Laughter from the Darkside


Non-Fiction - Parenting
92 Pages
Reviewed on 11/23/2016
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Author Biography

Tracy Jane Hartman lives with her husband, son and daughter near Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

After working for 20+ years in business, Tracy took time off to raise a family. She has recently jumped back into the business world with three new ventures; this book, a website software platform to support children’s programs, and finally a joint YOUTUBE channel with her son.

Tracy looks for the humor in all situations, lives to travel with and without her kids, and can’t get through the day without good coffee.

Tracy sends a “mocking jay” salute to all the other Autism Moms out there.

Be strong and keep laughing.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Alyssa Elmore for Readers' Favorite

Laughter From The Darkside by Tracy Jane Hartman is an eye-opening inside look into living life with autism. At 39, Tracy was a confident career woman with a comfortable and high ranking position in her firm. She may have been single, but she was very successful in her work. Until David walked into her life and stole her heart. Within a year, Tracy was married and a mother to a baby boy, Thomas. As Thomas got older, he seemed more advanced in some areas compared to other children his age. He may have been a little OCD, but he could park all his Hot Wheels in the straightest line! At three years old, Thomas was old enough to go to nursery school. By now, Tracy also had a little girl and life was exhausting and hectic. Although Thomas spoke a few words, they were mostly understood only by his parents. Thomas spoke a language all his own. Tracy had hoped that her son would pick up more verbal skills from the children around him in the new school.

Soon after enrolling him, the teachers brought in some people to test Thomas on his language. They suggested that Tracy have Thomas tested for autism. Thomas was first diagnosed with full blown autism. Tracy refused to accept the first diagnosis, so went for a second opinion. The second assessment was much better - Thomas was a high-functioning autistic. With a little extra love and patience, and a lot of work, chances were Thomas could live a somewhat regular life. So begins the thirteen-year journey through the life of Tracy, David, Thomas, and Jillian. Living with an autistic child can be a strain on the whole family, but Tracy and her family remain calm and retain a sense of humor.

Laughter From The Darkside by Tracy Jane Hartman is an honest, if not humorous look at life with an autistic child. At times I laughed, and at times I cried as I read this parenting memoir. Although the author isn't a doctor, nor does she profess to be, she still has spent the last thirteen years researching autism and how to bring out the best in your special child. I found many of her suggestions to be helpful. Her story's message is to stay strong, stay positive, and even if life isn't normal, it can still be good! As a mother of an autistic child, I sympathized with the author. One does not truly understand until one has experienced it themselves. I loved that this book was more than just the author's story, but was full of helpful suggestions that could change an autistic's life for the better. I recommend this book to anyone who would like to better understand autism or is looking for methods of treatment outside of traditional healthcare.