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Praying for Strawberries -bookcover

By: Gail Simpkins

Praying for Strawberries

Pages: 354 Ratings: 4.8
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Have you ever wondered what an Autism Assistance Dog does? Or about the unique perspective of a person living with autism?Through his mother's diary, follow nine-year-old Lachlan's journey with his new friend 'Itsal' the Labrador, as they navigate the world together, with Lachlan achieving one of his many dreams and goals - learning to surf!Read about the fantastic improvements Itsal makes to Lachlan's life, and how he strengthens and supports Lachlan and his family. 'Praying for Strawberries is a remarkable story of the daily, real-life events of a mother, a child and a family who have been blessed as they travel with each other on a journey where each day unfolds with many surprises not planned for. It is this uncertainty that can be both exhilarating and challenging. The reader will not remain untouched.' Trevor R Parmenter AM, Professor EmeritusSydney Medical School, University of Sydney    

Gail has both personal and professional experience in disability. After working with people with disabilities for many years she became a mother for the second time to Lachlan, who has autism. Gail continues to work and study in this area (Social Science, Welfare and Education in Disabilities) and lives with her family in Sydney.

Customer Reviews
5 reviews
5 reviews
  • Susan Krich

    This book is a year in the life of an autistic boy who lives in Sydney Australia.
    It is written as a series of diary pages detailing his life after he got an assistance dog from Righteous Pups of Australia.
    It starts when Lachlan is 8 and he turns 9 during the year.
    He receives a lot of support both from patient and understanding family, friends, professional support people and even sometimes strangers.
    It is a little repetitive at times but because of the format this is to be expected.
    Because of the various aspects of autism not every child experiences life the same way.
    I was amazed at the difference in Lachlan after he got Itsal, a Labrador retriever.
    The changes I think are also because of his wonderful support and also just maturing.
    By the end of the year he is vocalizing more.
    Sometimes with his memory and knowledge of a variety of topics, you think that he is a lot older than 8 years.
    I wish more autistic children were able to have the support that is available to him.

  • Bill Smith

    I found this an exiting and enjoyable book to read.It was insightful and respectful of the subject matter in that it gave an honest and joyful account of what life is like for this family. I especially like how much of the story is about a boy and his dog and how they support each other.This is a fantastic book for anybody.

  • Ruth Lane

    A very touching and authentic written book. An excellent read.

  • Linda Murphy, Additional needs support educator

    This book makes me feel happy

    As I was reading it I continually found myself smiling and feeling life can be very good

    It is difficult for many people to overcome adversity in their life

    But it is wonderful that life changing events can happen to that same person to make the adversity fade and the joy emerge

    Gail tells us a wonderful story of joy and light that shines through Lachlan

    We also read of the many wonderful things Lachlan can now cope with and achieve thanks to the support his assistance dog has made in his life

    It is an uplifting story, thank you Gail for sharing it with us

  • Vicky and Tony H

    I really appreciated this book. it is written in such a way, I felt as if I know you all, and there is an instant connection. It was hard to put down at time, as I was interested in knowing how the journey was going. Writing it as a diary was a good idea, and I feel it works very well in helping the reader follow the progress.

    I felt a peace and a calmness which comes from the whole diary. Lachlan is such a happy boy, and lives in the moment, something we should all do. There is a lot of Lachlan in all of us. We all need healing of some sort - it is part of our humanity. It has been a real pleasure to be allowed to come into your lives and hearing how much Lachlan has achieved and how much he enjoys life is a real joy. Nothing beats being loved and cared for as you have all cared for your son and the love of Itsal is something precious again. The power of love is so amazing.

    I am optimistic that we will be hearing a lot more of Lachlan's achievements and positive progress. He has so many interests which he loves and beautiful qualities and abilities. He is a real inspiration. You are doing an amazing job in nurturing him. Such a good, positive, caring mother. I will be reading this diary again and again. The peace and inspiration which comes from it is precious. I highly recommend this gem and would love to see another book and to hear more wonderful news in this lovely family's lives.

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