A typical problem for families of autistic children is isolation. We can start to form a cocoon around our child and ourselves to protect against both real


and imagined physical and emotional dangers. We can lose touch with friends and the community around us as we shuttle our child to and from therapy and school and back home again. In our efforts to protect our child, we can succeed in cutting him off entirely from the real world.

Lisa Jo Rudy's new book, Get Out, Explore and Have Fun!, is an antidote to autism isolation and a great tool to help parents engage with their autistic child in a variety of real-world settings. The mother of a 13-year-old autistic son (as well as a neurotypical daughter), she gives practical advice on choosing and enjoying community activities and settings.

Rudy makes the case that not only can you visit the museum, participate in sports with your child, enroll your child in piano lessons, etc., but you should. A life in which your child does little more than work on his deficits in a variety of artificial supported settings (like therapy), Rudy contends, is hardly a life at all, for your child or you.

Beginning by helping parents pinpoint their child's individual passions, Rudy moves on to hand-hold parents of autistic kids through the process of selecting community settings; trying out various sports; participating in youth groups (like 4-H or Scouts); visiting museums, zoos and aquariums; attending performing arts events; engaging with your faith community, and much more.

In each chapter, Rudy introduces a variety of options – such as, in the Sports chapter, the various kinds of sports a family might try – as well as tips, issues to consider, and questions to ask both yourself and the organizer. Inspiring “success stories” are also included, illustrating the blossoming effect that a passionate pursuit can have on an autistic child.

Articulate yet conversational in style, Rudy rejects the idea that a family with an autistic child can't be joyful, energetic, involved and fun-loving. Get Out, Explore and Have Fun shows how parents of autistic kids can expect more from their child and their lives.


Ready more about Lisa Rudy and her new book at

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community outings

I haven't seen this book, but love the concept. There are many many days when I just don't wanna, but you've gotta gotta gotta make yourself do it. And the majority of the time it works out better than we think...and if not, it's still pretty survivable.

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