Autism – What Does It Mean?

This morning I read an article on D.M. Kilgore’s blog. It made me wiser by far. I have two words for you: read it!

It goes like this:

Why, if that was your kid you’d bust that butt and tell her to stop acting like a cry-baby! Geesh.  You slip a disapproving glance their way and the mother drops her head in defeat… but only for a moment.  Suddenly, she’s the one shooting you an icy stare.  And… then she approaches.  Her jaw is set determinedly, and if looks could kill… buddy you’d be a dead man.  An instant too late, you wish you had just grabbed the cereal and made a clean getaway.

The mother lays into you for being a judgmental jerk and explains that her daughter is Autistic.  In your haste to get away, you make a detrimental mistake, and apologize by saying, “I’m sorry.  It’s just that, well, she doesn’t look retarded.”

IF you live through that, she might enlighten you about Autism Spectrum Disorders, Sensory Overload, oh, and the sheer ignorance of using the “r” word.  She might even roll her eyes at your stupidity or pat you sadly on the head.


Posted by on April 4, 2014 in Just A Thought, Let's Talk


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Review: Circle of Five, by Jan Raymond

c5Amazon US

Amazon UK

A novel for young audiences, this was a surprisingly entertaining read, considering I am well past that age.

Refreshingly original and recounted with a good dose of wit and humor, the adventures these five youngsters were drawn into are full of heart and useful life lessons

The issues of friendship and trust are at its core, resourcefulness and confidence in one’s abilities, as well as social interactions – all these were well observed and used throughout the book in a down-to-earth manner sure to appeal to today’s young readership.

A smooth writing style did justice to all descriptions, but for me, the characters really stood out. Genuine, normal kids who had incredible powers thrust upon them. It was the way they dealt with this, the way they saw it – blessing or curse – the emotion, and the way they came together as a team to conquer evil, that made me really enjoy this book.

Full of action, a rollercoaster of adventure and fun, the Circle of Five fully deserves its shiny five stars. I wholeheartedly recommend it.


Posted by on March 27, 2014 in Book Reviews


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Review: To Have & To Haunt, by J.A. Howell

ththAmazon US

Amazon UK

If you haven’t read this book yet, what’s keeping you? Such a breath of fresh air! Brilliant read, from the first page to the last.

Written in a very original voice, this novel is full of unexpected surprises. The characters are beautiful people, not perfect, yet still able to show so much love towards each other. The plot is chock-full of twists and turns. The concept – pure genius! A seer who gets on the wrong side of a ghost is not a new idea, but the way the story unfolds is unique. The action is non-stop. Dynamic, suspenseful, thrilling. Dialogues – natural and unforced, and so witty you won’t stop laughing.

The story of Nolan and Harley is not a funny one by any means, nor is it a drama. Regardless, this novel packs so many life lessons, so much wisdom and truth. Loved every word of it. The Irish and Scottish inflections are accentuated phonetically, and it was funny to read some of the dialogue aloud. Again, playing on the stereotypes proved to be a wonderful way to bring some extra fun to the more intense, suspenseful scenes.

As for the finale… Boy, does this author know how to build up a happy ending! Brilliant! Absolutely fantastic. Couldn’t have been improved in any way.

All in all, a very well-written book, which has given me hours of entertainment (and not only because I’ve recently moved to Ireland), To Have & To Haunt is well-deserving of five stars. Wholeheartedly recommend it.


Posted by on March 17, 2014 in Book Reviews


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Understated Values To Grow Your Soul 40


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Posted by on March 15, 2014 in Just A Thought


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Review: Morrigan, by Laura DeLuca

Morrigan - Laura DeLucaAmazon US

Amazon UK

Essentially a fight between the forces of good and evil, Morrigan is an entertaining story inspired by Irish folklore. Stuck in a place where she clearly does not belong, Morrigan is eager to find her homeland and her family when a knight plucked right of the Middle Ages appears to escort her on the trip.

Suspense and adventure are pulling the story along, and the narration is peppered with wit and the humor arising from the change in circumstances. When used to the modern world, who would be prepared to see a cute kitten transform into a panther-guardian, for example? Lovely descriptions, and a very entertaining romance budding between Morrigan and her knight, Tiarn, keep the reader engaged. And then the story twists.

Morrigan’s family is not what she expects, and the intrigue and power-play between family members takes center stage. Alone and lost in a world she doesn’t understand, Morrigan has to save herself and join the good side in battle, for the sake of the greater good.

Full of fantastical elements, this book kept me sucked in all the way through. I read it in one go, and that rarely happens. A very well-deserved 5 stars. If you like werewolves, faeries and witchcraft, you can’t go wrong with this book. Suitable for young adults.


Posted by on March 11, 2014 in Book Reviews


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Understated Values To Grow Your Soul 39



Posted by on March 8, 2014 in Just A Thought


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Understated Values To Grow Your Soul 38



Posted by on March 1, 2014 in Just A Thought


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