All I Can Handle: I’m No Mother Teresa by Kim Stagliano

Posted May 8, 2015 by shooting in Uncategorized / 21 Comments

All I Can Handle: I’m No Mother Teresa: A Life Raising Three Daughters with Autism by Kim Stagliano
Review by: Lauren

Source: copy from library; all opinions are my own
Official Summary: Dr. Spock? Check.
Penelope Ann Leach (Remember her?) Check. What to Expect When You’re
Expecting? Check. I had a seven hundred dollar Bellini crib for God’s
Everything was perfect…”
…and so begins Kim Stagliano’s electrifying
and hilarious memoir of her family’s journey raising three daughters
with autism. Always outspoken, often touching, and sometimes
heartbreaking, Kim Stagliano is a powerful new voice in comedic
writing—her “Kimoir” (as she calls it) is the next must-read within the
autism community and the literary world at large.
Review: I had seen this memoir at the
library I work at for a while now. I guess something about the title
jumped out at me and I knew I wanted to read it. One day, I finally took
it off the shelf and brought it home and I’m so happy I did! While I’m
not a huge fan of the cover (seems too simple, I suppose), the inner
contents of this book are well worth praise. Kim Stagliano is a happy
wife and mother of three daughters: Mia, Gianna, and Bella. What is not
so typical of her and her family is that all three girls have a
diagnosis of autism. They do not all have the same issues when it comes
to autism, which made reading about them even more interesting. I think
most of us have some idea of autism in our head (I know I do), but All I
Can Handle helps flip that image a bit by providing various examples
from Stagliano’s girls to other people she has met on her autism
All I Can Handle deals with serious topics from
the girls, to unemployment, to working on marriage when times are tough,
but it’s never depressing or too dreary. Stagliano has a matter-of-fact
writing style that makes you feel like you know her in person, and
she’s always adding in needed doses of humor throughout her stories.
Each chapter is essentially an essay describing a particular moment or
topic from her life. She’s open and honest about her financial struggles
and how difficult it is to deal with three girls with autism. She loves
her kids and would do anything for them. She believes in a cure and
hopes that her girls will lead happy, independent lives in the future.
If not, she’ll do whatever she can to at least make sure they are happy
and safe. Stagliano has learned to appreciate the little things in life,
especially with her girls, but that doesn’t mean she’s not sometimes
frustrated or mad. Life with autism is not always easy, but being a good
mom means pushing through even if it’s not always perfect.
All I Can Handle is a wonderful look into the
personal side of autism and how it affects the entire family and not
just the one with the diagnosis. Reading it will hopefully bring
comfort, empathy, and understanding- depending on the reader.

21 responses to “All I Can Handle: I’m No Mother Teresa by Kim Stagliano

  1. Oh my goodness, three children with autism. Its hard enough with one child with the condition.

    Sounds like a great book. I love that it takes a light-hearted look.

  2. This sounds such a aspiring novel with a mother of three children with autism. My mum works with them and I have too on occasion and it's very hard because there is such varying degrees of it. Great review, Lauren.

    P.S you work in a library?! So do I! 😀

  3. I am not sure if this is something I would read for myself. . .perhaps, yes, when I am in one of those "I need to know more about this topic," type of moods, but I do know a couple of people that would benefit from this book!

    Thank you for featuring it and for sharing your thoughts! I'll be sharing your review with them! 🙂

    Claudia @ My Soul Called Life

  4. Really great review, this one is totally new to me and yet now I want to read it. The mix of humor and the reality of issues faced in day to day life sound great, plus I'm interested in the subject matter.

  5. I don't usually read memoirs, but am curious to see how a mother would deal with three autistic children. Sounds like an amazing family!

  6. I love books about the lives of REAL people, the ones who live ordinary lives where extraordinary things happen and this sounds exactly that. I can't imagine how difficult it would be to have one Autistic child, never mind three. I can imagine the strain it would put on the family and marriage and this is probably a great book for parents in general, not just ones who have Autistic children. I think the big selling point is that they are never alone and memoirs such as this one go a long way to help parents with coping I'd think. Wonderful review Lauren, I love that you're so widely read and I'm able to discover new reads I wouldn't normally come across <3

  7. This is not the sort of book that I would normally read, but I really like the sound of it. I'm glad you enjoyed this one Lauren!

  8. DMS

    I had no idea what this book was about before reading your review. Now I will definitely be reading this memoir. I am sure it is interesting based on the topic alone. I know a lot of families with an autistic child, but three definitely adds some additional challenges and I can only imagine them. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Surprisingly but I haven't read any book that deals with autism. I really like the sound of this one and it seems really deep. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Great review 🙂

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