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Book Review: Big Daddy’s Tales From the Lighter Side of Raising a Kid With Autism

Posted Jun 08 2011 8:00am

Title: Big Daddy’s Tales From the Lighter Side of Raising a Kid With Autism
Author: F. Lewis Stark
Length: 178 pages
Genre: Humor
Publisher/Date: CreateSpace, 2011
Source: Review copy

For anyone familiar with Big Daddy from Big Daddy Autism , you will totally understand why I was so excited to have the chance to read and review his recently released book. The full title alone is quite a mouthful — “Big Daddy’s Tales From the Lighter Side of Raising a Kid With Autism: Never before published hilarity, favorite posts from the blog, marginally helpful tips, poorly drawn cartoons galore, and oodles of original stories from some of Big Daddy’s favorite bloggers.”

For those of you who haven’t already been introduced, here’s a bit of background info:

F. Lewis Stark, aka “Big Daddy Autism,” is the father of a beautiful, thirteen year old autistic boy. Upon hearing Griffin’s diagnosis over a decade ago, he felt as though his world collapsed. Big Daddy often wished there was a resource available to show fathers that raising a child with a disability was not all about sorrow, lost hopes and heartache.

That led him to start a blog and write his first book. On his blog, and in his book, Big Daddy uses hilarious anecdotes from his experience in raising his quirky son as jumping off points to demonstrate that, while his life did not turn out as he expected, raising an autistic kid is far from misery. Big Daddy shows how acceptance, gratitude and humor help to overcome a great deal of adversity.

As excited as I was when the book arrived, I was even more thrilled to find that it had been autographed by all four members of the Big Daddy family, thus earning it a permanent spot on my bookshelf.

Big Daddy’s Tales includes so many of the things readers of the blog have come to know and love – elevators, The Weather Channel and Wilford Brimley, just to name a few. Besides that, any book in which the first chapter is titled “And Then There Was Screaming” definitely has my attention. Take, for instance, this story of a routine blood test:

Griffin squirmed, wriggled, and squealed so much that, even though there was only one pinprick, my shirt wound up covered in blood. The nurses must have thought we had hit an artery. I left the office looking like an extra from the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan. I almost wish I had a fender bender on the way home just so I could have seen the reaction on the face of the other driver as I stumbled out of the car covered in blood.

Ahh, it makes me chuckle just reading it again. :)

Sprinkled amidst the Griffin tales and Big Daddy cartoons are essays contributed by fellow bloggers who are also parents of kids with special needs. And no, I’m not going to list them all here – you’ll just have to get your own copy of the book (available in paperback or for the Kindle , hint, hint) to find out who they are!

At the end of the book, Big Daddy even gets serious for a moment and shares some of the lessons he and Mrs. Big Daddy have learned over the years. Number 2 on his list is, appropriately enough, “Laugh. A lot.” As he puts it, “We have discovered that, by finding and recognizing the humor in our lives, we are better able to survive it.”

Big Daddy, thanks for helping us all take some time to lighten up a bit and find something to laugh about. And thanks to Griffin, Mrs. Big Daddy and Lil Sis for just being awesome! :)

As mentioned previously, my copy of this books was graciously given to me for free and I’m not giving it away to anyone! You can get your own copy at Amazon or find out more at Big Daddy Autism .

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