Expect a Miracle: Understanding and Living with Autism

This inspirational book enables readers to experience, understand, improve, and embrace life with autism.

expect a miracle
photo by David E. Hall

A required read in several college classes

October 2021 Firebird Book Awards FIRST PLACE Winner in 2 categories:

Parenting & Family AND Inspirational/Motivational

Nominated for the 2022 Dolly Gray Children’s Literature Award

Synopsis

Co-authored from the separate viewpoints of an autistic young adult and his mother, this work makes it possible to experience life from the perspective of a person on the spectrum, thus enabling an intricate understanding. The book uniquely chronicles the challenges and victories of each developmental stage from toddlerhood through young adulthood, including experiences with bullying, college preparation and success, and employment. Inspiring hope, encouragement, and ideas, this book would be valuable to persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder/Asperger’s, their parents and loved ones, and professionals who teach and counsel them. It would also benefit employers, co-workers, and anyone interested in autism. Each chapter concludes with practical tips and lessons learned from the authors’ experiences.

This updated version is a continuation of the included first edition (formerly subtitled: A Mother/Son Asperger Journey of Determination and Triumph).

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TIMELY RELEASE!

Sandy and David contributed a chapter to this outstanding resource for reintegration of autistic people into schools, work, and the community following the pandemic.

Click here to order on AAPC Publishing

Also available on Amazon.

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REVIEWS for “Expect a Miracle: Understanding and Living with Autism”

“…There are many autism stories, autobiographies, biographies, and guides available, but this book is unique because it offers something for everyone…

…This book will certainly be of interest to autistic teens and adults, advocates, self-advocates, families, and therapists, but I think it will be especially interesting to educators… 

If you want to understand autism, get this book. If you want to understand autism and create a more inclusive and supportive world, buy one for yourself and another one to share with someone who needs it.” (full review below) 

Paula Kluth, Ph.D. 
Autism Education Expert 

***

“Professors should have all new teachers read this book. Parents will benefit. Typical students will learn from it, and students struggling with autism will grow because of the authors’ guidance.” 

Mary  Jo O’Neill, M. Ed. 
Special Education Advocate
Hickman & Lowder Co. 

***

 “I not only recommend this book to professionals as a rare opportunity to see inside the world of a family and individual living with autism, but also to parents, particularly those new to ASD.” (full review below) 

Dr. Katie Krammer, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Special Education
Lake Erie College 

 ***

“Whether you know very little about Autism or are an expert in the field, reading this book is not only inspirational, but imparts a critical understanding of what it is like to walk in the path of an individual with Autism.” (full review below) 

Beth Anne Martin, Ph.D.
Clinical Child Psychologist
Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital
Clinical Assistant Professor
Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University 

 ***

 “LOVING IT…excellent job. The students are going to love it too!
…a good book to provide a nice overview of autism from a developmental standpoint.” 

Tracy L. Masterson, PhD
Associate Professor of Psychological Science
John Carroll University 

 ***

“It will make you think deeply, laugh, cry and feel all the emotions that their family has experienced. I encourage all people blessed with a child with Autism to share this journey with David and Sandy. I also encourage people in the medical and educational fields to take the time to read this book and to truly be inspired!” 

Mariellen DeSmit, RN, BSN, CDCES 

 ***

“There are a number of things I like about this book.  First, the mother/son writing team provides a thorough and unique perspective to the question of what it is like to grow up with autism.  Next, the book takes a lifespan approach and is heavily descriptive along with being clear about the subjectivity of the experience.  Finally, this book is incredibly well written. The language is clear and accessible and makes it easy to lose yourself in the wonder of the story being told.  I recommend this book to individuals wanting to learn more about what it is like to have an autism diagnosis from the perspective of an individual, as well as a family.” 

Andrew Schlegelmilch, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist in Private Practice 

 ***

“Often the skills that individuals with autism learn in school fail to translate to skills that are necessary for success in the adult world.  This is not the case in Expect a Miracle, which portrays how an individual can reap the benefits when family members, educators, support providers, and community members work together to provide well-crafted support across grade levels, educational institutions, and community environments.  When that support focuses not just on academic achievements but social and emotional well-being, as well as recognizes the importance of valuing strengths in addition to addressing weaknesses, miracles can happen!” 

Carol Burmeister, M.A. 
Educational Consultant
Co-Author of “FLIPP the Switch: Strengthen Executive Function Skills,” as well as “FLIPP 2.0″

 ***

“…Expect a Miracle is a gift.  The book contains a wealth of insights into the needs of my students as well as helpful strategies on meeting those needs.  The unique switching of narrative voice from Sandy to David serves to paint a wholly actualized, well rounded portrayal of their journey. 

As a parent, Expect a Miracle provides a poignant window into the lives of families raising a child on the spectrum. What struck me the most reading the book was not the differences between families raising typical or atypical children, but rather the commonalities between all parents who only want the best for their children.  In that most important way, the book builds bridges and creates a stronger community for all.” 

Cynthia JB McGrae, J.D., M.A. 

