A Will Of His Own is a collection of essays that give us a glimpse into the life of Will, his mom Kelly Harland and his dad Chuck, both of whom are prominent Jazz musicians. The essays explore the life of Will and his family till he reaches fifteen years of age. There is a famous saying in the Autism world – ‘If you know one person with Autism, you know only person with Autism.’ I totally agree with it, every individual on the Autism spectrum is unique, but I guess, we parents, can identify with the feelings of other parents to a much larger extent. While reading the essays in this book, I found myself nodding along and identifying more often than not with Kelly’s feelings. She paints a picture of her family with colours of honesty, heartening glimpses of her son’s unique strengths and struggles!
Kelly shares stories of Will’s immense love of escalators, his love of routines and fear of sudden and unexpected changes that trigger meltdowns, his singing, love of ferry boats and many more. I particularly loved a few quotes in the book a lot. For instance, this quote from the essay – Friends :
” Until he has that one friend who make shim feel he could conquer the world, I let him conquer me a little. I only want him to be able to enjoy, even for a few moments, the sense of beautiful, benign power that is possible to feel, just by being yourself with another person who cares about you. “
In another essay, Kelly shares the incident when she called up a advertising company to find out the next product that will be displayed on a hoarding near their house. Will used to get upset every time there was a new ad in the hoarding. Kelly gets in touch with a wonderful lady at the advertising company who understands Will’s problem and gives them an advance warning of the next ad going up on the hoarding every month so that Kelly can prepare Will for the coming change. It feels good to know about such kind and understanding people!
Another essay – The broken leg diaries, chronicles the period in their life, when Kelly fractured her leg and was laid up for a few months. This change was very upsetting for Will since his mom was the primary caregiver and one who caters to all his whims, fancies and commands. His response is something very common in most Autism households.
If you are looking for a read that is heart- warming and honest and shines a light on how unconditional love and acceptance are the key to helping your child with Autism, read this book. You won’t be disappointed.
You can purchase it on Amazon India
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