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Living With An Autistic Sibling

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Annie Abram PhD

Annie Abram PhD

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Today’s guest, Stasia Ward Kehoe, the author of The Sound of Letting Go, a poignant young adult novel about living with an autistic sibling, will help us understand the many challenges faced by families living with children on the autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The protagonist, Daisy, a musical prodigy, has been the “perfect” sibling to her brother Steven. In fact, to a large extent her life is organized around his needs. Not only is she responsible for “baby sitting" which constricts her teen-age schedule, it’s also her “job” to be sensitive to his many special needs. For example, certain tonal sounds – noises too loud or not loud enough -- can lead Steven to self-harm, including wringing his hands until they’re bloody. Sometimes he can be physically violent, leaving Daisy and her parents vulnerable to physical harm. When Daisy’s parents decide to place Steven in an institution without consulting her, she is devastated.

Stasia Ward Kehoe grew up performing on stages from New Hampshire to Washington, DC. She holds a BA in English from Georgetown University and an MA in Performance Studies from New York University.

While working at Random House Children's Publishing, Stasia read her way through the entire children's backlist. She realized then that she found a focus for her writing - young adults. Since then Stasia had children and left full time work for freelance writing. Now she lives in western Washington State with her husband and four sons.

Stasia's novels include Audition and The Sound of Letting Go. For more information about Stasia's books please go to her website: http://www.stasiawardkehoe.com/