What do you get when you combine the experience of Tom Iland, an accomplished young man with autism, with the wisdom of his mom, Emily Iland, a pioneer in the field? Their award-winning new book Come to Life! Your Guide to Self-Discovery helps individuals on the spectrum work with their allies (parents, teachers, etc.) to gain self-awareness, self-acceptance and self-advocacy skills. Hands-on activities and practical resources can help each reader find answers to the pressing questions that are essential to create an authentic future.
Tom Iland, now 35, was diagnosed with autism two decades ago. He worked hard to achieve his goals and dreams, overcoming many obstacles. He graduated from college, became a Certified Public Accountant, and worked in corporate America for about 7 years. When he realized it was not fulfilling, Tom made the brave decision to leave accounting. He had no doubt about what he wanted to do instead: help others with autism (or any learning difference) create the future that’s right for them.
Tom’s mom, Emily, was a stay-at-home mom who morphed into an advocate and leader after Tom’s diagnosis. In the process, she created a new life path for herself as an author, film-maker, educator, speaker and consultant. So many people asked them both, “What are the secrets to success for adults on the spectrum?” They realized that it would take a book to answer the question! That’s how Come to Life! materialized.
When you read Come to Life! you will hear Tom talking to his peers, self-advocate to self-advocate-in-the-making. When Tom when was asked the secrets to his success, he replied, “Know Yourself. Love Yourself. Be Yourself.” His mantra became three chapters at the heart of the book. It’s almost impossible to make progress in life without understanding, accepting and celebrating your unique identity, (dis)ability included. Next steps (and chapters) include “Find Your Niche” (the people, places things and activities that are right for you), and “Find Your Voice,” (learning to speak up for what you want and need so that your life goes in the right direction).
Emily contributed the engaging visual design of the book, hands-on activities and useful resources that readers and their allies can explore together. They’re designed to help youth discover answers to questions like, “What do I want and need in life? What job or career is right for me? What are my strengths and opportunities for improvement? How can I learn more about myself and my options?”
Come to Life! is the ideal prequel to transition planning or future planning because it helps readers discover answers to the questions that must be answered before making big decisions about the future. Bringing people to the planning table without helping them find the answers to the “big questions” can be a waste of time or lead in the wrong direction. Come to Life! can empower youth and adults to be active participants in their own plans, which is exactly as it should be.
Size: 8.5" x 11.25" x .35"