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Expect A Miracle: Understanding and Living With Autism
Have you ever felt like the odds were stacked against you just because of your disability?
Each person is unique in their own way. However, some people fail to recognize the beauty in our differences. On top of the hurdles persons with disabilities have in their lives, people often keep them inside a box. Told from the viewpoints of a young man with high-functioning autism and his mother, Expect A Miracle will shed light and a fresh perspective on a disability misunderstood by many.
Follow the powerful and inspiring story of David and Sandy Petrovic, and how they refuse to let the light in their hearts be dimmed by autism. Reading from Sandy’s perspective, the love, determination, pain, protectiveness, and anticipation of a loving mother is almost palpable. She embodies the unconditional love and support expected of a mother as she gives David everything he needs to fly on his own—and fly he does!
Despite the numerous challenges he encounters, David’s unique perspective on life and as a son becomes the earmark of his sense of self. Written in a voice that’s both familiar and relatable, David openly narrates his fears, struggles, failures, vulnerabilities, and how he overcomes them without losing hope. With each failure and each triumph, you will undoubtedly find yourself rooting for David as he journeys through life.
Expect A Miracle is brimming with important life lessons and tips. It will open your eyes to the different challenges people on the autism spectrum often experience and how they overcome these challenges in their own unique ways. Share this story with your friends, colleagues, and anyone who has ever felt alone and misunderstood. David’s personal insights and experiences will prove that persons with disabilities are also meant for greatness.
Gain valuable insight into the world of autism through the eyes of David and Sandy.
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"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 earned his master’s degree in theology in 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 and contributes to various magazines and blogs. Past co-chair of the National Milestones Autism Conference, she now serves on its Executive Committee.
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