Turbulence: A True Story of Survival

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A riveting, inspirational true story of an incredibly resilient woman who broke professional barriers as a Dutch banker, was the sole survivor of Vietnam Airlines Flight 474, found love after the loss of her fiance, and continues to raise her autistic son, never wavering in her optimism.

On the morning of November 14, 1992, Annette Herfkens, a top Dutch banker (and one of the few female international bond traders on Wall Street), packed her luggage for a romantic getaway with her longtime fiance, Willem. At 6:25 that morning, Annette and Willem boarded the plane out of Ho Chi Minh City, with twenty-three other passengers and six crew members, excited to finally have a vacation together. Six minutes before landing, flying at speed of 300 miles per hour, the plane lost altitude and crashed along a mountain ridge in the jungle of Vietnam.

At first Annette heard the voices of other passengers, but soon they went quiet. Annette was the only survivor. For eight days she lay injured and alone, with only rainwater to sustain her. Presumed dead, her obituary made it into local newspapers. What followed is an incredible story of survival, mystery, and the endurance of spirit.

Even after surviving and learning to cope with her harrowing experience, Annette’s biggest life challenge began years later, when her son Maxi was diagnosed with autism. As she weathered the joys and challenges of raising Maxi, Annette often called upon the profound insights she learned during those eight days, viewing every turbulent event in her life with the unflinching optimism of a true survivor.

This is an inspiring account of one woman’s journey and perseverance, as a plane-crash survivor and even more so as a devoted mother to her autistic son, but also of discovering strength and beauty in unexpected places.
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About the author

Annette Herfkens was born in Venezuela to Dutch parents. She was raised in The Netherlands, where she studied International Law at Leiden University. After completing an internship in Santiago de Chile, she became first female executive trainee for ING Bank to be stationed in New York. She then moved to Banco Santander in Madrid. She was promoted to Managing Director and seven years later sent to New York, where she currently lives with her family.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Oct 4, 2016
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9781682450437
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
Biography & Autobiography / Women
Family & Relationships / Autism Spectrum Disorders
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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A mother’s life is changed by the indomitable spirit of an autistic daughter, in this “passionate book for families with special-needs children” (Kirkus Reviews).

Lina was a normal and precocious toddler—charming, chatty, and joyful—but at the age of three came the first seizure, followed, to her parents’ horror, by the loss of her ability to play, use language, and control her impulses. Over the next few years Lina seemed further and further away. She communicated her acute discomfort by biting, screaming, hitting, laughing maniacally, and throwing violent tantrums. As a single mother, with the help of her ex-husband, Helena tirelessly pursued every possible avenue to find a treatment.

Soon, Helena and Lina’s new normal would be special schools, restrictive diets, sensory stimulation, relationship-based therapy, gastroenterology, homeopathy, sign language, and allergy treatment. A mother and daughter’s life together had irrevocably changed. But with the extraordinary help, patience, and understanding of friends and family, and Lina’s own strength and perseverance, that new life has become one of inspiration, healing, and transcendent love.

Unflinchingly raw and courageous, Finding Lina “is not only a mother's painfully honest account of coming to terms with her daughter's autism, but an offering of insight and new possibility to parents facing similar situations. This is a story that resonates beyond the specific illness, with a universality both heart-rending and inspiring”  (New York Times bestselling author Dick Russell).


 
‘He’ll grow out of it,’ my friends told me.
‘He’s so intelligent,’ my family said.
‘Your parents are mathematicians,’ people reminded me. ‘What did you expect?’

What did I expect? We expect many things of our children. Most of the time we are only aware of these expectations when something happens to make it impossible for them to be fulfilled.

When Ben is a baby, Rachel puts his behavioural quirks down to eccentricity. He likes to count letterboxes; he hates to get his hands dirty; loud noises make him anxious.

But as Ben grows and his quirks become more pronounced, it becomes clear there is something else going on. When he is diagnosed with autism, Rachel must reconsider everything she thought she knew about parenting, about Ben, and about how best to mother him. Reaching One Thousand charts her quest to understand autism and to build a new kind of relationship with her son.

Exquisitely written, this is a thought-provoking reflection on family and understanding and a tender love letter from a mother to her son.

Shortlisted for the 2013 National Biography Award.

