“What’s Not Allowed? is a shining testament to people with autism being—as Temple Grandin accurately says—“different, not less,” and it will inspire readers to feel society is capable of changing for the better.”~ Kim Barthel
- March 23, 2020: Helping Individuals With Autism Cope With Disrupted Routine Due To Covid-19 — Wintertickle Press | PRLog
- Sept. 23, 2020: Autism Memoir Launches During Canadian Autism Awareness Month — Wintertickle Press | PRLog
- Nov. 2, 2020: Pandemic Mental Health Battle Plan Resonates Beyond Families with Autism — Wintertickle Press | PRLog
- March 2021: April is World Autism Awareness Month. . . Aware of What? — Wintertickle Press | PRLog
- Canadian Military Family Magazine: “Military Spouse Creates Website for Anyone Curious about Autism” – October 18, 2021
- The Comox Valley Record: “Parent Pens Book About Family’s Journey with Autism” – November 6, 2020
- CTV Toronto – Your Morning: “The Pandemic & Autism” – October 28, 2020
Join me for a brisk four-and-a-half-minute interview. . . as I speak with Your Morning co-host Lindsey Deluce to talk about supporting family members with autism during the uncertainty of the pandemic.
- CBC Radio Halifax – Maritime Noon: “Living with Autism” – October 1, 2020
It was a pleasure to join CBC Maritime Noon host Bob Murphy and field calls from listeners living with and supporting family members with autism. The interview and call-in begin about twenty-two minutes into the noon hour. Sit back and enjoy the maritime flavour as much as I did—and do!
- Rogers TV – Daytime Ottawa: “Autism on the Hill” – April 15, 2016
Erik speaks with Daytime Ottawa hosts as he prepares for Autism on the Hill, 2016. The Rogers appearance and the Hill speech cement Erik’s identity as an autism self-advocate.
- Rogers TV – Talk Ottawa: “Handling Autism in Schools” – April 23, 2015
As an autism advocate for the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board—O.C.D.S.B.— and consultant for Emerging Minds, Ottawa, I join Talk Ottawa host Mark Sutcliffe and panelists to discuss best practices for supporting those with autism in school settings.
Reviews & Previews
- Children’s Author M.C. Rolston – June 2022 – Book Review
With sincere thanks to educator and vibrant children’s author Mary Catherine Rolston—www.mcrolston.com—for her insightful reflections on What’s Not Allowed?
“It is a wonderful celebration of the power of generational optimism, grit and faith.”
- BC BookWorld – November 2021- Book Preview
“H is for Hedley”
A 💕 heartfelt thank you to BC BookWorld for featuring What’s Not Allowed? A Family Journey with Autism in the winter issue of the print magazine.
BC BookWorld is supported by Canada Council for the Arts and CreativeBC.
Through stories told and lives lived, “What’s Not Allowed?” explores
*the autism diagnosis *caregiver mindset *the great big emotion around an autism diagnosis *family impact and dynamic *reaction to “different” and neurodiversity *stepping into the shoes of autism *autism and a transient (military) lifestyle *sibling support *grandparent involvement *collaborating with the school system *becoming an advocate for a child *autism and puberty *transition to adulthood *learning to bring out the best version of each individual with autism…and more.
- Autism Parenting Magazine, UK – August 2021 – Book Review
- Claire Finlayson, author: Dispatches from Ray’s Planet: A Journey Through Autism – July 2021- Book Review
BUCKLE IN FOR THIS FAMILY JOURNEY WITH AUTISM ☆☆☆☆☆
Erik Hedley is not a savant or a genius. He is a young man with autism and he is forever learning and growing, sometimes at great cost. His very first words, at two, were in response to a sign he saw in a park—a red circle with a diagonal slash through it. “What’s not allowed?” It came out whole.
Teresa Hedley had three kids in four years. Erik, the middle one, was diagnosed with autism at age six, and thus began this mother’s quest to reach her son, to understand him, and to help him maximize the potential she knew was there. As she says in What’s Not Allowed, “If I do not, who will?”
