The diagnosis of autism can be devastating. When doctors told Cyndi Sibley that her young daughter, Jackie, was on the autism spectrum, Cyndi became an activist in the community. She has made it her mission to erase the label from Jackie’s life, to help others realize that stigmas are really misunderstandings, and to teach simple things that everyone should know in order to deal with autism proactively.
After countless interventions and therapies, Cyndi Sibley had tried everything from prescription drugs like Risperdal to groundbreaking treatments like Cranial Sacral Therapy and Applied Behavioral Analysis. Jackie has lived on special diets and listened to “social stories”—which are important narratives people create to help those on the spectrum deal with times of trouble or, sometimes, just simple transitions. Even horseback riding has been a positive and effective strategy.
Throughout the countless challenges, Cyndi has relied on her faith to maintain a positive outlook. Born and raised Catholic, prayers and scripture have been Cyndi’s refuge, and she shares her favorites at the beginning of each chapter. Positive affirmation practices have also bolstered her, and in this book, she writes about how. There are also stories about her community engagement and activist projects—Cyndi has fundraised, run a website, marched for autism awareness, and even designed a billboard that hung alongside a highway near Detroit.
Read Passion for the Piece to get a real-world glimpse of Cyndi and Jackie’s journey, and to be enlightened by the power of faith. This is an inspiring book, engaging and eye-opening for those who have never considered what autism means in the 21st century, and comforting for the parents like Cyndi and her family—who know those challenges all too intensely.
Cyndi Sibley resides in Michigan with her husband and two children. She is a writer and community activist. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can purchase the book at Amazon.
This article was featured in Issue 48 – Connecting and Communicating with Autism