Welcome to David’s Gift

David’s Gift originally began as a book about Asperger’s Syndrome and the strategies we developed over the years which could help other families who are dealing with this diagnosis.

However, during the process of writing, I came to realise how Asperger’s Syndrome actually challenged and inspired us to understand who we really were and what it was we truly wanted out of life

Asperger’s taught us the lessons we most needed to learn; the power of unconditional love, the value of patience and understanding and the true meaning of the words compassion, forgiveness, honesty and authenticity.

Those diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome are often intelligent, intense and self-focused individuals, who usually find success in a career requiring enormous amounts of attention to detail.  But they view the world differently and because of this ‘difference’ they are often judged harshly as odd, over reactive, difficult or non-compliant.  For many, their brains and bodies are often overstimulated by things such as noise, light, heat or cold. They can be oversensitive to certain fabrics, smells or odours, causing them to react in ways that are deemed unacceptable.

This ‘difference’ also brings with it a lack of understanding of the social skills most people take for granted.

Those with Asperger’s find relationships difficult to understand and miss the ‘unspoken’ cues that help people develop the depth of emotions and strong interpersonal relationships. Through social interaction we learn to experience love, patience, compassion and understanding as well as all the emotions that make up the fabric of who we are.  For those with Asperger’s, these often don’t come naturally and have to be learned, usually only through modelling other’s behaviours.  How to act in certain situations or how to self monitor stress or confusion can be challenging because in their world they do not need social acceptance, and so do not understand others reactions. Hence they don’t naturally understand what acceptable behaviour is and what it is not. If it doesn’t feel OK, then they will react in what ever way they feel the need to in order to cope with the stress of the situation at hand.

Being able to deal effectively with the many challenging and confusing aspects of David’s diagnosis meant we, as his parents, had to be in tune with what his needs were. We needed to be constantly aware of how we interacted, not only with David but also with each other, our daughters and people we associated with on a daily basis.

It was our role to become the people we wanted David to be.

We needed to ensure our emotions were clear and real so David could learn to understand his own emotions.  To exhibit unconditional love, understanding, patience and compassion, so he could ‘feel’ what they were and understand them in his life.

We had to be clear in our communication, use language that was positive and succinct and be very, very sure what we said was exactly what we both wanted and intended.

It has been an amazing journey.

The story you are about to read is the story of our family.  There are many moments of joy and any moments of love and laughter. However, there are also many sad moments and many dark moments, some of which were very difficult to write; but I felt it was important to share the darkest times because it was through those times the greatest lessons were learned.

When Asperger’s Syndrome first came into our lives it presented to us a challenge which, at the time, seemed sad, unfair and overwhelming.  It is only now I can see it was in fact an incredible gift. Because, you see, the things we most needed to teach David were the things we most needed to learn ourselves.

It was the gift David gave to us.  A gift for which we will forever be grateful.

9 Responses to “Welcome to David’s Gift”

  1. How long did it take to get a diagnosis, and did David have speech difficulties as well?

    Jenny Rand
    11:34 am on March 22nd, 2010
  2. Hi Sally,

    I’ve just purchased a copy of the book. I can’t wait to read it. Our daughter was diagnosed with Asperger’s in February 2010. I’ve struggled with the diagnosis for a few years but finally have it. Teagan is only mild but there are enough differences between her and her younger brother for me to realise from probably age 3.

    Kind regards

    Debbie

    Debbie Corlet
    10:55 am on April 8th, 2010
  3. Hi Debbie, I hope you enjoy the book. Girls often present very differently to boys, but the journey for the parents is still the same!

    Look forward to hearing from you soon

    Sally

    admin
    2:20 pm on April 8th, 2010
  4. Hi Sally, with two grandsons diagnosed with asperger’s and autism respectively I am keen to get hold of your book.. where do I get it? Also will you be doing visits/workshops with the your book? We all can benefit from your experience and knowledge. Thank you
    Regards
    Chris

    Chris Rosenthal
    2:45 pm on April 22nd, 2010
  5. Hi Chris

    You can either order the book through our website, or there are a few bookstores that are currently stocking the book. If you can let me know which state/area you live I can give you an idea of where to go. We are currently in the process of including links on the website to the bookstores who are stocking David’s Gift. I will be commencing touring various areas of Australia in Mid May.

    Kind regards

    Sally

    admin
    3:51 pm on April 24th, 2010
  6. hi sally, im a 24 year old single mum and my daughter was dianosed with autism when she was 3. shes now 5 and just started school. i would love to get a hold of your book. we live in adelaide. do you know any book shops here where i could find it? it was great seeing you on the circle and hearing how you and your family have turned something most people would see as a hardship into something thats special and like you say a gift. it has taken me awhile to see things that way too but like you said as soon as you turn your whole thinking around it becomes alot easier.
    thankyou
    amanda

    amanda thredgold
    1:08 am on April 25th, 2010
  7. Hi Amanda,

    The best way to order a book is either online, or if you go into your local bookstore, they can also order it in for you. I am receiving a number of orders from bookstores now, but they are mostly in Victoria and Queensland.

    admin
    11:15 am on April 26th, 2010
  8. some truly great posts on this site, thankyou for contribution.

    Hertha Thormahlen
    7:58 am on November 28th, 2010
  9. HELLO, MY HUSBAND AND SON POSSIBLY HAVE ASPERGES. WHAT DO YOU NEED FOR A DIAGNOSIS. HOW MANY SYMPTOMS DO YOU NEED? HE HITS, KICKS, BITES AND SCRATCHES HIS BABY SISTER. JACKSON IS NEARLY 3. HE FEARS THE SHOWER AND SCRATCHES SKIN OFF HIMSELF BECAUSE HE HATES THE FEEL OF IT. WE ARE NOT COMPLETELY SURE WHY. HE NEEDS A SILKY TO CHANGE HIS NAPPY, GO ANYWHERE IN THE CAR, WHEN HE IS SICK OR UPSET. HE HATES THE NOISE OF THE VACUUM CLEANER IT SCARES HIM. HE PLAYS ON HIS OWN AT PLAYGROUP, HE DOESNT TALK TO THE OTHER KIDS MUCH.

    Carrie Kelly
    8:17 pm on May 4th, 2011

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