Dancing in Cornmeal

Life With Autism

About the Author


About the Author

Table of Contents

Sample Chapters

Readers' Reviews

How to Order

Contact the Author

Booking the Author

Lauren's DAN! Journal



Welcome to the Dancing in Cornmeal: Life with Autism website.

In case you are wondering, "Why ?Dancing in Cornmeal??" read on:

. . . As I walked into the kitchen to get back to the original job, I stopped short in the doorway at the sight before me. My little four-year-old was sitting in the middle of the floor covered with cornmeal. The floor around her was covered with cornmeal. The counters were covered with cornmeal. And I fully appreciated in an instant, as mothers do, that there was cornmeal in the stovetop burners and in every unreachable nook and crevice in every appliance and in between cupboards and appliances. My ire instantly rose as the picture of how I would spend the next few hours solidified itself in my brain.

"Lauren Therese!" I screamed. Lauren looked up. I could see her pale green eyes flash open at me, then look down, a nervous head bob and body rock beginning. I also recalled, mercifully, that just that morning her occupational therapist told me how much Lauren had enjoyed playing in the rice bin. Here I had left a container of cornmeal (with no lid on it) at about the eye level of a little girl who was being encouraged to run her hands through a bucket of rice just four hours earlier.

"Well, I see you found the cornmeal," I changed my tone, and Lauren looked up at me again for an instant. I looked at the large container (which had once held much more cornmeal than we would ever use in one year) and I saw that there was about an inch left in the bottom.
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I tiptoed across the slippery floor and over Lauren, picked up the container, and poured the yellow sandy stuff over my fingers so that it rained down in front of her face. Lauren squinted at the yellow coming down, lifted her hand so she could feel it through her fingers too, and laughed. I scooped as much cornmeal off the counters as I could find to continue the game while Lauren played in what fell in her lap and in front of her. Then I took Lauren by the hands, pulled her to her feet and we danced. As we slid across that floor, I was supporting her, humming a song and leading in the messiest but most memorable dance I?ve ever had with my daughter, or anyone, to date. Lauren may have thought I?d gone nuts, but she stayed with me, smiling and chuckling, until it was finally time to face the reality of a bath and the broom.

So goes the event that gave life to a book title.

This is just one of dozens of educational and eye-opening stories in Dancing in Cornmeal, the non-fiction story of a family severely challenged by, and gifted with, a daughter who has autism. Dancing in Cornmeal is written by a mother, Nannette Silvernail, who has spent years as her daughter?s homeschool teacher and primary therapist. Divided into useful sections, the book is not only a parent?s story, but is also an educational manual and an inspirational collection of essays.

Dancing in Cornmeal is the first book to come along that addresses issues across the spectrum of raising and teaching a child with autism. For example, chapters address spiritual issues, expectations parents should have of professionals, siblings (and other relationships), as well as specific techniques for successfully educating a child who is extremely difficult to educate. Many pages (and much love) are dedicated to how to create a positive home life amidst the challenge of autism and despite the negativity often found outside the home. All of this is done in a conversational style that makes the book a quick and enjoyable read. Dancing in Cornmeal is like the longest and best "talk over tea" you?ll ever have with a mom who knows the ins and outs, the joys and sorrows, of autism. It will help you to see through the eyes of a child with autism, into the hearts of the people who love her, and perhaps more clearly into your own heart, as well.

Dancing in Cornmeal also introduces the biomedical approaches that have benefited Lauren Silvernail over the years. It contains clear and thorough instructions for "going gluten-free," as well as an invitation to follow Lauren?s continuing pursuit of healing through the Defeat Autism Now! protocol. Click on Lauren's DAN! Journal (to the left) to read Lauren?s experiences to date with the DAN! protocol.

Dancing in Cornmeal is for the parent, professional, friend, and anyone interested in autism. However, much of the advice about parenting and teaching a child with autism is pertinent and helpful to raising even typical children. Every reader will also benefit from the inspiring advice on keeping a happy home with those you love, despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

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This site is developed by and optimizared by Dancing in Cornmeal is 233 pages long and published by Writers Club Press, copyright 2002.