When Robert Adler and Meredith Conrad fall in love, all that is left for them to do is prepare to live a fairy-tale life. With the blessing of their second child, a son named Michael, everything they have always dreamed of begins to become a reality. But his autism diagnosis is something they never anticipated. The struggle they face after the diagnosis puts a strain on their family that begins to tear them apart. Years later, Michael begins high school, and the true love his older sister Ann Marie finds there helps bring her insight and appreciation of Michael’s unique gifts and identity. It might be just what is needed to put their family back together.
The story of, A Special Love, began to form in my mind when I was lucky enough in life, to stumble upon a job at a school for special needs students. While working there I spent my days laughing, smiling, and crying too. I fell in love with not only the students but their families as well. I recently left my position after having a baby, to be a stay-at-home mom. At that time, a family member began publishing and inspired my decision to actually start writing. I had always wanted to focus on young adult/teen stories, and missing the students I had grown so attached to, I continued to develop the story of a family with an autistic son, and their relationships.
In my time working with special needs students I was often a witness to the struggles they faced and that of their families. Every parent can’t help but have expectations of what their child’s life will be. A parent’s love adapts, grows, and transitions with their child. In this story the family begins to fall apart. When you are the sister, brother, mother, father, or friend to a special needs child or adult, you are often many things; a caretaker, advocate, janitor, nurse. But, those roles always come second to your primary relationship as a sister, brother, mother, father, or friend. I was amazed to see that while the families I encountered faced numerous struggles, they were most often met with smiles, selflessness, and strength.
This novel, is a love letter to any family facing trials and tribulations, with a reminder that while it is easy to focus on the hardships of life, the gift of acceptance and love is what it is really all about. The joy, hard work, and sacrifice that I was able to experience in my career were a true testament to the meaning of family and an illustration that every person is unique, gifted, and one of a kind. As I worked with our special needs and particularly autistic students, it became clear to me that it wasn’t always about their accomplishments, but often their journey to get there. This story is the depiction of one family and I only hope that others will be able to relate.
Krissy Bells was born and raised in the
metro area. A former school secretary, she now spends her days as a
stay-at-home mom. She is passionate about her family and friends, her Dachshund
named Harry, and anything topped with cheese or chocolate. Krissy can be
contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for reading! Detroit
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