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“Mentally Retarded” Autistic Mute Breaks Her Silence, Joins Forces with Her Psychologist and Friend to Write Life Affirming Memoir on Living with Autism

Knoxville, Tennessee (PRWEB) April 23, 2013

"Did you hear the severe autism alert sirens wailing? Did that storm luckily miss you and yours? Not us. Our family took a direct hit." "I Might Be…You" is a fresh look at the damage and emerging sun as told by an adult with autism who “is disguised as a poor thinker”, has much to say, yet, does not speak and a therapist who helps rebuild. With experience, wit, warmth, and wisdom these two collaborate to rethink roles, expectations, treatment strategies, education, meaning and the healing truth about connection.

"I Might Be You" was written for overwhelmed parents, teachers and practitioners needing inspiration, and those with ASD, or Autism Spectrum Disorder, seeking purpose as hope is found.

This is a highly entertaining, thought provoking, and deeply emotional account of life with autism, discover who you might be and the unique contributions that may be yours to make. After all, “without you, I would not be me.” (Native American Proverb)

Note from Barb on how this book was written:

Our style editor asked them to clarify, upfront, exactly how this book was written, to explain “to the full satisfaction of the reader that these are indeed her words.”

Barb's response was, "This book took 10 years to write. That time frame may best be appreciated by understanding the arduously slow progress involved. I communicate through facilitated communication or FC, which is a form of augmentative and alternative communication seen as a basic right by The Autism National Committee (AutCom), The Association for the Severely Handicapped (TASH),now, The Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps, and me. FC users are supported by individuals called facilitators who provide physical support to help stabilize movement, reduce impulsive pointing and perseverations (repetition of the same motor response) and increase movement initiation."

The goal of facilitated communication (supported typing) is to progress toward independent typing. In the words of Barb, "I work hard every day with several facilitators to accomplish that goal and now type with just one hand touching my back for support to help me initiate movement and overcome my apraxia." The National Institute of Health defines apraxia (called dyspraxia if mild) as a neurological disorder characterized by loss of the ability to execute or carry out learned movements despite having the desire and ability to perform them. This includes talking and typing. She continues, "I also struggle with ataxia, which is characterized by imbalance, unsteady walk and tendency to stumble, problems with fine motor movements, and difficulty positioning in space. I often politely ask my brain to please move my hand to do this or that only to be told, 'We’re sorry due to high autism volume we are not able to answer your call at this time. Please try harder later.' These vexations may prevent me from ever being a good driver, a great drunk driver sure, but never good. I am, however, determined to be the best writer I can be and this book is my Rubicon."

When Barb finally realized that it is easier to change herself rather than everyone else, she put learning how to type on her own as priority number one. That focus resulted in hundreds of hours of practice and real improvement.

The first part of this book was written by Barb using facilitated communication. Lois typed her chapters by herself, as she is, in Barb's endearing terms, less interesting.

Barb Rentenbach is a writer and advocate for people with disabilities. She is an impassioned presenter concerning Autism, Social Justice, Teacher Training, and Communication. Barb continues rigorous self-education to develop her writing and speaking in order to champion others. She helped create “Greater Living Institute” (GLI) a non-profit organization designed to serve bright adolescents and adults with disabilities. Barb is the co-founder and CEO of Mule and Muse Productions, LLC.

Dr. Lois Prislovsky earned her Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and completed over 138 hours of post-doctorate studies in assessment, cognitive psychology, Lindamood-Bell reading therapy, DIRFloortime methods for strength/relationship approaches to ASD treatment, and advanced certification in Ericksonian hypnosis. Other areas of expertise include communication and social skills training with clients on the Autism Spectrum and ADHD coaching. Dr. Prislovsky serves as the Executive Director of the “Greater Living Institute” (GLI), President of Psychoeducational Network (private practice), and President of Mule and Muse Productions, LLC.

Read the full story at

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