Running on Faith
This inspiring story details the journey of a young man who is facing the challenges of living with autism. Autism has robbed him of his ability to communicate effectively using verbal language, yet his mind is sharp and his intelligence is preserved. He felt trapped in his body for many years as people around him constantly underestimated his abilities. He questioned the teachings of his parents and his church that God exists and loves his children, wondering how a loving God would do this to him. But, as he got older, he discovered the ability to type out his thoughts, opening a brand new world of communication, and allowing access to others of his innermost thoughts and feelings. Aaron learned through his experiences that God does love him and has an important role for him as an advocate to others who are living through similar difficult circumstances. He weaves this story of faith into his other passion in life, running. Aaron used his self-motivation and desire to accomplish great things by strengthening his mind and body and is now running marathons.
About the author
Aaron Jepson is a 21-year old young man with full-diagnosis autism and limited verbal language. He enjoys writing however and also loves to hike, bike, run, camp and just be outside. He was featured in the 2017 Light the World campaign that is produced annually by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/media-library/video/2017-09-1570-lighttheworld-day-19-aaron-jepsons-story-mormonorg-christmas-2017?lang=eng. He lives in Monument with his family. At the time of the publication of this book, he is training for his fourth marathon. His next epic goal is running in the Boston marathon, for which he has already qualified as an athlete with a disability, although ultimately, his goal is to qualify outright, disability or no.
Passing by the Moon
Passing by the Moon is a collection of poems and short-stories written by Austin Jepson, a 16-year old-young man with autism. He beautifully captures his unique perspective on life covering a wide range of topics including what it is like to have autism, the difficulties of change, the beauty of nature, the atonement of Jesus Christ, the heroics of Jesse Owens and the poetry of Walt Whitman. Included are four clever fables that are sure to entertain as well as to instruct, each with an important moral to consider. This is Austin’s first book, although one of his poems, Silence is Silenced, was published in the Spring 2017 edition of The Louisville Review.
About the author
Austin Jepson is a 16-year old completely non-verbal young man who has autism. At age 11, he learned how to communicate his thoughts, initially using a stencil board, and later using a computer or hand-held tablet. Prior to that time, he had no effective way to express his thoughts and demonstrate his abilities. Austin is a great example of why special needs individuals should never be underestimated and how much they have to contribute when given the opportunity. Austin lives in Monument, Colorado with his family and is currently a student at Palmer Ridge High School.
The Record Player
When visiting a small antique store on their honeymoon, John and Beth MacFarlane received the most vital gift of their new life together–a tarnished, old Victor gramophone–along with a charge from the owner to “fill your house with music.” Little did they know how valuable the record player would become. This is the story of how a family navigates the challenges of raising a non-verbal autistic child, while helping him to discover his own unique voice. It is an exploration of parental sacrifice, unconditional love and the struggle of finding a place in the world for those whose abilities are easily overlooked and often underestimated. Find on amazon.com.
“From the details of the behavioral therapy Gabe receives to the financial stresses of caring for a special needs child, Jepson gets the minutiae right. But, more remarkably, he also nails the emotional turmoil of living with the condition and the toll it takes on John and Beth’s marriage and their vision for their future. . . the heart and the emotional truth of this book, in the end, come through emphatically. A heartwarming, hopeful tale about coping with autism.” To read the full review, click the following link. https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/bryan-jepson/the-record-player/
Amazon reader reviews:
“Terrific book! I loved how authentic it felt—no miracle cure, but ultimately a feel-good story nevertheless. The character of Beth in particular is thoughtfully rendered, and reads as true.”
“This book is simultaneously a meditation on parental love and a gripping mystery. The novel takes readers along on the journey of a young couple John (an engineer) and Beth (a music professor) as they seek to find resources to help them understand their son’s diagnosis of autism and subsequently make great sacrifices to help him reach his potential. While the plot kept me turning pages, I grew to love the characters and to better understand how the lives of parents of autistic children mirror the lives of parents of neurotypical children, only intensified to a degree almost unimaginable for those unfamiliar with the autistic community. As the father of two autistic children and a physician who has worked with many families trying to understand autism, Jepson is uniquely positioned to write a novel on this subject.”
“Of the thousands of books I’ve read, maybe 10% are novels, and most of those are classics. This contemporary novel, however, pulled me in and kept me glued to the pages while being introduced to the inside world of families with an autistic child. As a doctor, I come into contact occasionally with these kids, and treating them can be a challenge. Having almost universally found their parents to be saintly, it was great for me to see behind the scenes in this novel. What does this book, Le Miserable, and Uncle Tom’s Cabin have in common? They all made me shed a tear. Or two.
Read the book, you’ll love it.”
Changing the Course of Autism
Changing the Course of Autism, published in 2007, is a scientific view of the biological foundation that underlies the disorder. Research has shown that autism is more than just a neurobehavioral disorder but has metabolic abnormalities in several organ systems including the brain, the gastrointestinal tract, the immune system and in the body’s detoxification mechanism. These abnormalities may be predisposing children to the damage that is creating the behavioral abnormalities that define the disorder. Written at a level that physicians will appreciate but that non-medical parents can still understand, Jepson and Johnson review the medical literature and show it fits together in a cohesive model. The book also looks at the current studies behind the many different modalities that are being used in the biomedical treatment of the disorder, cites any relevant literature and discusses the biological foundation for their use. Available here on Amazon.
About the author
Bryan Jepson is the father of three children, two of whom have autism. He is a board-certified emergency medicine physician but also spent nine years treating children with autism and looking for biomedical solutions to the disorder. He was the founder of the Children’s Biomedical Center of Utah in 2002 and was part of a team that established the Thoughtful House Center for Children in Austin, Texas in 2006 (currently The Johnson Center for Child Health and Development.) He is the author of two books. Changing the Course of Autism: a scientific approach for parents and physicians by Bryan Jepson MD and Jane Johnson was published by Sentient Publications in 2007. It is a non-fiction review of the available research behind the biological origins and dysfunctions found in individuals with autism and a look at some of the potential treatment options being used. His latest book is a novel entitled The Record Player which is the story of a family as they struggle with raising their non-verbal autistic child.