1 in 54 children are diagnosed with autism. In Michelle Vanessa O’Reilly’s debut book, “Journey to Acceptance: Finding Hope, Support, and Peace for Your Autistic Child,” she raises awareness and empathy toward those who have been affected by this disorder. Throughout O’Reilly’s honest narrative, she provides a roadmap for parents of autistic children and shows them that they are not alone in this journey. Her book confronts readers with a sensitive topic that will leave them feeling vulnerable.
“I wanted to publish my story of the different experiences, both good and bad, that I went through with my son,” said O’Reilly. “My book not only raises awareness for autism but also will help other families and parents that have children with special needs who have nowhere to turn. I want them to realize that there are great placements out there where their children can thrive and live a productive life.”
“Journey to Acceptance” gives families hope through all the extraordinary trials and challenges that go with raising a child with special needs. O’Reilly provides numerous organizations that supported her family when navigating life with her son, Justin. She shares her recollections with readers that illustrate her deep-seated tiredness, fear and anguish for taking care of her loved one with a neurological and developmental condition that makes the person unable to fend for themselves.
Throughout the pages, O’Reilly’s resilient spirit and courage will inspire readers. She shares what gave her and her family the strength to survive their experiences through their strong faith. The book details how embracing the Lord through life’s unexpected obstacles and sometimes violent alterations led her son to a wonderful placement.
The book has also received raving reviews such as “This book gives a transparent and vulnerable look at the difficult path one parent faces while raising her autistic son. As the title states, Michelle takes the reader on a journey of emotions, challenges and questions. This is a great book for anyone who is facing a difficult choice.”
Ultimately, “Journey to Acceptance” gives encouragement and insight to other families beginning this journey. Readers will witness a front-seat view of the turmoil and pain O’Reilly was experiencing and will find her story eye-opening. By the end of the book, readers will see how her experiences became symbols of hope and a significant triumph for humanity.
Michelle Vanessa O’Reilly, a native of Toronto, Canada, graduated from of Oakwood University and Clark Atlanta University. She has worked as an elementary school teacher for over twenty-five years, with an increasing focus on autism and special needs. O’Reilly resides with her family in Orlando, Florida, and has an upcoming companion storybook to “Journey to Acceptance,” this time for children. She has learned to listen closely to Jesus’s voice as she makes decisions in this journey.