Northeast Region X-AAIDD 75th Annual Conference
October 18th, 2012
Vinfen Corporation is sponsoring the keynote speaker, Shonda Schilling. All registered attendees of the event will receive a FREE signed copy of her book, “The Best Kind of Different: Our Family’s Journey with Asperger’s Syndrome.”
“The impact Shonda has as a speaker is equal to her book. Her presentations are warm, open and full of insights. Parents and professionals will benefit from her candor regarding her experiences with Asperger Syndrome.”
Scott McLeod, Ph.D.
Massachusetts General Hospital
A delicious breakfast will be served as the compelling heroes and speakers are announced. Michael Bloom, Principal of Bloom Coaching and Performance LLC will close the morning with an AAIDD Region X State of the Region presentation entitled “Our Energy Recharge Roadmap for the Field of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.”
In this moving and insightful book, Shonda Schilling explains how she and her family came to understand and appreciate what makes her son Grant the Best Kind of Different. In the process of telling their personal story, she sheds much needed light on this often misunderstood condition.”—Bob Costas
In the New York Times Best Seller, THE BEST KIND OF DIFFERENT (William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers; paperback on-sale March, 2011), Shonda Schilling, wife of retired Boston Red Sox All-Star pitcher Curt Schilling, shares the painful and joyous story of her son Grant’s struggle with Asperger’s Syndrome, how it changed the lives of her and her husband, and what other parents can learn about this increasingly common diagnosis. (www.thebestkindofdifferent.com)
While Asperger’s has been part of the psychological lexicon since the early 1980s, it has only been in the last decade that people have begun to diagnose it on a much larger scale. Part of the dramatic rise in autism diagnoses, Asperger’s falls high on the autism spectrum, meaning that it can often go misunderstood or misdiagnosed because the children seem typical in many other ways.
Until the summer of 2007, the word “Aspergers” was not part of Shonda Schilling’s vocabulary, but that summer changed everything. By then, her household was in chaos as her son Grant spiraled out of control. His acting out and refusal to listen had grown to epic proportions, but even worse was his apparent inability to relate to the people around him. None of the Schillings’ other three kids ever acted like Grant; his behavior wasn’t just unruly, it was irrational.
Complicating matters was the fact that Shonda’s husband Curt was constantly on the road pitching for the Boston Red Sox, so he wasn’t always around to see Grant’s behavior firsthand. Seemingly everyone Shonda encountered had an opinion — “he’s too spoiled,” “he needs a good spanking,” “he needs more discipline” — but a disastrous first attempt at summer camp told Shonda something was definitely wrong. It was then that a neurologist diagnosed Grant with Asperger’s Syndrome.
In THE BEST KIND OF DIFFERENT Shonda details every step in her family’s journey through Asperger’s, offering an intimate and candid portrait of this condition from a parent’s point of view. Shonda chronicles Grant’s early years, confronts the guilt and pain that engulfed her after learning of her son’s condition, and celebrates Grant’s success in the two years since his diagnosis. With insight and helpful advice for parents, she provides an honest and moving glimpse inside her family—as two parents struggle to understand the complex beauty of their son.