This interview is with an inspirational lady who decided to turn her life experience into a book to help others and share ideas, I am delighted to welcome Paula Gallay.
Could you tell us about yourself?
My name is Paula Gallay, and I’m the mom of a 22-year-old son diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. This is a kind of high-functioning autism. The common term used today is autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and there are huge variations from one person with autism to the next. I am also a speech language pathologist, so before I had children, I was educated and experienced working with people with disabilities. I think God had a sense of humor, giving me a child who was going to need a lot of help!
How long have you been writing?
I’m from a family of storytellers, and I started writing down my stories about 5 years ago.
Tell us about one of, or your most recent book?
I just published my first book called “Raising an Amazing Child with Autism” on Amazon Kindle, in the U.S. It’s a memoir/parenting/social skills book. It features how we struggled getting my son correctly diagnosed, how others ostracised us because of my sons unusual behaviors, and how we dealt with it. There are also stories about how I discovered my son’s mind worked differently from typical kids, how I taught my son, and how we found a pathway to a joyful, satisfying family life. The sections of my book are treatment tools & ideas, diagnosis, school & advocacy, family & personal life and adolescence.
What do you love about writing?
Since it is still fairly uncommon for people to understand a parent with a child with autism, I mostly write because these lessons I learned (raising my son) will benefit other families. I write because I want some good use to come out of these hard-fought experiences of ours.
How do you get inspired/ where do you get your ideas?
For this book, and the next one I am writing, I’ve taken my ideas from real life, working with my son, as well as other children and adults diagnosed with autism.
Do you have a specific writing process?
My goal is problem solving (when working with people with autism.) My writing begins with identifying and solving a problem.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Whatever you have a passion to share, do it. There is someone who will benefit from your story, and from your experiences.
What are you currently working on? How long before release?
I am working two books. One is going to include stories from the autism classroom, It will feature children and adults diagnosed with autism, and highlight the things I’ve done with them that help. The next one is a self-help book with lessons and exercises to improve your American English pronunciation.
What are you currently reading?
I’m a language geek, and I love books about the etymology of words.
Who are your favourite authors?
Dr. Richard Lederer and Dr. Temple Grandin
Any fun facts about you that you would like to share?
In high school, my best gay guy friend (now a screenwriter in Hollywood) played the opposite lead from me in the musical show, and wrote in my yearbook, “I still think it’s amazing how a geeky-but-familiar-looking-to-this-Missourian, bespectacled, Ohio girl blossomed in a short span of time into a big star! I think you surprised and pleased a lot of people in Dames at Sea!”
See more of Paula’s book on Connect on or her website