A Mother’s Love

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Great Neck author Laurie Rubin-Haber is with her son Ross, who inspired her book.

In recognition of World Autism Day, Great Neck author Laurie Rubin-Haber released her book, Raising Ross: It’s All About the Love for Our Autistic Son, on April 2.

Originally intended as a practical guide for families of autistic children and adults, Raising Ross gradually evolved into a story that, while incredibly personal, applies to all readers—whether or not they have been touched by autism.

The book’s subtitle, It’s All About the Love for Our Autistic Son, reveals the simple truth that the author discovered: Love engenders love, in a widening circle that begins with the close family dynamic and then spreads into the community, resulting in the overall involvement in the raising of the child by those around him.

Raising Ross offers hope and a positive solution to every parent who feels overwhelmingly daunted by parenthood.

Rubin-Haber was inspired to write this book by her mother, as well as her coauthor.

The cover of Laurie Rubin-Haber’s book Raising Ross: It’s All About the Love for Our Autistic Son

“My mom is the reason I wrote this book,” explained Rubin-Haber. “She has always encouraged me to share my stories and experiences with other parents. My primary goal in writing Raising Ross is to provide guidance and share what I have learned along the way while raising a special-needs child. The book shows how my family navigated the challenges of autism with a great deal of help from friends, family, caretakers and professionals.”

Coauthor Linda Pedreira also inspired her to tell her story.

“She and I founded the Family Association at Ross’s adult day hab program, The Center for Developmental Disabilities (CDD),” said Rubin-Haber. “We became fast friends and decided to collaborate on this project.”

Writing the book has stirred up many memories for Rubin-Haber.

“It has been therapeutic for me to relive the memories—they were chaotic and emotionally exhausting times,” the author reminisced. “It has not always been an easy process, but there are so many heartwarming and uplifting moments. In the Angels in Our Midst chapter, I acknowledge many individuals in our community who have embraced Ross with kindness, understanding and compassion. As an example, the coaches of the Great Neck Spirits Basketball Team for Special Olympics are remarkable people who truly care about the athletes. It’s an honor to be involved with such an inspirational community program and its participants.”

Although her son did not directly write the Ross Unfiltered chapter since he has limited expressive language and does not read or write, as his mom and constant companion, Rubin-Haber did her best to communicate Ross’s opinions and emotions.

Now 26 years old, Ross attended various special-education schools out of district from ages 2 to 21 and currently contributes to the community through his volunteer work.

“Since age 21, he has attended CDD, a day hab program in Hicksville where he does volunteer work such as Meals on Wheels and participates in community programs and recreational activities,” said Rubin-Haber. “Our goals for his future are for him to continue to be safe, happy, healthy and an active member of our community. For me and my family, Raising Ross is all about the love and commitment to maximize Ross’s life experiences.”

Rubin-Haber will launch her new book at the Center for Developmental Disabilities children’s program in Woodbury on Sunday, April 29, at 3 p.m., where she will read an excerpt and discuss her perceptions and methodologies. For more information, email laurierubinhaber@gmail.com or visit www.raisingross.com.

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Sheri ArbitalJacoby brings more than three decades of publishing experience at national magazines to her position as editor of the Great Neck Record. She also writes decorating, travel, food and green articles for Long Island Weekly and Anton Media Group's special sections.

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