Friday, May 25, 2012

Interview With Author, Bobbi Sheahan

     My friend, Bobbi Sheahan, has graciously taken the time to let me interview her for my blog, "Nathan's Voice". Many of you may already know Bobbi for her third book, What I Wish I'd Known About Raising a Child With Autism, which has spent several weeks in Amazon's Top 100 Autism Books since its publication in June 2011. Her book reviews have been published in Bookmarks Magazine. She is also a frequent and popular speaker, most recently at the Future Horizons' October Super Conference, which was keynoted by Temple Grandin, Dr. Jed Baker, and Dr. Tony Attwood. I hope you enjoy the following interview!  

Lorrie:  Please share a little about yourself with us.

Bobbi Sheahan:  Hi, Lorrie!!  It's so nice to get to chat with you and your readers!! :D  I love your blog.  I'm a mom of four, and my daughter's autism diagnosis in 2007 led to my book, What I Wish I'd Known About Raising a Child With Autism.  It was published by Future Horizons last year, and it's been thrilling to hear the feedback from parents.  Parents have told me that they've purchased a half-dozen copies for grandparents and teachers.  My co-author, Dr. Kathy DeOrnellas, helps me to explain the basics of autism in early childhood to parents, teachers, family and friends.

Lorrie:  Do you have any words of encouragement to offer parents or caregivers of individuals with autism?

Bobbi Sheahan:  You are not alone.  It's not always going to be as hard as it is at the beginning.  I think that coping with a new diagnosis is the scariest part, because there are so many unknowns.  It's helpful to think of it like being a new parent:  it gets better, and you begin to feel comfortable and confident more quickly than you might think.  Reach out! Twitter is a great place to start.  If you search the hashtag #youmightbeanautismparentIf, you'll find you are not alone.  Really, really not alone.  You'll also begin to see how funny life can be.

Lorrie:  Can you tell us how your online talk show, “Autism As They Grow” by Special Needs Talk Radio on every Wednesday evening at BlogTalkRadio*, came into existence?

Bobbi Sheahan: I was so delighted when Marianne Russo, Founder and President of The Coffee Klatch, approached me about joining her team.  She is an icon and a hero to special needs families, and Internet radio is an ideal forum for reaching out to parents. It can be hard to get out of the house and we are often too exhausted to find a support group meeting -- to say nothing of the challenges of finding childcare.  The radio show has also been an ideal way to introduce the special needs community to some really amazing guests:  Dr. Gil Tippy enlightened us about Floortime; Sara Winter told us about, a wonderful online environment for exceptional kids and their siblings; and I can't wait to interview President/CEO of the Golden Hat Foundation and Kate Winslet's co-author, Margret Ericsdottir, this week.  And that's just to name a few.

Bobbi Sheahan:  I'm also crazy about my co-host, Amalia Starr, who has so much experience and wisdom to share with special-needs families.  She's a friend I'll keep forever. Our last live broadcast will be Sunday, May 27th, and our episodes are always available on demand on the website and iTunes, so we're always just a mouse-click away when someone is feeling isolated.  

Lorrie:  What's next for you now that the show is winding down?

Bobbi Sheahan:  I'd really love to have a lazy summer with my husband and kids!!  I am doing a regular column for SI Focus Magazine, and I have a couple of articles coming out in Autism Asperger's Digest Magazine.  I have been speaking at seminars and teaching at family camps, and having a great time.  We're honored to be nominated for a Benjamin Franklin Award by the IBPA, Independent Book Publishers' Association, and we'll soon find out how that turns out. I have begun doing some freelance editing, and I love it.  Absolutely love it! And I hear that I have another book in the works...we'll see...

Lorrie:  Thank you for joining us here on "Nathan's Voice", Bobbi! We wish you the best with your recent nomination for a Benjamin Franklin Award and look forward to hearing more from you, after the summer of course! 

     In addition to the current GIVEAWAY here on "Nathan's Voice", of Bobbi's book, What I Wish I'd Known About Raising a Child With Autismyou can get 15% discount + free shipping on her book, and ANYTHING Future Horizons* sells, by using the promo code BOBBI at checkout.

     I encourage you to visit Bobbi's website, and she always loves to hear from her readers on Facebook and TwitterRead more of Bobbi Sheahan's featured guest articles on "Nathan's Voice": 

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