I Have Been Buried Under Years of Dust: A Memoir of Autism and Hope

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Product Details

William Morrow & Company
Publish Date
5.0 X 8.1 X 1.1 inches | 0.7 pounds

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About the Author

Valerie Gilpeer is an attorney who has been practicing law for forty years. She shifted her civil law practice twenty years ago in favor of representing families of disabled children trying to obtain educational services from local school districts. She has continued to focus on disability rights law through her volunteer work with several nonprofit organizations in the Los Angeles area. Valerie and Emily live with Tom Grodin, her husband and Emily's dad, in Encino, California.

Emily Grodin is a college student studying journalism, psychology, and creative writing and has been recognized for her academic achievement. She has been featured in Leaders Around Me and published in Amuse-Bouche. Emily is an advocate for herself and members of her community in an effort to dispel the misconceptions and nonacceptance of those with autism.


"For every parent who has a child that was not at all what they expected and discovered they could be more than they dreamed possible. You may not see that your dedication and resilience are paying off now but who knows they may pay off in dividends later. A story for every human who knows what it feels like to be alone and then one to be seen."--Rabbi Sherre Hirsch, author of Thresholds and Chief Innovation Officer at the American Jewish University
"A person who is completely non-verbal may have an active mind concealed by sensory over-sensitivity and problems with controlling movement. You will find Emily's story fascinating."--Temple Grandin, bestselling author of Thinking in Pictures and The Autistic Brain
"Emily Grodin is a powerful new voice of a once voiceless generation. It is impossible to not be moved by the brilliance and beauty of her writing."--Matt Asner, Co- Founder of The Ed Asner Family Center
"Through personal narratives, letters, and reflections, Emily expressively reveals a deep level of thought, feelings, and insight previously hidden to those around her. She defies incredible odds in a world where nonspeaking individuals have limited chances to develop agency. The world needs to hear from more autistic advocates like Emily who challenge our misguided assumptions about autism."--Edlyn Peña, Ph.D., Director of Autism and Communication Center at California Lutheran University
"This is a story of hope, challenge, resilience, and strength. Emily defies all odds by her willingness to share her truth and express her thoughts in poetic, powerful ways. Her mother Valerie, always by her side, witnesses her daughter's awakening - and allows Emily to shine. This book is an awakening for us all, and will do for the non-speaking community and their families what Helen Keller's books did for the deaf community. We will finally be heard; finally be understood; finally released from bondage.--Elaine Hall, founder of The Miracle Project and author of Now I See the Moon
"Valerie and Emily share the peaks, valleys, challenges, and successes so many families living with autism experience. The opportunity to see their journey through the eyes and words of both parents and child is a gift, eloquently presented."--Darlene Hanson, MA, CCC
"Empower is an overused word, but the example set by the authors, to trust their instincts and often ignore the "experts," stands as a valuable lesson for us all. Should be required reading for anyone who has a child 'on the spectrum' as much for the wrong decisions made as for the right ones."--David Zucker, Film Director, Producer, Screenwriter
An impactful memoir of self-discovery.--Library Journal
"Parents of children with autism will find gentle, helpful guidance in these pages."--Kirkus Reviews
I Have Been Buried Under Years of Dust is an important landmark of a book. For autistic people and their caretakers, loved ones and other advocates, it is a hopeful story of what happens when you don't give up and provide love and assistance to all the weary pilgrims on such a difficult road....It is a story of understanding. It is a straight and true story of a young woman's journey to selfhood and her parents' undying love and belief in her. I Have Been Buried Under Years of Dust is a celebration of the best possible kind. --Bookreporter.com
"Heartbreaking and uplifting in equal measure, I Have Been Buried Under Years of Dust is a chronicle of not only finding one's voice, but of learning to make others understand that voice -- a whisper to a scream in reverse."--NPR