Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Guest Post by Sandra J. Gerencher

Exploring the Animal/Autism Connection
by Sandra J. Gerencher

Children with disabilities are my inspiration.  It's real life. It's what goes on every day. The People in my life inspire me such as my adopted son with autism and my special education students at school. I was once told my son, Terry, would never speak in full sentences. Yet he speaks to our dog, Chance, as if he can understand him.

We don't know what's going on inside an autistic child's brain, but there's something different in my son's thought processes when he's talking to the dog. When I stand outside his room, I hear him asking the dog, "Are you hungry? Do you want to play?" It helps him cope with some of the issues he's dealing with.

I think animals can sense the good in people.  He is more animated with the dog. They play together constantly. When Terry misbehaves I tell him, "Chance is sad."  Then I ask, "What would Chance want you to do?" He always wants to make Chance happy. When I put it in terms of the dog, he responds right away.

My goal is to make children aware that there are kids with special needs. Kids mowadays aren't exposed to people with disabilities. Being naturally inquisitive, they need to be taught why others are different. As an educator and mother, if I've accomplished that goal with one child, then that more than satisfies me.


  Sandra J. Gerencher is the author of the children's book, Second Chance: How Adoption Saved a Boy with Autism & His Shelter Dog. She is a special education teacher in Pennsylvania's Bangor Area public school system. For over 20 years, she has worked with children and adults with special needs in such areas as counseling, behavioral research, crisis intervention and abuse therapy.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Review of Second Chance

Second Chance: How Adoption Saved a Boy with Autism and His Shelter Dog

Written by
Sandra J. Gerencher

Pub. Date: April 2008
Paperback, 28 pgs.

ISBN-13: 978-0-9814619-2-2
ISBN-10: 0-9814619-2-1

 Tribute Books

My Review
Second Chance is a wonderful story about adoption, love, and belonging.  It is told through the point of view of Chance, who is a rescue dog.  Chance is adopted by a nice lady and her autistic son, Ryan.  Chance goes home to live with them and their three other dogs, P.J., Little Rascal, and Shelby.  New words like "adopt" and "autism" are confusing to Chance.  As he learns more about his new family and his new home, he also learns what "adopt" and "autism" mean. 

I must admit that when I read through Second Chance, I was not a fan of the pictures.  There was no definition to the pictures and they just seemed too blurry to me.  The pictures in no way take away from the beautiful story that is being shared.

Second Chance is a story that so many people will enjoy reading, but will also learn from.  It is an easy way to teach someone about adoption, but also about autism and being accepted when different from others.  This would be a wonderful addition to any public, school or home library. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Nonfiction Giveaway - Ends January 26th

Stephanie Barko, Literary Publicist, has a nonfiction giveaway going on at her blog right now.

Nonfiction Giveaway
Sunday, January 23 through Wednesday, January 26. 
Win your choice of four titles with bonus option to win two titles.

Enter to win from

There will be one winner for one of these titles (or two titles for a winner with bonus points).

 1. The Home for the Friendless by IPPY winner Betty Auchard, a funny childhood memoir about growing up in Cedar Rapids during The Depression

2. My Wisdom That No One Wants by Nancy Hopkins Reily, a book of sayings and micro-stories great for icebreakers and for adding to your email signature

3. No Sneakers at the Office by Adam Scholl, the Gen Y handbook for surviving & thriving in corporate America–perfect to gift the new grad in May

4. No Jerks on the Job by Ron Newton, the solution for dealing with poisonous partners in the workplace

Friday, January 14, 2011

Please Don't Text While Driving

I thought that this was an important message to share.  I know that a lot of people text.  I know that there are people out there that text and drive.  Please click on the link and watch this video about why you should not text and drive. 

TVKim- Watching: Kim's Picks- Don't text while driving

Saturday, January 8, 2011

One Year Blogiversary

There will be no cake, noisemakers, presents, music, or contests to bring in this milestone. 

I just want to quietly celebrate this day by saying thank you to all of the people who follow or stop by PUTTING WORDS DOWN ON PAPER.  It's been a fun year of blogging, learning, growing, and making new friends.  Thank you for being a part of it.


Saturday, January 1, 2011

100+ Reading Challenge

This reading challenge is being hosted by My Overstuffed Bookshelf.

You can sign up at:

My list of books read in 2011 for the 100+ Reading Challenge will be posted at:

Will you join me in taking the challenge?


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