“This is the best kind of memoir – there is a beautiful calm clarity that drew me in, and held me until the end.” – Georgia Blain

"Deeply touching but never sentimental, this remarkable book is more than a story of one boy and his mother. It’s a thoughtful meditation on the intricate workings of the human mind and heart." – Toni Jordan

‘A memoir to remember and share.’ - Courier Mail

‘Rewarding on many levels, this is an exceptional book.’ - West Australian

“A deeply enriching book about being human” – The Age

Rachel Robertson lectures in professional writing and publishing at Curtin University. Her fiction and essays have been published in The Best Australian Essays, Australian Book Review, Griffith Review and Island. Her essay ‘Reaching One Thousand’ was joint winner of the 2008 Calibre Prize.
An “honest, gripping, and eye-opening” portrait of a family in crisis and a “must-read for any parent of a child who is ‘different’” (Randye Kaye, author of Ben Behind His Voices).
 
When Jenny Lexhed and her husband have their first child, Lucas, they are living the dream. They’re happily married, they’ve just bought a house, the company they built together is starting to blossom. But with the arrival of their son, a feeling of anxiety slips into their life. Everything seems to indicate, and psychiatric evaluation concludes, that their son is severely autistic. Will he ever be able to communicate?
 
Jenny vows to do whatever she can to help Lucas connect with the world and live an independent life. Tossed between hope and despair, she begins a frantic effort to research the best among many competing therapies and find exactly the right treatment for her son. Her obsession takes her to the brink of exhaustion—and over, when she suffers a psychotic breakdown and must be committed to a psychiatric clinic. There begins another journey, to find her balance and recover her strong, healthy life, before she can begin again to fight for her son.
 
Both brutally honest and deeply affecting, Love Is Not Enough is a page-turning memoir that offers insight into autism and what a parent goes through for her child.
 
“Sometimes heart-wrenching, other times humorously touching, Love Is Not Enough reminds us that one of the most important things we can do as parents of special needs children is to be their champion, their advocate.” —Deborah Serani, PsyD, author of Depression and Your Child: A Guide for Parents and Caregivers
“One of the most remarkable books I’ve ever read. It’s truly moving, eye-opening, incredibly vivid.”—Jon Stewart, The Daily Show

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
NPR • The Wall Street Journal • Bloomberg Business • Bookish

FINALIST FOR THE BOOKS FOR A BETTER LIFE FIRST BOOK AWARD • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

You’ve never read a book like The Reason I Jump. Written by Naoki Higashida, a very smart, very self-aware, and very charming thirteen-year-old boy with autism, it is a one-of-a-kind memoir that demonstrates how an autistic mind thinks, feels, perceives, and responds in ways few of us can imagine. Parents and family members who never thought they could get inside the head of their autistic loved one at last have a way to break through to the curious, subtle, and complex life within.
 
Using an alphabet grid to painstakingly construct words, sentences, and thoughts that he is unable to speak out loud, Naoki answers even the most delicate questions that people want to know. Questions such as: “Why do people with autism talk so loudly and weirdly?” “Why do you line up your toy cars and blocks?” “Why don’t you make eye contact when you’re talking?” and “What’s the reason you jump?” (Naoki’s answer: “When I’m jumping, it’s as if my feelings are going upward to the sky.”) With disarming honesty and a generous heart, Naoki shares his unique point of view on not only autism but life itself. His insights—into the mystery of words, the wonders of laughter, and the elusiveness of memory—are so startling, so strange, and so powerful that you will never look at the world the same way again.
 
In his introduction, bestselling novelist David Mitchell writes that Naoki’s words allowed him to feel, for the first time, as if his own autistic child was explaining what was happening in his mind. “It is no exaggeration to say that The Reason I Jump allowed me to round a corner in our relationship.” This translation was a labor of love by David and his wife, KA Yoshida, so they’d be able to share that feeling with friends, the wider autism community, and beyond. Naoki’s book, in its beauty, truthfulness, and simplicity, is a gift to be shared.

Praise for The Reason I Jump

“This is an intimate book, one that brings readers right into an autistic mind.”—Chicago Tribune (Editor’s Choice)

“Amazing times a million.”—Whoopi Goldberg, People

“The Reason I Jump is a Rosetta stone. . . . This book takes about ninety minutes to read, and it will stretch your vision of what it is to be human.”—Andrew Solomon, The Times (U.K.)