 ***

“With its telling stories, insight into Autism Spectrum Disorder, and heartwarming (and wrenching) tales, Expect A Miracle is a beautiful testimony of a family impacted by ASD.” 

Gina Talerico
John Carroll University ’21 

 ***

“An incredible book by an amazing mother/son team. David Petrovic is an inspiration for all of us — this book should be on everyone’s reading list.” 

Victoria Bussert, M.F.A, M.A., B.A.
Director, Music Theatre
Professor, Theatre
Baldwin Wallace University 

 ***

“I highly recommend Expect a Miracle, Understanding and Living with Autism by David and Sandy Petrovic. The book’s emphasis on preparation for transition points in life make it a must read for every family. When I met David, I knew by his enthusiasm, ability, and sincerity that a miracle would be coming his way. As I read the book, I learned that he had earned the miracle. As a mother and son on a journey, their story will grow as they bring their goodness and experience to the world.” 

Gretchen Noetzel Walsh, M.S.Ed.
Academic Support Center, Director Emeritus
Notre Dame College 

 ***

“I sat down with Expect a Miracle in the morning and didn’t stop reading until I finished it in the late afternoon. This son-mother collaboration is a page-turner filled with lessons on teaching and learning, parenting, collaborating, listening, and true support.  

There are many autism stories, autobiographies, biographies, and guides available, but this book is unique because it offers something for everyone. It is a story of diagnosis, growing up, and thriving. It’s a biography and autobiography; the two voices are perfectly integrated and create a wonderful balance of insight and observation. It is also a guide full of tips, ideas, examples, and reflections.  

This book will certainly be of interest to autistic teens and adults, advocates, self-advocates, families, and therapists, but I think it will be especially interesting to educators as it is organized by school years and even includes a section on college. Teachers will learn a lot from the work samples, anecdotes, social stories, and teaching tools that are highlighted in each section. In addition, they will better understand the power of “embracing differences to make a difference” as it is a central theme of this family’s story.  

If you want to understand autism, get this book. If you want to understand autism and create a more inclusive and supportive world, buy one for yourself and another one to share with someone who needs it.” 

Paula Kluth, Ph.D. 
Autism Education Expert
www.paulakluth.com 
Author of many books including, “You’re Going to Love This Kid”: Teaching Students with Autism in the Inclusive Classroom 

 ***

“Expect a Miracle” chronicles the life of a young man with Autism from the toddler years through the beginning of his career as a middle school teacher. The reader is swept into the world of David Petrovic and his family, experiencing through their journey the challenges and successes of life and learning on the Autism spectrum.  Whether you know very little about Autism or are an expert in the field, reading this book is not only inspirational, but imparts a critical understanding of what it is like to walk in the path of an individual with Autism. In addition to the hope it inspires, this work also details the practical steps and strategies that this family took to help their son realize his fullest potential and find happiness.  Individuals with Autism, families, and professionals alike will find this an invaluable read.” 

Beth Anne Martin, Ph.D.
Clinical Child Psychologist
Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital
Clinical Assistant Professor
Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University 

 ***

“So much has changed in the six years since the first edition of “Expect a Miracle,” making an updated version quite appropriate and very relevant.  When I met the Petrovics our first son was five (now age 9) and had only been diagnosed with ASD for two years. Since that time our second son was also diagnosed with ASD at age 3 (now age 5).  Given that I was (and still am), a Professor of Special Education, I have always been committed to improving the lives of individuals with exceptionalities. However, now that I am parent to two little boys with special needs I am even more devoted to this field. 

Initially many well-meaning people commented how “I was lucky,” given my background as a Professor of Special Education. However, despite my formal training and experience, it is most certainly different when it is your own child. You can suddenly feel like you don’t know anything. In the short time that I have been navigating this world of autism I have, like all parents do, read many books on the subject. Some have offered advice from parents, and others have allowed insight from individuals on the spectrum themselves. What meant so much to me as I read “Expect a Miracle” co-authored by Sandy and David Petrovic is that it chronicles their experience, from both of their perspectives, starting just prior to his diagnosis and culminating in David’s young adult years. While my children are still quite young now, in a blink of an eye they will be where David is: navigating the work force and all of the challenges that come with adulthood. It truly is never too early to think about that transition. Reading about someone like David gives me inspiration and spurs my passion for preparing future special education teachers. 

I of course appreciated the “lessons learned,” the tips and strategies; but I think what this book provided for me more than anything was hope. Hope that my sons could someday achieve what David has achieved. Thus, I not only recommend this book to professionals as a rare opportunity to see inside the world of a family and individual living with autism, but also to parents, particularly those new to ASD. For if you are like me you will find yourself relating to the challenges, and celebrating the joys and milestones described throughout Sandy and David’s journey.” 

Dr. Katie Krammer, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Special Education
Lake Erie College 

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First Edition: now out of print

Expect a Miracle: A Mother/Son Asperger Journey of Determination and  Triumph: Petrovic, Sandy: 9781495802898: Amazon.com: Books