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Autistic blessings and Bipolar me.: A Frank and Brutally Honest Diary of a Mother with Bipolar and Her Two Autistic Boys

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In February 2007 I was diagnosed with Bipolar type one after a long battle with post natal depression, where I was hospitalised numerous times. Throughout the period between 2004 to 2009 myself Noah and Moses were all given a diagnosis of something life changing, but as a mother I refused to be labelled and judged by a medical condition. I am Emma Plows; I am not Emma Plow In February 2007 I was diagnosed with Bipolar type one after a long battle with post natal depression, where I was hospitalised numerous times. Throughout the period between 2004 to 2009 myself Noah and Moses were all given a diagnosis of something life changing, but as a mother I refused to be labelled and judged by a medical condition. I am Emma Plows; I am not Emma Plows with Bipolar. It’s my understanding that when you discover your child is on the autistic spectrum you really need to accept the diagnosis. Accept it, let it grow and don’t hinder its development. Autistic people cannot understand how the world works like we can and have difficulty understanding how people think, but we can. We have that capacity to understand them, if we choose too we should take advantage of that capacity. If we don’t accept that our children are autistic, then we are only condemning ourselves and our children to a life of frustrating misery. Work with it, not against it, it doesn’t matter why they behave the way they do as we cannot change it, but we must find the beauty in the condition and all the positives it has to offer, if we try, it gets easier and can become very rewarding.


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In February 2007 I was diagnosed with Bipolar type one after a long battle with post natal depression, where I was hospitalised numerous times. Throughout the period between 2004 to 2009 myself Noah and Moses were all given a diagnosis of something life changing, but as a mother I refused to be labelled and judged by a medical condition. I am Emma Plows; I am not Emma Plow In February 2007 I was diagnosed with Bipolar type one after a long battle with post natal depression, where I was hospitalised numerous times. Throughout the period between 2004 to 2009 myself Noah and Moses were all given a diagnosis of something life changing, but as a mother I refused to be labelled and judged by a medical condition. I am Emma Plows; I am not Emma Plows with Bipolar. It’s my understanding that when you discover your child is on the autistic spectrum you really need to accept the diagnosis. Accept it, let it grow and don’t hinder its development. Autistic people cannot understand how the world works like we can and have difficulty understanding how people think, but we can. We have that capacity to understand them, if we choose too we should take advantage of that capacity. If we don’t accept that our children are autistic, then we are only condemning ourselves and our children to a life of frustrating misery. Work with it, not against it, it doesn’t matter why they behave the way they do as we cannot change it, but we must find the beauty in the condition and all the positives it has to offer, if we try, it gets easier and can become very rewarding.

30 review for Autistic blessings and Bipolar me.: A Frank and Brutally Honest Diary of a Mother with Bipolar and Her Two Autistic Boys

  1. 4 out of 5

    Catherine Mcgowan

    Just finished this great book, would love to have read more of her life and how the boy's will grow into strong men in the future, who know's maybe it will be a continuing process for her? It's set like a diary style format in the book and so easy to read and makes you want to read the next day of her life and the next and so on, as it keeps you gripped as to what is happening to her and her family. From the start you can sense they is a family protectiveness towards the boy's and how it's importa Just finished this great book, would love to have read more of her life and how the boy's will grow into strong men in the future, who know's maybe it will be a continuing process for her? It's set like a diary style format in the book and so easy to read and makes you want to read the next day of her life and the next and so on, as it keeps you gripped as to what is happening to her and her family. From the start you can sense they is a family protectiveness towards the boy's and how it's important for her, to keep her children close together and well looked after, from the bad and the good. She is very honest and upfront of her feelings, so if you a little sensitive please stick with it, as you do see the little gems in her, between the good and the bad moods she has with herself and the people around her. I found myself sometimes agreeing with her, over some issue she said as to acknowledgement that I sometimes say them too, to myself. I also see and feel she treat her boy's as if they is nothing wrong with them and just going through the stages of boy's and there hormones and not a labeling them as "Autistic", so many parent's tent to do this these days. Like if they find a label for their children and then, boom, magic wand and they are fixed. Also great to see how she copes with her emotions and trying to be a "normal" mother, wife, daughter, sister and friend she is truly is a super mother in my eye's and how she deals with all this, in her honest strid. I hope, I get to read more of her in the future, if ever she writes another book of herself and her boy's life?

