Title: Sailing on a Rainbow: A Colourful Journey with Autism
Author: Adesola Toyin Adesokan
Publisher: Inovie Books
Year of Publication: 2020
Number of Pages: 157
As a parent, it is hard to imagine your child having an illness, disability or special need. But when it happens and your child is diagnosed with autism, how do you deal with the situation? Some parents suddenly find themselves engulfed by a wave of concern; others feel overwhelmed and alone. But no matter how difficult the situation is, it doesn’t mean that your life is over, or as Adesola Toyin Adesokan puts it in Sailing on a Rainbow: “There is no room to sit around and complain or to invite others to celebrate your self-pity.”
As the parent of a child with autism, Adesokan made herself vulnerable by revealing numerous incidents (and scary scenes) in her life and her son’s: from the daily struggles of raising a child with the condition to the trauma of a missing child. Her story is one of courage but full of hope and lessons.
Each chapter begins with an episode from her son’s life, then moves into the lessons she drew from it. In a direct style, she lays out her advice (how to cope with stress, how to choose the best school for your child with autism, what to do in the event your child demonstrates inappropriate social behaviors). Sailing on a Rainbow, at times, reads like an instruction manual and you might come back to it days and months later.
As we follow Adesokan on her everyday life, some stories read more as fiction and we’re shown that it is indeed a struggle to parent an autistic child. This leaves readers to ask how parents deal with the challenging behavior and judgements from others.
Autism caused her to seek new experiences through educational resources. “I read countless books, watched so many videos and even attended conferences,” she writes. The author frees herself from the grip of her experiences by accepting the new identity in her life. Her positive attitude is contagious and gives energy to her readers or maybe that’s what’s required in order to offer help to others.
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One name kept appearing in the book. It was Fred, a godsend to her son. Here, the book’s anecdotes jump from frightening to comforting—this echoes the subtitle of Adesokan’s book.
Does she still struggle with uncertainty? How does she see the future for her autistic child? The author wraps up the book on a high note as she looks forward to the exciting adventure that awaits her.
There is far less awareness of autism in Nigeria. Therefore, this short read should be in the hands of readers who want to understand the life of an autistic child, as well as readers who want to learn to deal and live with an autistic child.
About the reviewer
Titilade Oyemade is a business executive in a leading organisation and holds a degree in Russian Language. She’s the convener of the Hangoutwithtee Ladies Event and the publisher of Hangoutwithtee magazine. She spends her weekends attending women conferences, events and book readings. She loves to have fun and to help other women have the same in their lives. Email: titi[email protected] Social: @tiipree