United in Autism: Finding Strength inside the Spectrum

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Julie Hornok

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These thirty real stories reveal a shocking, eye-opening, behind-closed-door view into actual families living with autism from all corners of the world.



Short Summary

Each story begins with a single attention-catching, empathy-evoking, shocking true-story event that reveals intimate details of living with autism.

Each story ends in the parent finding strength and peace in the midst of her tough life and shares ways she inspires others by paying it forward.


Locations all over the world....USA, Singapore, Australia, Russia, Sweden, Finland, Brazil, UK, Hungary, Africa, India, Israel, Germany

Based on a True Story


Plot - Premise

Internal Journey/Rebirth,Other,Tragedy

Plot - Other Elements

Happy Ending,Meaningful Message,Philosophical Questions,Other

Mature Audience Themes

Information not completed

Main Character Details

Name: 30 Main Characters - all parents of autistic kids

Age: 35-50

Gender: Female

Role: Emotional

Key Traits: Aspiring,Empathetic,Engaging,Faithful,Gracious,Educated,Honorable,Leader,Underdog,Unapologetic,Visionary,Funny,Skillful,Selfless,Outspoken,Adventurous,Charming,Confident,Decisive,Badass

Additional Character Details

The author has not yet written this

Additional Character Details

The author has not yet written this

Additional Character Details

The author has not yet written this

Development Pitch

The TV show Atypical and the movie Rain Man highlight a type of autism that is one-in-a-million, but the shocking drama that goes on behind the closed doors of the real families of autism will twist viewers’ hearts in ways they didn’t know humanly possible. Kedist left her son alone every day tied to the bed. Sharon unknowingly allowed her daughter to become a guinea pig at a prestigious hospital. Pam’s son disappeared from their home and was found soaking wet only feet from the ocean. Kirk’s adult son stripped naked at the dry cleaners. Studies reveal parents with children on the autism spectrum have chronic stress levels as high as combat soldiers. They are without proper services or support, dealing with unimaginable behavioral challenges, and are often shunned by their own communities. This type of isolation is a recipe for bitterness, anxiety and depression. But, in these stories, the human spirit prevails. In the midst of immense hardship and pain, each of these thirty families chose to dig deep and either find or create a community to help their children. Not only that, but they took what they learned from the most trying time in their lives and used it to help others. Love for our children and our ability to love others, even in the midst of suffering, is the global thread that unites us. After being pulled through an emotional rollercoaster, viewers will be left feeling like they can overcome any obstacle placed before them in their own lives.

About The Author

Julie Hornok has over fifteen years of autism industry experience as a parent, non-profit founder, event planner, behavioral program facilitator, global interviewer, speaker, and award-winning author. After talking with thousands of parents, she is excited to pull it all together to bring a behind-closed-door view of the real life of autism. When her daughter, Lizzie, was diagnosed with autism at the age of two, Julie Hornok jumped into researching and implementing a thirty-hours-a-week home-therapy program. A few years later, as her daughter made good progress, Julie founded the non-profit, United in Autism, which provides emotional support events that bring autism moms hope and acceptance. She has published short stories in multiple Chicken Soup for the Soul books and is a 2017 Writer's Digest Annual Writing Competition Award Winner. Her work has also appeared in Scary Mommy, Parenting Special Needs Magazine, Autism Parenting Magazine, The Mighty, That's Inappropriate, Finding Cooper's Voice, and many more. Julie is passionate about supporting families with autism and lives in Texas with her husband and three children.

Target Audiences

Age: 35-54,18-34,55+

Target Gender: Universal

Group Specific

Information not completed

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: self-published

Publisher: Brown Books Publishing Group

Year Published: 2018

Hard Copy Available