Cammie McGovern was awarded a creative writing fellowship at Stanford University, and has received numerous prizes for her short fiction. Her stories have appeared in many magazines including Glamour, Ladies Home Journal, Redbook and Seventeen, and she is the author of the much-acclaimed YA novel Say What You Will, published in 2014. A Step Toward Falling (2015), another YA novel featuring characters with disabilities. Just My Luck, for middle-grade readers (February, 2016).
She has also written three adult novels, The Art of Seeing, Eye Contact, and Neighborhood.
She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts with her husband and three children, the eldest of whom is autistic. She is one of the founders of Whole Children, a resource center that runs after-school classes and programs for children with special needs.
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A Conversation with Cammie McGovern about her book Eye Contact and her experience as the mother of an autistic son
Like Cara, you are also the mother of an autistic child. To what extent did
your own experiences inform your writing? What, if any, misgivings and
difficulties did you encounter in approaching such a personal subject through
About four years ago, I started writing a nonfiction account of our experience in the early years just before and after our son's diagnosis of autism. It's a time when you feel frantic to be doing as much as possible because everyone tells you the early years are the most important, but no one can say with any certainty what that help should look like or which therapies will work best for you child. I used to devour every account I could find of parents in a similar situation, looking for clues, for children who resembled my son and for what strategies worked best. Eventually, as we emerged from that time, I thought it might be a service to other parents to write about our own story and the discoveries we'd made, often by trial and error and muddling through a lot of mistakes. The more I wrote, though, the more I realized how hard it is to write a ...
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