  2. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    I absolutely loved this book! It was such a wonderful story of a woman diagnosed as bipolar raising an autistic son, and the trials and tribulations, as well as the love, that follow. What a powerful message to find the beauty in a situation that many people may feel is impossible. The world is a harsh place, and finding the beauty in a very difficult situation is a great way to go about life. I seriously enjoyed this story from beginning to end, and I will be letting a few people I know that ar I absolutely loved this book! It was such a wonderful story of a woman diagnosed as bipolar raising an autistic son, and the trials and tribulations, as well as the love, that follow. What a powerful message to find the beauty in a situation that many people may feel is impossible. The world is a harsh place, and finding the beauty in a very difficult situation is a great way to go about life. I seriously enjoyed this story from beginning to end, and I will be letting a few people I know that are in similar situaitons, to get this book now!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lone Alaskan

    "Autistic Blessings and Bipolar Me" is an eye-opening memoir, to say the least. This book follows the real life account of the life of Emma Plows. In 2007, the loving mother was diagnosis with Bipolar Type One and that is where her life-changing story truly begins. Beyond her mental illness, she also discovers that her sons are facing a struggle of their own; a struggle with autism. "Autistic Blessings and Bipolar Me" follows Emma's story as she must come to terms with her own emotional struggle "Autistic Blessings and Bipolar Me" is an eye-opening memoir, to say the least. This book follows the real life account of the life of Emma Plows. In 2007, the loving mother was diagnosis with Bipolar Type One and that is where her life-changing story truly begins. Beyond her mental illness, she also discovers that her sons are facing a struggle of their own; a struggle with autism. "Autistic Blessings and Bipolar Me" follows Emma's story as she must come to terms with her own emotional struggles and her children's. This book is well-written, but the subject matter is hard to read. Emma talks in blatant honesty about her experiences with bipolar disorder and being labelled by medical professionals. She speaks candidly of her struggles being judged not only because of her condition, but also because of the condition of her sons. Emma has obviously faced a lot of adversity in her life; more than many of us can possibly imagine. But yet, that does not hinder Emma's spirit. Her courage is strewn throughout her story, and the pages of this book are sure to inspire anyone. But I think people who, themselves, have struggled with bipolar disorder or parenting a child with autism are even more likely to draw away something important from these pages. Emma's life teaches her important lessons of acceptance. Acceptance of herself, of her children, and of the things she is unable to change. It teaches her to love beyond the confines of the stereotypical. It teaches her to have courage and faith in herself and the world around her. Emma's story highlights the attributes in life that we should all have. Perhaps her tale will motivate you to emulate her total essence of self-relentlessness. Through thick and thin Emma has pushed forward. Against many odds she has succeeded in life, and allowed her sons to grow and mature and given them what she can to help them succeed in life as well. I have read many memoirs- especially ones dealing with mental illness, and I especially enjoyed Emma's courage to speak out about struggles many of us cannot imagine. I have dealt with depression and I have fostered special needs children. Both of these things I think really connected me to Emma's story. I applaud her for believing in herself enough to release this story to the public and to accept all of the attention that may come with it. This book is not for the faint of heart, but it is perfect for those who want to open their minds to an entirely different life from their own. Emma has lead her own path, but she has walked it with a lot of grace- and her tale was worth telling, and is certainly worth reading.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tele Adewusi

    Excellent style, excellent journey & excellent author. Emma has an interesting style and a very direct view on the way she has coped over the year she writes about. Her strength & courage regarding her illness & children should be commended and praised.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Rejoice Denhere

    This book is a heartfelt diary from a mother who endures an unimaginable life. It is written with such sincerity that it is impossible to ignore the gravity of the situation and the fact that it is so rooted in Emma’s own lived experiences. She does not reflect on her life through rose-coloured spectacles, instead, her unyielding honesty throughout the book is what drives you, as a reader, to look beyond your own world. From flashes of hope and seemingly endless pits of despair, Emma’s writing c This book is a heartfelt diary from a mother who endures an unimaginable life. It is written with such sincerity that it is impossible to ignore the gravity of the situation and the fact that it is so rooted in Emma’s own lived experiences. She does not reflect on her life through rose-coloured spectacles, instead, her unyielding honesty throughout the book is what drives you, as a reader, to look beyond your own world. From flashes of hope and seemingly endless pits of despair, Emma’s writing completely immerses you into her reality. This book not only led to me ponder some profound questions regarding my existing views on mental health, it also left me with an admiration for those on the outliers of society; the people whose stories I may never hear. Above all, I applaud Emma for her natural flair as a writer and her bravery; for laying her life bare for all to see.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Evida Suntoyo