“Extraordinary, moving, and jeweled with epiphanies.”—The Boston Globe
 
“Small but profound . . . [Higashida’s] startling, moving insights offer a rare look inside the autistic mind.”—Parade
*Gold Medal Winner in the Sexuality / Relationships Category of the 2011 IPPY Awards*

* Honorary Mention in the 2010 BOTYA Awards Women's Issues Category *

Girls with Asperger's Syndrome are less frequently diagnosed than boys, and even once symptoms have been recognised, help is often not readily available. The image of coping well presented by AS females of any age can often mask difficulties, deficits, challenges, and loneliness.

This is a must-have handbook written by an Aspergirl for Aspergirls, young and old. Rudy Simone guides you through every aspect of both personal and professional life, from early recollections of blame, guilt, and savant skills, to friendships, romance and marriage. Employment, career, rituals and routines are also covered, along with depression, meltdowns and being misunderstood. Including the reflections of over thirty-five women diagnosed as on the spectrum, as well as some partners and parents, Rudy identifies recurring struggles and areas where Aspergirls need validation, information and advice. As they recount their stories, anecdotes, and wisdom, she highlights how differences between males and females on the spectrum are mostly a matter of perception, rejecting negative views of Aspergirls and empowering them to lead happy and fulfilled lives.

This book will be essential reading for females of any age diagnosed with AS, and those who think they might be on the spectrum. It will also be of interest to partners and loved ones of Aspergirls, and anybody interested either professionally or academically in Asperger's Syndrome.

A cutting-edge account of the latest science of autism, from the best-selling author and advocate

When Temple Grandin was born in 1947, autism had only just been named. Today it is more prevalent than ever, with one in 88 children diagnosed on the spectrum. And our thinking about it has undergone a transformation in her lifetime: Autism studies have moved from the realm of psychology to neurology and genetics, and there is far more hope today than ever before thanks to groundbreaking new research into causes and treatments. Now Temple Grandin reports from the forefront of autism science, bringing her singular perspective to a thrilling journey into the heart of the autism revolution.

Weaving her own experience with remarkable new discoveries, Grandin introduces the neuroimaging advances and genetic research that link brain science to behavior, even sharing her own brain scan to show us which anomalies might explain common symptoms. We meet the scientists and self-advocates who are exploring innovative theories of what causes autism and how we can diagnose and best treat it. Grandin also highlights long-ignored sensory problems and the transformative effects we can have by treating autism symptom by symptom, rather than with an umbrella diagnosis. Most exciting, she argues that raising and educating kids on the spectrum isn’t just a matter of focusing on their weaknesses; in the science that reveals their long-overlooked strengths she shows us new ways to foster their unique contributions.

From the “aspies” in Silicon Valley to the five-year-old without language, Grandin understands the true meaning of the word spectrum. The Autistic Brain is essential reading from the most respected and beloved voices in the field.

A New York Times bestseller

Winner of the 2015 Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction

A groundbreaking book that upends conventional thinking about autism and suggests a broader model for acceptance, understanding, and full participation in society for people who think differently.
 
What is autism? A lifelong disability, or a naturally occurring form of cognitive difference akin to certain forms of genius? In truth, it is all of these things and more—and the future of our society depends on our understanding it. WIRED reporter Steve Silberman unearths the secret history of autism, long suppressed by the same clinicians who became famous for discovering it, and finds surprising answers to the crucial question of why the number of diagnoses has soared in recent years.
 
Going back to the earliest days of autism research and chronicling the brave and lonely journey of autistic people and their families through the decades, Silberman provides long-sought solutions to the autism puzzle, while mapping out a path for our society toward a more humane world in which people with learning differences and those who love them have access to the resources they need to live happier, healthier, more secure, and more meaningful lives.
 
Along the way, he reveals the untold story of Hans Asperger, the father of Asperger’s syndrome, whose “little professors” were targeted by the darkest social-engineering experiment in human history; exposes the covert campaign by child psychiatrist Leo Kanner to suppress knowledge of the autism spectrum for fifty years; and casts light on the growing movement of "neurodiversity" activists seeking respect, support, technological innovation, accommodations in the workplace and in education, and the right to self-determination for those with cognitive differences.
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