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When Autism Is

Tearing You Apart

Number 1 Amazon Autism Pathology.PNG

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read.

Reviewed in Australia on 12 August 2020

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Easy to read yet solid content. Liz Smalley writes with an amazingly honest voice. Her book offers powerful, proven methods to heal maternal soul wounds, and such practical advice grounded in lived experience and in science! Should be Autism Associations' promoted text for Mums. And on every school counsellor's bookshelf (or Kindle!).

5.0 out of 5 stars An incredibly useful resource

Reviewed in Australia on 15 August 2020

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A beautifully written and compassionate book by an author with a lived experience of mothering a child with autism. The combination of first hand experience and professional research knowledge make this a must-read for both mental health professionals and parents.

5.0 out of 5 stars Practical and Evidence-based Advice

Reviewed in Australia on 15 August 2020

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An authentic and informed voice. This book acknowledges the difficult road of parenting children with Autism with a true focus on practicalities and self-care.

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic resource, easy to read and heartfelt

Reviewed in Australia on 20 August 2020

Liz writes an amazing book on the struggles of having a child with autism. She provides historical data, practical information and reflective questions that truly make you think. From a psychological view point she explains concepts clearly, she writes with her heart and soul providing very valuable information. As a psychologist myself this book is a wonderful resource for practitioners, families with children that are struggling and anyone with an interest in struggles of Autism and how to best deal with them, lovingly and confidently.
Liz has written this book in a way that is easy to read, you can pick up on any section and you will get valuable information and reflections. Highly recommended!

5.0 out of 5 stars An honest account filled with hope and support

Reviewed in Canada on 10 August 2020

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This psychologist and mother invites the reader to let down their strength for a bit of nurturing and visibility for the unique challenges of being a Mom to a child with autism. Not only do mothers face public scrutiny but additionally, sleeplessness, and sometimes violence. Navigating through professionals and resources can be extremely stressful. In addition to grieving lost milestones these moms sometimes get little positive feedback from their children. Even nature had intended for positive reinforcement with the social smile. In this frank book about the reality of being a mom to a child with autism is hope and strategies for strength. The author helps moms normalize what they experience with the primary goal of getting the support they need. When people feel better they do better. I feel this is a necessary resource for this group of moms and any other moms with developmentally challenged children.

5.0 out of 5 stars A Much Needed Resource

Reviewed in Canada on 30 August 2020

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This is a great resource for those loving and living with someone with autism. Very informative and yet not overwhelming. Thought out chapter topics and you can hop into each chapter when you need it.

5.0 out of 5 stars Very personal book on a mother's struggle

Reviewed in the United States on 13 August 2020

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Mothers are heroes, even more so when their children fall out of "the normal range" in any way. A mother of an autistic child has to go through so much to be the best parent for her child. This account of a mother's personal journey through finding the courage and confidence, to be the best mom she can be, was very heartfelt. This book comes with plenty of practical suggestions, too. But most of all, it helps you know that you're not alone.

Has mothering your child with autism been a huge shock? It’s feeling more like a nightmare than a joy? Your experiences seem radically different from everyone around you. Do you ever feel like you’re failing as a mother?

Mothering a child with autism can be a traumatic experience. Liz’s ground-breaking research found 31 percent of mothers of children with autism have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) because of the unique demands of mothering a child with autism. Maybe you’re feeling a bit traumatised too, but don’t know what to do about it.  

The good news is you can improve your mental health and feel good about yourself as a mother.

In this book you will learn:

  • Why caring for your child with autism can be traumatising

  • How to be courageous and do what you know is best for your child

  • How to be confident, trust your intuition and not be intimidated by anyone

  • How to calm your nervous system, emotions and reactions, especially in stressful  situations

  • How to find compassion for yourself and diminish feelings of guilt, shame and failure

  • How to stay calm even during your child’s meltdowns

  • How to stop having meltdowns yourself

When Autism Is Tearing You Apart is a no-holds-barred book written to help mothers manage their emotions, physical sensations and broken heart. Change is not only possible despite the challenges faced, but is within reach of every frazzled mother struggling to cope.


Liz is the mother of an adult child with autism, a psychologist and researcher. She blends her experiences as a mother of a child with autism and her expertise as a psychologist and researcher, to bring fresh insights and new hope to mothers of all ages and stages of caring for their child with autism.  

5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for parents

Reviewed in Australia on 11 August 2020

Exceptionally well written and heartfelt throughout. As an educator I found the book to be insightful and intend to use the ideas to inform my practice and my awareness.

5.0 out of 5 stars A WONDERFUL RESOURCE

Reviewed in Australia on 10 August 2020

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Liz Smalley has written a wonderful resource that I believe will be of great assistance for any mother of a child with autism. As the mother of an adult child with autism myself I could relate to everything Liz has researched - the PTSD, the constant feelings of overwhelm, the disconnection and the relentless grind of navigating the minefield that is autism. Liz's compassionate approach and practical strategies for self-care, as well as learning a different and calmer way to relate with our autistic children, make this book an essential go-to resource. Well written in an engaging style, this book is a must read for any parent of a child with autism. It would also be useful for teachers and caregivers to provide an insight into what it is like to parent a child with autism. Highly recommend.

5.0 out of 5 stars Well organized and researched material, I learned a lot! Easy to read. Great read!

Reviewed in Canada on 9 August 2020

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This is an excellent book, talking about the Trauma mothers experience as a result of raising an autistic child and its behaviors and the long road to get an accurate diagnosis and dealing with so-called experts.
I like that the book comes with a free workbook and many practical strategies.
I especially liked the chapter about the history of motherhood. A great read not just for mothers of children with autism. And really this book is for all mothers with a special-needs child and will give any stressed-out parent resources and tips how to deal with the stress and trauma of dealing with their child, its behaviors and their own emotions resulting from it.
Having a special-needs child of any kind is a formidable challenge to start with, and much has been written about autism and its different aspect, but this is the first book that examines motherhood and the emotions of mothers with children with autism from a mother’s perspective.
This book is not about autism, it is about how mothers with autism can learn to deal with their own emotions and emotional trauma in a better way.
This said, there are many great descriptions of how behaviors of an autistic child that will help anyone dealing with autistic children and their parents.
A well organized, easy to read book. Greatly recommended!

5.0 out of 5 stars A Warm Hug and Positive Self Discovery for Parents of Autistic Children

Reviewed in the United States on 17 August 2020

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Liz put the challenges of being the parent of an autistic child into perspective. This book will certainly help others to understand that they are not in this journey alone. Very informative and authentic.



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