“Podcast Interview with Jill Escher, President of the National Council on Severe Autism”

Out now in print and ebook

“Kerswell’s scenecraft and storytelling are piercing, but it’s her frankness that makes this book a triumph.”

– Booklife

“Girl Storm will pull on every heart-string.”

– Los Angeles Book Review

“It is a gift to the cause of authentic autism awareness.”

– Jill Escher, president of the National Council on Severe Autism

Armed with just a dark sense of humor and a steady supply of respitinis, a new mother struggles to stay afloat amidst the emotional turbulence and violent chaos caused by her daughter’s profound autism.

When Peg Kerswell gives birth to a healthy baby girl, she’s excited to experience all of the joys of motherhood. But her hopes are crushed after her infant daughter begins missing milestones and she’s given a devastating diagnosis: autism. But this is only the beginning. Walk alongside the author as she wades through denial, overwhelming grief, seizures, stifling isolation, and the constant and real fight for survival. Peg faces her own jealousy in a world full of typpies while grappling with the death of her alcoholic mother, struggling with her own addiction, and the biggest crisis of them all—the grueling, often ridiculous, moment-by-moment nature of caring for a child with severe disabilities. But it’s her daughter’s descent into life-threatening self-harm that finally pushes Peg and her husband, Jim, to the edge, where they must consider doing something they thought they could never do.

Filled with (somewhat absurd) lists, charts, a few poems, and its own footnoted dictionary, this atypical memoir becomes a mind-boggling collage of the alternate universe that is special needs parenting. Girl Storm is an immersive, powerfully visceral, darkly funny and ultimately uplifting account of love, loss, and acceptance that will resonate with anyone whose life has gone in an unexpected direction.

Poetic License

I’ve driven close to two hours to listen to a presentation on pediatric epilepsy. Intractable pediatric epilepsy to be more precise. The extra fun kind that sticks around no matter what.

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