Be Strong, Be Tough, Be Smart tells one family’s unique tale of championing a child with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) from infancy to adulthood. Alfredano and Star offer empathetic emotional support, as well as practical tips for connecting with your child with autism.
When Donato Alfredano’s son, “Denny,” was diagnosed with autism thirty years ago, Alfredano and his wife faced previously unimaginable trials: lack of information about Denny’s condition, social isolation, and the daily fight to balance caring for their brilliant but difficult son with life’s myriad of other challenges. The Alfredano family, including Denny’s younger sister, Giada Star, weathered years of trial and error with unwavering dedication to, and faith in, each other. They saw Denny go from an uncommunicative toddler to a respected PhD.
As he navigated medical and educational systems, Alfredano realized that considerable progress could be made at home through individually tailored interactions with his ASD child.
Told in personal anecdotes and easy-to-follow snippets of practical advice, Be Strong, Be Tough, Be Smart lets parents know they are not alone. Alfredano doesn’t promise easy answers, but his family’s story shows that with fortitude and persistence, there is hope for every child with autism.
About the Author
Donato Alfredano is an educator, a musician, and an avid traveler, but more importantly, he is a passionate advocate for people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and the families that love and support them. Since his own son's autism diagnosis over thirty years ago, Alfredano has seen autism spectrum disorders go from relatively unknown conditions to a primary public health concern. His daughter, Giada Star, learned early to value her brother's unique talents and personality, and shares heartwarming vignettes of everyday life with him. Alfredano and Star aim to share the uplifting story of Denny's personal triumph over his early challenges, with the hope of inspiring other families to stay smart, tough, and strong in the face of seemingly insurmountable trials.