    What a moving and inspirational recount of the author's experience as a mother and an individual. This is a story about perseverance, acceptance,and moving forward in life. Having a child is a blessing, no matter how people view or label them. The author Emma, pours out her heart in this book with a honest and blunt style, making us able to understand her feelings and what she is thinking. I love this book, it's a ral eye opener and gives some food for thoughts. What a moving and inspirational recount of the author's experience as a mother and an individual. This is a story about perseverance, acceptance,and moving forward in life. Having a child is a blessing, no matter how people view or label them. The author Emma, pours out her heart in this book with a honest and blunt style, making us able to understand her feelings and what she is thinking. I love this book, it's a ral eye opener and gives some food for thoughts.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Alice Q

    Definitely a learning story. We need to read this to get away from ignorance that we have lived in this society. The autism is not a family problem, the problem is that the family can’t handle it; previously a autism kid was rejected from society and never was considered a normal person, right now they are accepted and their parents try to do the best in order to help their kids. This is the big lesson that Emma gave us. And I am thankful for that.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sam Polter

    I was given this book by a lady at church who thought it would make me see my nephews autism differently. I cried with this author. My sister never speaks of her difficulties with her son but I'm so glad Emma has. I found myself taking a complete u-turn on my thinking of autism and depression. A must read for anyone who just doesn't get it! I was given this book by a lady at church who thought it would make me see my nephews autism differently. I cried with this author. My sister never speaks of her difficulties with her son but I'm so glad Emma has. I found myself taking a complete u-turn on my thinking of autism and depression. A must read for anyone who just doesn't get it!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

    For me, this was an unforgettable and inspirational memoir. A bit slow to begin with, but the insight and experience that Emma Plows was able to convey through this memoir was incredible. This book is down-to-earth, yet brutally honest. Sometimes the subject matter can be hard to read, but what I appreciated most about this was that it was real. Plows does not hide anything from the readers, and although there was frustration, her hope and courage really shines throughout the novel. I highly re For me, this was an unforgettable and inspirational memoir. A bit slow to begin with, but the insight and experience that Emma Plows was able to convey through this memoir was incredible. This book is down-to-earth, yet brutally honest. Sometimes the subject matter can be hard to read, but what I appreciated most about this was that it was real. Plows does not hide anything from the readers, and although there was frustration, her hope and courage really shines throughout the novel. I highly recommend this powerful and moving memoir!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Divya

    I wanted to take my time with this book because My life seems to echo E J Plows title. Although as soon as I picked it up I didn't put it down for an hour. Emma has a great straightforward style and really says the things others wouldn't. I admire her honesty, strength and drive to find that little positive in each individual day. This lady is very talented and should be very proud. I wanted to take my time with this book because My life seems to echo E J Plows title. Although as soon as I picked it up I didn't put it down for an hour. Emma has a great straightforward style and really says the things others wouldn't. I admire her honesty, strength and drive to find that little positive in each individual day. This lady is very talented and should be very proud.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Píaras Cíonnaoíth

    This was an excellent read and really informative. I really hope this author writes more books about her life as her story could really help so many others in the same situation. This was a very honest and down to earth read. I couldn't recommend this book highly enough. This was an excellent read and really informative. I really hope this author writes more books about her life as her story could really help so many others in the same situation. This was a very honest and down to earth read. I couldn't recommend this book highly enough.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Julia

    I have never read a book like this before. The author obviously struggles with each day that comes but seems to come across as a real fighter. This is a book that all mums and dads should be reading. What a unique treat.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Timothy Aldred

    I found this most enlightening, being rather unfamiliar with autism. I empathize with this mom and her sons and cannot imagine being judged and characterized by certain impairments. I applaud her for standing firm and keeping her head above water. Very worthy of respect.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    What a great find, loved Emmas take on her illness and sons condition. Excellent!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jay Douglass

    The author has written a compelling, poignant and somewhat cathartic book about her own struggles with severe mental illness and having two children who have been diagnosed as one in the autism spectrum. It is the second part about young Noah and Moses that she really gets into it. The limitations that used to be put on a child(s) with autism still exist but are getting better. Through speech therapy and other intensive one on one counseling with a trained professional therapist, the child can ex The author has written a compelling, poignant and somewhat cathartic book about her own struggles with severe mental illness and having two children who have been diagnosed as one in the autism spectrum. It is the second part about young Noah and Moses that she really gets into it. The limitations that used to be put on a child(s) with autism still exist but are getting better. Through speech therapy and other intensive one on one counseling with a trained professional therapist, the child can exceed previous expectations. Most of all it takes a loving parent(s) such as Emma and other family support to see the rewards of having a "twice gifted child." The book is written in a clearly fluid way, despite tackling a difficult subject. If you suffer from manic depression or have a family member with autism, then of course, this book will be very powerful. That said, even if you don't suffer from either illness, the book is a most worthwhile read.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Gladys

