Cover image for An unexpected joy : the gift of parenting a challenging child
An unexpected joy : the gift of parenting a challenging child
Sharp, Mary, MD.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Colorado Springs, Colo. : Pinon Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
141 pages ; 21 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
RJ506.A9 J387 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Dr. Mary Sharp shares her grief, anger, depression, and now acceptance of her son's autism. This memoir offers parents of autistic children: • A sense that someone else knows what you're going through • Help in dealing with the inevitable emotional and spiritual struggles • Insights into pitfalls to avoid and issues to address

Author Notes

MARY SHARP, M.D., has been a practicing family physician for twenty years and the mother of an autistic child, Nic, for twelve years. She lives with her husband, Rafael (also a physician), and their two older children in East Lansing, Michigan.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Personal narratives about autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) can be tremendous resources for parents, educators, and therapists if they document successes and failures. In The Gift of Autism, Sharp, a family physician, writes about her autistic son, Nic, now 12. Like Kelly Harland in A Will of His Own, Sharp discusses ASD's effect on her as a parent rather than on her child. While sharing some valuable observations about issues like the failure of others to understand one's situation and the difficulty of obtaining services, she leaves out age benchmarks in anecdotes of Nic's behavior, making it difficult to gauge either the severity of his condition or the status of his progress. And in describing a tantrum, for instance. she explains how horrible she felt but not how she calmed Nic down-information the reader really needs. In The Boy Who Loved Windows, Stacey, a writer and college instructor, recounts the intense therapies undertaken by her son, Walker, now six, when he showed signs of severe sensory integration issues before one and possible autism at a very early age. Providing constant benchmarks and vivid descriptions of Walker's progress, Stacey talks about the family stress caused by a child with special needs, sibling issues, dealing with public early-intervention services, and therapies. Of note is a description of meetings with Stanley Greenspan, a noted child psychiatrist, and the implementation of his "floor time" method of therapy, one now greatly in use with ASD children. The far stronger of the two books, Stacey's is recommended for all public libraries and for academic libraries with education and social work collections. Sharp's is recommended only for libraries with comprehensive autism collections.-Corey Seeman, Univ. of Toledo Libs., OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.