Friday, May 23, 2014

#AuthorSpotlight: Understanding #Autism

Hi! My name is Elsa Garrett and I have no idea how I came to be here. I went to bed last night in 1904, Wyandot County, Ohio and woke up to find I was in another state in 2014. Thankfully, a nice woman named Samantha found me wondering around her town. Everyone was looking at me as if I was strange. But I thought they were all strange by the way they were dressed. I mean, why don't the females wear dresses like me? My father would have never approved of the way men and women dress in this time.

Samantha graciously escorted me to her home and introduced her family to me. It took me awhile to
even notice them because I was in shock with everything in her home. It was nothing like my family's farm. I had been to the city of Marion before but even this city and these homes didn't compare to Marion.

After I was over the shock I realized there was something different yet familiar with her son, Jaime. Jaime acted much like my boyfriend, Franklin. I told her about my Franklin and how hard life was for him and his family. She was interested in how his life is like as an adult as much as I was interested in knowing how life is when your the parent of someone with Autism. I've always been close to Franklin's parents and had thought about how life must have been hard for them raising Franklin. Especially since Franklin is the eldest son and our society expects Franklin to head the family business someday. I was so delighted with Samantha agree to answer all of my questions.

ELSA: What is the hardest thing you have had to face with a child who has Autism?

SAMANTHA: The ridicule of the outside world. People who don’t understand Autism aren’t willing to look past my son’s Autism and I have to remind myself to be polite to those few people who act on their fears.

ELSA: How has your son changed the way you see life?

SAMANTHA:  He has taught me to see the bigger picture in life. Jaime makes me think outside the box.

ELSA: If you could, would you ever cure your child from his Autism? Why or why not?

SAMANTHA: There’s nothing to cure. So my answer would be no, I would not cure my son of Autism. He has different ways of doing things that’s not a diagnose that is bad. It’s just how he thinks. That’s where in my opinion people get it wrong. Autism isn’t the enemy ignorance is.

ELSA: My boyfriend has a form of autism and I’m scared I will have a child with Autism. What advice can you give me?

SAMANTHA: Be patient. Don’t treat them like they are stupid. Give them expectations just like any
other child. But most of all just love them.

ELSA: What is a blessing that having a child with Autism has given you?

SAMANTHA: A new outlook on things. Everything he experiences it’s new to him. And the joy on his face when accomplishes something is enough for me.

It can be hard to see life through the eyes of someone with Autism. Have you ever tried to life through your son’s perspective? If so, how did it look?

SAMANTHA: I’m always trying to understand my son. That is the only way to help him in his time of need. His world is very logical and hands on.

ELSA: What’s it like to try to have relationship with a man when your child has Autism?

SAMANTHA: It can prove to be a challenge if the man is not willing to stick to a routine. But after a while everything smooth’s out. I remember when his father and I started dating again. Jaime had a hard time dealing with Jonathan being around. But once “we” found our groove it’s a great experience.

ELSA: What do you think your son’s life will be like when he’s an adult?

SAMANTHA: Full of order and preciseness. He will be a happy successful man because of how we are raising him now.

ELSA: How do you handle the moments when he is so overwhelmed but can’t express his feelings to you?

SAMANTHA: I have what’s called a talking stick. I got the idea one night watching an old western where the Indians were having a meeting and who ever had the stick could talk. It makes Jaime calm down and think.

ELSA: What is the worst fear you have for your son and what is the greatest blessing he can give to the world?

SAMANTHA: My worst fear would be that society not accepting him for him. But blessing, well he can show others that Autism is only a part of him. It doesn’t control him.

Elsa opened her eyes and stared at the familiar ceiling. It was all just a dream. But how could it be when it had felt so real. 

"Elsa, Franklin's here to see you," her mother's voice echoed from the hallway behind her closed door. 

Elsa smiled.


Alisha Guenzel, is a new author. Unspoken Dreams is her first book to be published. Besides writing her family is her passion, she lives on her five acre horse ranch with her husband and five children. When she's not writing or blogging she is spending time with her family or her horse, Peanut. Unspoken Dreams is just the beginning, since writing Unspoken Dreams she is working on a Cowboy series that has to do with a family of three son's and how they find their true love's, it's called "The McGregor Saga".


  1. Very enlightening interview. There are so many children with autism now...I think the ignorance will gradually fade but this generation of moms have had to be such advocates and educators. They'll go down in history as pioneers, I think.

    1. Thank you. That is Alisha and I's hope.