I am so excited to get to share this with you all today. This is a little outside the genre I would usually cover here in Novel Notes, but I absolutely believe this is a book we should all pick up and read. Look At My Eyes is the product of one couple’s journey to find treatment, support and coverage for their son William, who was diagnosed with Autism at an early age.
Written by Melanie Fowler, the book is full of insights and narratives from her experiences navigating the healthcare and insurance systems as well as observations from a father’s perspective from her husband Seth.
I had the great pleasure of getting to know The Fowlers, along with so many other incredibly inspiring families, during my time at the Child Study Center in Fort Worth. From the moment Melanie and Seth walked into my office, I knew they were people who would get things done. And I was right. Working with them both on a number of committees, I was always blown away with the passion and commitment they had to getting the word out and raising money for this important cause. (I have to say, people like the Fowlers are a fundraiser’s dream come true!) I really learned through this family what it meant when people say that nobody’s passion can match that of a parent’s for his/her child.
Melanie and Seth would stop at nothing to help their child as well as other children and families facing the same struggles, and joys. They are advocates for families not only on the local level, but also regionally and state-wide. They can regularly be heard expounding on the importance of early diagnosis and intervention, and the need for insurance coverage of these important treatment and therapies.
Part of what makes the Fowlers’ story so powerful is the honesty with which they share it. On the Look At My Eyes blog, Seth shares his hopes and his sadness, but most of all his love for his son William. He puts our struggles, and the simple things in life that we so often take for granted, into such relevant perspective. It’s real.
I must confess I have not yet read Melanie’s book, but I am excited to pick it up tonight at the book’s launch party. It is a one I truly think we can all benefit from reading. It will certainly provide a valuable roadmap and insight and comfort for families who are wondering where to go and what the next steps should be. And for the rest of us, the co-workers, the friends, the person standing in line next to the child who is having a meltdown, the teachers of these special children, maybe it will give us a little insight into what these courageous parents and siblings and grandparents are facing each and every day; make us a little more compassionate, more considerate, more willing to lend a helping hand, or a caring remark, or calm patience. After all, we can all use some of that once in a while.
I encourage you all to pick up Look At My Eyes—and don’t wait! Melanie and Seth are generously donating a portion of the books’ sales to the Child Study Center, another very worthy cause. For more information on the book, and the mighty Fowler Four, visit lookatmyeyes.com. And for information on Child Study Center, visit cscfw.org.
Excerpt from the Book:
“I’m not saying it’s easy or that the sorrow automatically goes away, because it doesn’t. It will always pain me to think that my son might not ever want to go to see the Texas Longhorns play a football game, or that he might never be able to sit still and be attentive enough to watch Star Wars for the first time. It flat out rips my heart out. But I love my boy. I’m proud of my son. No, he might not be something that I would have chosen, but he’s mine and will always be my boy and my pride and joy. I crave for my expectations to be fulfilled, but some of them might never be. And as soon as I accepted that, as soon as I told myself to get over it, I noticed a difference in my relationship with him.”