    An inspiring story that will tug your heart... This is an incredible story of a mother struggling not only with her personal dilemma, but also having the courage to face the condition of her son. I can’t help but be amazed at how she was able to take on these difficulties head on. This book is very direct and brutally-honest, even if the topic on hand is challenging. This is an eye-opener for those unaware about these cases and it will give you great insights through the eyes of someone taking on An inspiring story that will tug your heart... This is an incredible story of a mother struggling not only with her personal dilemma, but also having the courage to face the condition of her son. I can’t help but be amazed at how she was able to take on these difficulties head on. This book is very direct and brutally-honest, even if the topic on hand is challenging. This is an eye-opener for those unaware about these cases and it will give you great insights through the eyes of someone taking on this journey. Highly recommended!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Malingamashrafi

    The author seems to find the magic of motherhood in the darkest of times. I admire Emmas strengh and determination to keep fighting all the obstacles in her way. An honest read and a book everyone should pick up that struggles with mental illness or is blessed with Autism.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Alesha Escobar

    As someone with close and beloved friends who are struggling with autism in their families (and at least one, bipolar disorder), this was a sobering but good read. Sometimes we judge from the outside what's going on in a person's mind who faces such challenges, and mental illness can be a touchy subject, but reading this book definitely gave an interesting, heartfelt perspective. But this isn't a doom-and-gloom story, folks. Ms. Plows shows that there are times of laughter, determination, and empo As someone with close and beloved friends who are struggling with autism in their families (and at least one, bipolar disorder), this was a sobering but good read. Sometimes we judge from the outside what's going on in a person's mind who faces such challenges, and mental illness can be a touchy subject, but reading this book definitely gave an interesting, heartfelt perspective. But this isn't a doom-and-gloom story, folks. Ms. Plows shows that there are times of laughter, determination, and empowerment. I was especially interested in the part about dealing with the boys' personalities, hyperactivity, etc. because as a mom of non-autistic boys, even that can be a challenge! If you want to get some great insight into what it's like raising autistic kids, the personal struggles and triumphs that go along with it, then this should definitely be on your to-read list.k

  19. 4 out of 5

    Samantha L.

    This was a moving book that chronicles one woman journey with a difficult mental illness. As someone with a bipolar disorder, I understand some of the hurdles she had to endure and her story continues as she explains her approach to raising her two autistic boys in a positive way. Definitely very inspirational for me and it can be a blueprint or a guide for many parents who themselves are raising autistic kids. Highly recommended.

  20. 5 out of 5

    E.J. Plows

    Thank you so much Alesha. I have been overwhelmed at the response I have had. I wanted to share my story to let mums and dads know that although life slings so much crap at us we shouldn't ever feel like we have to be perfect parents. I believe that parents and carers go above and behold in all aspects of raising and nurturing their disabled children. where all super mums and dads! Thank you so much Alesha. I have been overwhelmed at the response I have had. I wanted to share my story to let mums and dads know that although life slings so much crap at us we shouldn't ever feel like we have to be perfect parents. I believe that parents and carers go above and behold in all aspects of raising and nurturing their disabled children. where all super mums and dads!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Andy

    I would recommend this book to anyone who wants an inside look at what it is like to raise an autistic child. So much rang true about the joys and challenges. Not that every autistic child is like Noah or Moses, but I really empathize with so much of what she's written, maybe she could write more about other specific things about autism and try to edit better some parts. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants an inside look at what it is like to raise an autistic child. So much rang true about the joys and challenges. Not that every autistic child is like Noah or Moses, but I really empathize with so much of what she's written, maybe she could write more about other specific things about autism and try to edit better some parts.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    Emma's honesty is very refreshing. The things she says about her life and feelings aren't usually said but all credit too her. I think if more people spoke about autism, mental illness and family grief then less mental illness would occur. Well done Emma. Emma's honesty is very refreshing. The things she says about her life and feelings aren't usually said but all credit too her. I think if more people spoke about autism, mental illness and family grief then less mental illness would occur. Well done Emma.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    The only positive thing I can think of to say about this book is at least the author is very honest and doesn't shy away from talking about difficult subjects. But this book is barely readable. Was ANY proofreading done? There's also a great deal of very unpleasant preachiness about being a mother of autistic children that is extremely off-putting. The only positive thing I can think of to say about this book is at least the author is very honest and doesn't shy away from talking about difficult subjects. But this book is barely readable. Was ANY proofreading done? There's also a great deal of very unpleasant preachiness about being a mother of autistic children that is extremely off-putting.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Dando

