For The Love of Melissa

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Author House, Mar 16, 2010 - Biography & Autobiography - 148 pages
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Melissa was diagnosed with Autism as a young child.  Autism affects social and communication skills, and also involves unusual repetitive behaviours.  This is a true story that is not simply about the struggles of a child with Autism.  This book captures the resilience, unconditional love and endless perseverence of Melissa and her family.  It is rare to read a story told with such beautiful honesty.  As Melissa's former community worker and her current friend, I would like to express my admiration for her journey.  I have had the opportunity to watch her blossom from a child who was fearful and in her own world to a young adult pursuing social relationships with enthusiasm, empathy, and curiosity. Not to mention that she is now an entrepreneur! Melissa truly is a remarkable woman. And this story about her life reaches out to touch your heart and open your mind.  Jennifer Janes Community Helper of Individuals with Autism and current friend of Melissa 

Rhonda was able to make a difference in Melissa's life against all odds.  When the medical profession and the school system gave Rhonda little hope that Melissa could have a normal life, she never accepted this dire prediction.  When there was no help, she tried strategies that she felt would make a difference for Melissa.  She sought out every treatment that was then available to help Melissa.  What Rhonda had done is nothing short to a miracle-a miracle that was created through Perseverence and fueled by a mother's love.   This is a "must-read book" for all to remind us that we can make a difference in the life of a child.  It is a true story with a happy ending.  Arlene Smith   Retired Principal and Former Special Education Principal.

 

 

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Contents

In the Beginning
1
A Time to Grieve
15
Is Anyone Listening?
29
The Nightmare Begins
49
Turbulent Times Ahead
67
The MotherDaughter Relationship
87
Melissas Insights
103
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About the author (2010)

Rhonda Ellen Shlanger graduated from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute in 1976. She received her credentials in the field of Social Services. Rhonda has been involved in the York Region Autism Chapter for many years. She was the Chairman of Public Awareness, and was interviewed several times on television and in the news. Rhonda was Past President of this chapter and a Support Parent for York Region.She has been the recipient of the Gerry Bloomfield award for her outstanding contributions. Today, she works in the Special Educational Department for the York Region Board of Education. Rhonda is the mother of two children, Jeff and Melissa, and the author of this book. She resides with her husband Arthur and their adorable dog Pipic in Thornhill Ontario, a suburb of Toronto Canada. Comments from the Author: Someone once told me that I knew the Secret of Life. I do not know if this is true, but I strongly believe that we must not look away from the challenges we face, but to embrace these tests, and to remain positive and proactive even when darkness surrounds us. Life is about celebrating every positive outcome, because no matter how small it may seem to you, it may be a major breakthrough for someone you love. The key to success is to engage in Early Intervention, open mindedness, realism, and acceptance without self-denial. My wish is to touch, move, and inspire the community by providing a sense of empowerment and hope. It is my wish to share this story from the bottom of my heart, and For the Love of Melissa.

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