BLISS ROAD tells the story of Martha Engber, who lives a charmed life in the suburbs with a husband and two kids where everything was fine, fine, fine until suddenly she's…Completely broken. She’s so used to lying to others and herself that she has no idea who she really is or how she feels about anything. What happened? Why is her life smooth driving one minute and totaled the next?
In this sometimes funny, often devastating memoir, Martha describes the arduous journey toward discovering the invisible roadblock that ran her life off course: her psychological distress as the result of being the neurotypical daughter of a dad with undiagnosed Autism Spectrum Disorder, a condition that affects over 75 million people worldwide.
Martha uses personal anecdotes and research about the emergence of ASD as a diagnosis to explain the psychological, emotional and social challenges she faced as a child, then as an adult and parent. Along the way, she shows the sometimes harrowing, but eminently rewarding, route others can follow to chase down the source of their family angst and so reach a more blissful future.
“I connected so deeply to some of Martha’s experiences that at times it literally took my breath away. I cried, I laughed, and I reminisced about a childhood with a father who was unable to care about me (due to a traumatic brain injury when he was 24).”
“These insights form the backbone of a fascinating excavation of family myth and mystery, whose uncovering sets the author and her family on the road to healing.”
“I am reminded of a conversation with my dad about an ADS student I had been working with when a light bulb went off in his head. ‘That sound like your uncle Bobby.’”
“Seeing my own experiences reflected in Engber’s narrative was validating. I am sure that many readers will have that same jolt of recognition.
“Engber details her path to recovery and literally delivers a pep talk to readers to embark on their own journey.”
“This is an important book that gives historical context about autism and provides resources available today. And it’s a hell of a gripping story.”