    The novel's major strength is the creativity embedded in the plot. The novel's major strength is the creativity embedded in the plot.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    Most first-person nonfiction narratives do a great disservice to the reader. Autobiographies are glossed over for enjoyability, edited for the “fun factor” and rarely challenge readers to think for themselves or weigh their own conscience and ask, “Would I have been able to handle this any better?” We like our heroes to be strong, near perfect, and don’t want to see them too overwhelmed, overcome by the unexpected turns, nor honestly contemplating throwing in the towel when life has spiraled int Most first-person nonfiction narratives do a great disservice to the reader. Autobiographies are glossed over for enjoyability, edited for the “fun factor” and rarely challenge readers to think for themselves or weigh their own conscience and ask, “Would I have been able to handle this any better?” We like our heroes to be strong, near perfect, and don’t want to see them too overwhelmed, overcome by the unexpected turns, nor honestly contemplating throwing in the towel when life has spiraled into chaos. That is the main difference between a nonfiction that entertains and a nonfiction diary like “Autistic Blessings and Bipolar Me” which is a catalyst for emotional and moral growth. E J Plows is not a fairy-tale heroine - she is the real deal and one we can both relate to and be inspired by. While the challenges of bipolar and autistic disorder permeate every page, the overall drive is the struggle and desire to be a good parent against all odds. In fact, I would say that Plows is more defined by her motherhood and this is reflected in her raw, unvarnished writing. A true diary, Plows is fearless, bearing such heart-wrenching details that many of us would never admitted to our closest family, let alone publish. One example is an entry in which she admits a passing feeling we have all experienced at least once: she confesses hatred, anger, and ill-will towards a child. Quickly following this, she brutally chastises herself, frustrated and ashamed of a very human response. While the rest of us would hide such private thoughts, Plows exposes this deep struggle of her soul to the world and invites condemnation. It would be easy to dismiss her feelings as a bipolar disorder tic, but that would be an injustice. Plows does not use her bipolar disorder as an excuse and this teaches us how society labels and mistreats someone once they are officially diagnosed. Her stance challenges us to not view her, nor her children, as products of a mental illness but as people first. Likewise, Plows is a mother first and foremost, a woman of passion and courage who has published a modern-day (and more honest!) Confessions of Saint Augustine, showing stark insight into the struggles of motherhood, bipolar disorder, and the real demands of raising autistic children. Her familiar frustrations, despair, and feelings of inadequacy are so candidly portrayed that her message of preservation and acceptance is nothing short of inspiring. This book is highly recommended for every adult reader as this brief insight into Plows’s life will change for the better how you view motherhood and mental and developmental disorders.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Aubrey K.

    This book has offered an incredible insight and a learning experience into the life of this mother who raised autistic boys, along with having suffered from bipolar disorder. As someone who has autistic members of my family, I was interested in seeing how she approached raising her children and I was moved by her positive example. her account of bipolar disorder was truly well explained. The numerous examples and lessons she offered were valuable and her patient and loving attitude shined throug This book has offered an incredible insight and a learning experience into the life of this mother who raised autistic boys, along with having suffered from bipolar disorder. As someone who has autistic members of my family, I was interested in seeing how she approached raising her children and I was moved by her positive example. her account of bipolar disorder was truly well explained. The numerous examples and lessons she offered were valuable and her patient and loving attitude shined through. Highly recommended.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    Great book, a real eye opener and truly inspirational. Definitely deserves 5 stars and would one hundred percent recommend to everyone. The writing was fab, the editing was great. Theres no a bad word i can say about it and the fact that its all true is just the cherry on the top. Really makes you re-evaluate things because as this book shows, there are poeple out there that are dealing with things and still manage to carry on.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Anchit

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. She learns to just watch and enjoy whatever they do / speak instead of expecting them to behave in a particular way. Gave me a glimpse into the lives of autistic children and what bi-polar disorder seems like.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Karina

    Autism is so hard to explain when people ask me but this book does it really well. I've already lent it to two of my friends. Autism is so hard to explain when people ask me but this book does it really well. I've already lent it to two of my friends.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Stacy

    Excellent, should see more books like this.

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