This past week my older daughter and I listened to Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary on our way to and from Rachel’s special needs school, which is 30 minutes each way.
I remember Beverly Cleary books from my own youth and am thrilled to share them with my daughter. As we listened to Beezus and Ramona—a story about older sister Beatrice’s (“Beezus”) struggle to love younger, trouble-making sister Ramona—we had some interesting conversations. My daughter opened up about the frustrations she experiences being the older sister of an autistic sibling.
We talked about how her sister destroys a lot of toys, markers, crayons, and other items, and how sometimes Rachel’s behavior takes precedence over other activities. But we also discussed what better people we’d become because of autism, how it’s helped us see the good in little things and to love on a deeper level.
Thanks, Beverly Cleary!
Jennifer Dyer has an M.S. in Communications Disorders, which served her well in her professional career as a speech-language pathologist. Never did she imagine that her education and career were God’s way of preparing her to be a mom to her own daughter with autism. Today, she enjoys reaching out to other families who face similar diagnoses. As a cancer survivor, carpet-cleaning veteran, and originator of the “Messy House Ministry,” Jennifer feels blessed to share joy, peace, and humor with others facing life’s challenges. She is mom to two beautiful daughters and is thankful to be raising them, serving other families with unique needs, and using her gift of writing and speaking to minister to others. Jennifer is also the author of a youth fiction book series and is trusting God with His timing on publication. Jennifer has been a mom for 11 years. She and Brandon have been married for 13 years.