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    Posted January 26, 2013 by
    Johns Creek, Georgia
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Impact Your World

    Murder Suicide Births Book of Hope

    Murder-Suicide Compels Mother to Write Novel of Hope
    When D’Ann Renner read another news story about an autism murder-suicide, she had to act.
    Her son Luke’s autism initially devastated their family. “We adore Luke,” Renner says. “But parenting a child with autism carries the same stress ranking as a combat soldier. Financial problems, marital strife, worry about the future, sibling resentment and lost friendships are normal. At one point, Luke was so violent we feared he’d have to be institutionalized. But still- the lack of hope among parents really disturbed me, especially since the CDC findings that 1 in 88 children have autism.”
    The realization that autism doesn’t preclude happiness didn’t come easily for Renner. “It’s been a process, a 14 year journey of heartache, laughter, and growing faith in the ultimate goodness of God. When I kept reading about divorce and murder as a result of autism, I realized how many people live in despair. I wanted to write about rediscovering hope. Autism never needs to be a death sentence, not even the death of relationships. A book might also, I hoped, promote understanding of the struggles we go through.”
    Renner’s novel, “Dancing From the Shadows” is a fictionalized composite of life in the special needs world. She drew from the experiences of her own family and the people around her to give a balanced, realistic view. The novel has been described as “a captivating story…filled with unflinching honesty, encouragement and hope…a perspective-altering journey into the special needs community.

    Picture of Mom and Son attached.
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