It’s a privilege and eye-opening experience to be let into someone’s world. Reading transports you and teaches you so much. And for this I am grateful to Gail Simpkins for penning her story “Praying for Strawberries”. A yearlong diarised account of life with her son, Lachlan. Lachlan has Autism and this book celebrates his accomplishments, his everyday (and remarkable) talents and acknowledges the village of people that surround Lachlan.
In my feeding therapy work, there is nothing more inspiring for me than to hear about how a family is taking on the advice of their feeding therapist and getting runs on the board. The journey that Lachlan is taking with his food familiarity is one aspect of the book that I loved. Yet, there is another star of the book – Itsal. Itsal is Lachlan’s Autism Assistance dog. Until I met Gail, Laclan, Chris and Itsal at her author talk at our local library, I had not heard of Autism assistance dogs. The pages of the book showed me just how comforting having an assistance dog can be when sensory overwhelm is your everyday. Lachlan started going to shopping centres more readily, went to the movies, started his morning routine (nearly always) without hesitation and he worked up to his big goal of learning to surf. All of these accomplishments would have been more difficult without Itsal’s assistance.
I found myself feeling Gail’s exuberance each time Lachlan said a new word, tried a new food and had a great day. This book is great for anyone that has experience in disability or has had their lives touched by someone that sees the world differently. It is a testament to how much we need a tribe supporting us, understanding us and being there for the light-hearted moments too. Parenting is a box of assorted experiences and we all grow from learning about others’ with an open heart.
Get a copy or find out more about Praying for Strawberries
You can get copies of Gail’s book “Praying for Strawberries” via Booktopia (affiliate link in my sidebar) or on Amazon Kindle (see affiliate link below). Follow Author, Gail Simpkins, via her Praying for Strawberries Facebook Page . Or click to find out more about Righteous Pups Australia.
Collaborative giveaway details
I teamed up with Kirsty from Positive Special Needs Parenting (My Home Truths) to present a giveaway. Enter below to win a signed hard copy of this book. Entries open within Australia (due to postage costs):
Full disclosure: I purchased the book myself for the purposes of this giveaway along with my own copy.
You may also like some of my previous book reviews – here is my review history.