get a glimpse of both the challenges and joys of being a parent of a child who sees the world in different ways.

  • Opened MY eyes to much that I did not know about autism!

  • A quick and informative read, written with flair and expertise.

  • Unlike some stories that speak of autistic children, this one brings a wealth of hope and information! As we look over Ben's shoulder, we see a glimpse of the learning tools currently being used in the classroom today, and we get glimpses of things that could be helpful in the day to day life of an autistic child.

  • (Dr.) Sharon Mitchell in her new romance School Daze gives us an interesting romantic tale about Ben and his adjustment to unexpectedly becoming the father of an autistic child

  • Enormously useful to parents, professionals and anyone that wants to understand the world of a child with autism. Bravo and keep them coming.

  • The romantic side-plot between Ben and Melanie, Kyle's teacher, is sweet.

  • I'd recommend this book to parents...It's a lighthearted, easy read that will help you understand the common mistakes a parent might make with an autistic child. Parents will benefit from references to methods of calming a child, different toys and gadgets used for autistic children, and ways to adapt a child to a routine. There are even links in the back of the book to sites where you can find out more information.

  • I appreciated this story on several levels. First I enjoyed the story of Ben discovering what it means to be a parent, especially a single parent.  Second, I enjoyed watching Kyle find his own means of success in this new and upside down world.

  • I enjoyed the glimpse into classroom life and options available today. Finally I enjoyed the quiet romance between Mel and Ben.

Author Background:

Mitchell has worked in schools as a teacher, counselor, psychologist, and consultant for thirty years. Her Master's and Doctorate degrees focussed on autism. She also has a son with an autism spectrum disorder who is away at university. She is co-author of the Amazon bestseller The Official Autism 101 Manual. Hundreds of her articles and responses to questions appear on She has delivered workshops and seminars to thousands of participants including national conferences.

Mitchell says, “Less than ten percent of young adults with high functioning autism or Asperger's Syndrome live independently, despite having intelligence in the average or above range. What a shocking waste of ability. Luckily, my son with Asperger's beat these odds. My passion is helping those with autism become as independent as possible.”

Product Details

  • File Size: 345 KB
  • Print Length: 198 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: ASD Publishing; 2 edition (April 29, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0085HN9HQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled

Free samples as well as the entire book are available on Amazon at
For review copies and interviews, or the book in other formats, contact Sharon A. Mitchell -

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