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All I Can Handle: I'm No Mother Teresa:…

All I Can Handle: I'm No Mother Teresa: A Life Raising Three…

by Kim Stagliano

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I liked this better than I thought I would. Stagliano is brash, breezy and not the least bit maudlin. I was very interested to look through the window of this book into her life, and I am quite certain it's a life I could not have handled. I don't know that she and I would be buddies IRL, I don't think we share very many core values, but it's always interesting to read about an extreme life when the liver isn't given to whining. Even if that life sounds like a nightmare to me.

Her girls sound quite challenging and well-loved. Stagliano is a tireless researcher and advocate. She apparently is a famous "autism mom" (her words) and generates no small amount of controversy in the community with her strongly held opinions about various therapies and theories. Her husband? Don't get me started. But the parts where her husband calls her Toonces made me gag a little. ( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
Oh, where to begin... this review is guaranteed to be long, so I apologize ahead of time.

First of all, I can not imagine what it is like to have three children with Autism. I would not be able to handle that. It is obviously a very, very stressful life. I do, however, have a special needs son with some similar traits to Autism so I am not completely unaware of the life.

That being sad, I just could not get into this book. When I first read about it, I could not wait to read it. I understand the stresses of having a child with special needs and all the extra work and understanding that you have to put into parenthood. It is not easy, I know that for a fact. The reviews promised a serious matter with a comedic tone. I'm sorry, but I didn't find her very funny. Yes, she made light of her situation and tried throwing in some witty analogies here and there. I found them annoying. I don't know what it is, I just couldn't get into it.

In part of the book, Kim dedicates a page as "Sex Time" and writes a short paragraph about finding time for she and the husband to have adult time alone. She is debating on writing this chapter and at the end says "I can write this chapter. Turn the page." Now, the following page is blank, so either she couldn't go through with it and made a bad joke, or she is referring to the next chapter, which is what I assumed. Now, assuming she is talking about the next chapter, I was expecting something else along the lines of how it is possible to still find time with your spouse when you have three autistic children demanding all of your time. And I guess I was expecting a little private details too, the way she was hyping it up. But when you turn the page, you find the next chapter, which is about Howard Stern. I'm sorry, but millions of people like Howard Stern. Just because you are some lonely housewife in the suburbs does not mean you have to keep it a big, dirty secret. That is pretty much how she describes it. Once again, pretty annoying.

The next issue I have with the author, is the husband's seemingly lacking interest in helping her with the children and her just letting it be. After years of him taking off to play golf and not being around to help when she most needs it, she finally breaks and yells at him. I'm sorry, but if during the week of our wedding and my husband is playing golf everyday and not helping me with preperations and leaving me to do it alone, I wouldn't take that as a good sign. And i am also pretty sure I wouldn't let him go play golf just because he told his brother he would if my child was having seizures all day. I think I would demand he stay and help with that and the other two children who also needs constant attention. But no, she doesn't put her foot down and stand up for herself. But then throught the book, she can talk about her and her husband's feel of "Catholic Guilt" or "Catholic sense of duty to each other" Why does having guilt about stealing from a store have to be because you are Catholic, or why does wanting to honor your marriage by staying to gether and working things out have to be because you are Catholic? Can you not be a good person and feel guilty about something or want to be there for your spouse without being Catholic? Ugh.

There are also a lot of mistakes in this book. Mostly just a few typos here and there, but in one of the chapters Kim describes a neighbor, Matt, talking to his autistic son. But then a few paragraphs later he is referred to as Mike. I didn't catch it at first, but then she goes on to talk about Mike's wife, and I couldn't figure out who Mike was. Then I realized the mistake. It was pretty confusing at first. Also, Kim also repeats the same information several times. She talks several times about vaccines being exempt from medical liability, without offering any new information each time. It is very redundant. This happens a few times with different subjects.

Overall, I am very disappointed with this book. I could definitely relate to the subject matter, but I just could not connect with the author no matter how much I wanted to. ( )
  jaidahsmommy | Jan 20, 2011 |
What a brave, funny woman. Amazing how she can be so positive, inspiring, and informative, she has quite alot on her plate. I agree with her that there has to be something triggering this epidemic of autism, it would make sense that mass vacinations could be the cause. Her book is very well written, leaving the reader with lots of information to think over. ( )
  mlschmidt | Jan 15, 2011 |
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Kim Stagliano's electrifying and hilarious memoir of her family's journey raising three daughters with autism. In these stories, Stagliano has joined the ranks of David Sedaris and Augusten Burroughs with her ability to lay everything on the table--from family, friends, and enemies to basement floods to birthdays to (possible) heroin addictions--eviscerating and celebrating the absurd. From her love of Howard Stern to her increasing activism in the autism community and exhaustive search for treatments that will help her daughters, she covers it all.--From publisher description.… (more)

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Skyhorse Publishing

2 editions of this book were published by Skyhorse Publishing.

Editions: 1616080698, 1616084596

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