Tracey Hilliard has a family experience that has become far too common in today’s world. Her son, Matthew, has autism. Now 22 years old, Matthew and his family have suffered through the same struggles that many others face when a family member is diagnosed on the autism spectrum.
Autism spectrum disorder refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, and nonverbal communication.
Tracey describes her mindset when Matthew was first diagnosed, “I particularly remember feeling confused with the complexity of the medical terms and the overall uncertainty of how to move forward. My husband and I wanted to make sense of everything so that we could help our child understand his own condition.”
Tracey’s experience through challenges and successes motivated her to share her story in a new book, Through Rainbows & Storm Clouds. As Tracey describes, “I want people to know they are not alone. That there are people out there who care.”
The book describes the day-to-day journey between school, home life, and all that living with autism presents to an average family, and Matthew’s efforts to find his place in the world.
Reviewers of the book suggest that it can help families and educators navigate a child’s social, emotional, behavioural, and educational development. And, that parents of a child with autism should read the book to build hope, while health professionals should read the book to develop empathy for families.
Tracey lives in Mira with her husband, Mike, and sons Matthew and Marcus. Find out more about the book and how to buy it at TraceyHilliard.com