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Expect A Miracle: Understanding and Living With Autism
“Don’t settle for a life that people expect you to live because you have a disability. Go for the life you want.”
-- David Petrovic
ABOUT THE BOOK
Expect a Miracle: Understanding and Living With Autism is powerful and motivating. This story inspires you to do whatever you can to live the life you want- no matter what others expect or think. Told from the unique separate viewpoints of a young man with high-functioning autism (David), and his mother (Sandy), you will be pulled into this story and filled with admiration and respect for both individuals.
Reading from Sandy’s perspective- the love, determination, pain, protectiveness, and anticipation can be felt through the pages as you are transported along with her as she watches David grow up. Sandy perhaps gives her son the best gift that a parent can give- her belief in him and his ability to succeed. Nothing deters Sandy from her mission: to provide David with whatever he needs to have a fulfilling life, the same thing every parent wants for their own child. She does everything in her power to help David fly alone- and fly he does!
David’s perspective brings us into the heart of his deepest feelings: fears about fitting in, becoming his own person, and growing up and embracing the important things in life. Extremely relatable, his voice feels like a familiar companion to your own innermost thoughts and sentiments. David will struggle, fail, and try again as many times as it takes for him to accomplish his dreams. David's openness about his failures is humbling. His perseverance is inspirational. And his easy-going and forgiving personality will encourage the understanding and acceptance of others' differences. An amazing person, it’s impossible not to connect with and root for David as you follow him along his journeys through life.
Filled with important tips and lessons learned, this book guides the reader through every challenge and solution found along the way. Expect A Miracle will be cherished by anyone who is on the autism spectrum, their family and friends, as well as anyone who feels alone, misunderstood, or is looking for the courage to live a life of their own making. In addition, beyond their training, educators, and professionals working with clients on the autism spectrum will find Sandy and David's personal insights invaluable in understanding how to meet their challenges. Employers and coworkers will likewise appreciate this guiding information and compelling story.
"I sat down with Expect a Miracle in the morning and didn’t stop reading until I finished it in the late afternoon. This son-mother collaboration is a page-turner filled with lessons on teaching and learning, parenting, collaborating, listening, and true support.
There are many autism stories, autobiographies, biographies, and guides available, but this book is unique because it offers something for everyone. It is a story of diagnosis, growing up, and thriving. It’s a biography and autobiography; the two voices are perfectly integrated and create a wonderful balance of insight and observation. It is also a guide full of tips, ideas, examples, and reflections.
This book will certainly be of interest to autistic teens and adults, advocates, self-advocates, families, and therapists, but I think it will especially interesting to educators as it is organized by school years and even includes a section on college. Teachers will learn a lot from the work samples, anecdotes, social stories, and teaching tools that are highlighted in each section. In addition, they will better understand the power of “embracing differences to make a difference” as it is a central theme of this family’s story.
If you want to understand autism, get this book. If you want to understand autism and create a more inclusive and supportive world, buy one for yourself and another one to share with someone who needs it."
- Paula Kluth, Ph.D.
“As an educator who works every day with atypical students, Sandy and David Petrovic’s book Expect a Miracle, is a gift. The book contains a wealth of insights into the needs of my students as well as helpful strategies on meeting those needs. The unique switching of narrative voice from Sandy to David serves to paint a wholly actualized, well-rounded portrayal of their journey.
As a parent, Expect a Miracle provides a poignant window into the lives of families raising a child on the spectrum. What struck me the most reading the book was not the differences between families raising typical or atypical children, but rather the commonalities between all parents who only want the best for their children. In that most important way, the book builds bridges and creates a stronger community for all.”
- Cynthia JB McGrae, J.D., M.A., Instructional Advisor, Academic Support Center at Notre Dame College
"Despite my formal training and experience, it is most certainly different when it is your own child. You can suddenly feel like you don’t know anything. In the short time that I have been navigating this world of autism I have, like all parents do, read many books on the subject...I of course appreciated the “lessons learned,” the tips and strategies in Expect a Miracle; but I think what this book provided for me more than anything was hope. Hope that my two sons could someday achieve what David has achieved. Thus, I not only recommend this book to professionals as a rare opportunity to see inside the world of a family and individual living with autism, but also to parents, particularly those new to ASD. For if you are like me you will find yourself relating to the challenges, and celebrating the joys and milestones described throughout Sandy and David’s journey.”
- Dr. Katie Krammer, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Special Education, Lake Erie College
“Expect a Miracle” chronicles the life of a young man with Autism from the toddler years through the beginning of his career as a middle school teacher. The reader is swept into the world of David Petrovic and his family, experiencing through their journey the challenges and successes of life and learning on the Autism spectrum. Whether you know very little about Autism or are an expert in the field, reading this book is not only inspirational, but imparts a critical understanding of what it is like to walk in the path of an individual with Autism. In addition to the hope it inspires, this work also details the practical steps and strategies that this family took to help their son realize his fullest potential and find happiness. Individuals with Autism, families, and professionals alike will find this an invaluable read.”
- Beth Anne Martin, Ph.D., Clinical Child Psychologist, Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital, Clinical Assistant Professor, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
David Petrovic B.A., Though virtually non-verbal until age three and the product of early special education, David graduated cum laude from Notre Dame College in 2015. He earned a B.A. in Middle Childhood education, with concentrations in Social Studies and Language Arts. He is currently a junior high teacher at a Catholic elementary school in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. David is pursuing his master’s degree in theology (expected completion August 2020) with aspirations to eventually teach in a high school setting, and he is further considering a vocation within the Catholic clergy. Having autism and Tourette’s, he has powered through struggles and bullying to come to a place of peace and fulfillment. David aspires to help others understand and accept autism and diversity, both socially and professionally. He has become a national speaker (including a TEDx presentation) and contributes articles to various magazines and blogs. Learn more at https://aspergermiracles.com/
Sandy Petrovic RN, BSN, Sandy (David’s mother) holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and has over twenty years of critical care/cardiac experience. She changed her specialty to diabetes education for an additional ten years and is now an instructional advisor at the same college academic support center that honed David’s skills. She has combined her passions of nursing and student coaching to tutor students who have learning differences. In addition, she speaks publicly with David at select events, contributes to various magazines and blogs, and is a co-chair of the National Milestones Autism Conference.
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