Knowledge is power. This is one of the family mantras by which Hedley orients and motivates herself. She grappled honestly with the repercussions of this “weighty forever,” but she treated it not as prognosis for her son’s future, but as a springboard to see how high he could reach—never dreaming that one day he would address an audience on Parliament Hill.
She writes candidly about her own triumphs and failures, not just Erik’s. She has experienced it all: dread, denial, fear, awe, hope, elation, confusion, fatigue, pride and worry. And determination. Always determination.
Hedley has learned—and is still learning—right alongside Erik. “When you think you know what you are looking at,” she says, “you stop thinking.” She takes nothing for granted, and she has learned as much about herself, and our society’s devotion to the subliminal rules that govern human interaction, as she has learned about Erik.
She loves words, and it shows in her able use of analogy and metaphor. This is a book for anyone parenting a non-neurotypical child. It thrums with heart and honesty. As Teresa says, “It’s not what happens to you, it’s what you do about it that matters most.” Good words for all of us!
~ Claire Finlayson, pictured with her brother Ray, below.
About the Author
Dispatches From Ray’s Planet, seven years in the making, is Claire Finlayson’s first book. Finlayson lives in Gibsons, BC, and currently serves as vice president on the board of directors of the Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts, Canada’s longest running literary event celebrating Canadian writers.
- Federation of BC Writers – ReadOn Newsletter – June 2021 – Book Preview
- BC BookLook: “Living with Autism” – May 2021- Book Review by Dr. Terrance James
- Kim Barthel – Relationship Matters: “Autism Matters” Series – January 2021- Book Preview
Erik and I are honoured to offer our perspectives to international speaker, Kim Barthel. Our voices are part of the weave in an extraordinary eight-part series—Autism Matters—designed and presented by Kim and her Relationship Matters team. Click the button to learn more about the Autism Matters series.
UPDATE! Conversations with Kim: Teresa & Erik Open Up to Kim Barthel About Autism Journey
Watch and listen… to quick and candid conversations between Relationship Matters occupational therapist, author, educator and international speaker (with a passion for neurobiology), Kim Barthel; author, educator, curriculum designer and autism advocate (with a passion for creative expression), Teresa Hedley, and autism self-advocate, early childhood educator and community volunteer, Erik Hedley.
*With thanks to the Relationship Matters team for releasing these videos which appear in the eight-part series, Autism Matters.
- BC BookLook: “Life with Autism” – December 2020 – Book Preview
- Canadian Military Family Magazine – Guest Avid Reader: “What’s Not Allowed? A Family Journey with Autism – December 2020
- Autism Ontario – Autism Matters magazine: “What’s Not Allowed? A Family Journey with Autism” – November 2020 – Book Review by Colonel Telah Morrison, Director Military Family Service
- The Miramichi Reader: “What’s Not Allowed? A Family Journey with Autism” – November 2020 – Book Review by James M. Fisher
- Jack McGee, Founding Director – Pacific Autism Family Network – November 2020 – Book Review
What’s Not Allowed? A Family Journey with Autism
“Teresa Hedley’s easily-read yet deft chronicling of her son’s diagnosis and development and her insightful observations and commitment to his success will resonate with families with autism and related disorders. Thus, Erik’s journey will be informative, often invaluable.
Teresa’s methodical analysis of Erik’s experiences and reactions by and to him is an exceptional feature of her story. For example, observing that good quarterbacks make it possible for receivers to catch the ball effortlessly, she compares education to football. “If a teacher teaches the way a student learns, a student understands the material and does well, looks good. Good throw, good catch!” If teaching is not aligned with the student’s learning ability she or he would be less able to learn. How wonderful it would be to have a learning process that enables each teacher and student to do well–good throws, good catches.
In describing her family’s experience, Teresa discusses the fears engendered by insensitive and disparaging comments from the public and from some of those employed to help develop her son. She demonstrates the profound force of words, good and bad and the importance of having a positive outlook and seeking out others who feel and act similarly.
Her book is a gift to those who share the autism experience and those who are unaware of its impact on families each hour of each day of each year. Highly commendable.”
Jack McGee, Founding Director, Pacific Autism Family Network (pictured with Erik Hedley, below)