About Jacksonville

Our son, Jack, has Asperger’s. This puts him on the high functioning edge of the autism spectrum. On the other end of the “spectrum” are children who are non-verbal and virtually unable to connect. This book is not about them. If you have a child that is more affected my prayers are with you and my story will sound trite. But it’s my journey, and if it speaks to anyone, I’m glad to tell it.

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Why Jacksonville?

Our son, Jack, is on the autsim spectrum. He has a beautiful imagination. When he was little and became enchanted with the story in his head, he would gallop around the house humming with a terrific smile on his face. My husband and I would joke and say things like: “They must have inflated the bounce houses in Jacksonville” or “The ice cream truck must be in Jacksonville.” I never thought Jack noticed until one day when I asked, “Jack, what are you pretending? I want to go there. It sounds delightful!” He looked at me and said, “I’ve gone to Jacksonville, and you’re not invited.” When deciding on what to call this book, the answer was quite clear.

I didn’t expect to have a child on the autism spectrum.

I also didn’t expect the changes it would bring in me. What would I tell my 35-year-old self about wanting to be in control of everything?

How cool is God’s faithfulness? How essential is community? What have I learned about galaxies, school buses, & pipe organs? Find out by reading Jacksonville: One Mother’s Journey To The Autism Spectrum.

Mari Sandifer Speaker

About The Author

Mari lives in Carmel, Indiana with her husband of 25 years, Ed, their children, Betsy & Jack, and 2 dogs, Charlotte and Dash.  When not writing this book, she is the founder of Storycast Network and is working on multiple projects that all involve the sharing of excellent stories. Contact Mari here: marisandifer.com

Kind Words From Amazon Readers

I am not traditionally a reader, but I couldn’t put this book down. I laughed, I cried, I learned about autism, and I felt the author’s pain. It turned to hope, and as each chapters went on, I was inspired by her growth, her journey to acceptance, and eventually embracing the beauty of autism. I have a whole new respect and curiosity about those gifted souls who are living life on the spectrum.

I bought this book because the author is an old friend from high school. However, once I started reading the book, I could not put it down. I happen to have a child, now an adult, with learning disabilities, and wow, as I read each chapter, I really felt a bit of myself was right there on the pages. Parenting is not for the faint of heart. Parenting a child with any type of disability can make a roller coaster ride seem like a carousel. I found myself laughing, crying, and realizing that in moments of despair, I was not alone. If you have a child with disabilities or have a friend with a child with disabilities, this book might strengthen your faith, friendships, and above all else, your relationship with yourself.
As a beta reader, I was both in awe and in love with this story and this family. This mother’s personal journey in the land of Jacksonville is one of not just pain, but suffering. Her deep transformation is a beautiful awakening that is inspirational. The video at the bottom of this page is masterful. Well done, Mari!
A moving and emotional journey of self-forgiveness and self-acceptance, cradled in the power of a mother’s love. Children are our best teachers – every single one of them, a blessing. Don’t miss.
I bought this book because the author is an old friend from high school. However, once I started reading the book, I could not put it down. I happen to have a child, now an adult, with learning disabilities, and wow, as I read each chapter, I really felt a bit of myself was right there on the pages. Parenting is not for the faint of heart. Parenting a child with any type of disability can make a roller coaster ride seem like a carousel. I found myself laughing, crying, and realizing that in the moments of despair, I was not alone. If you have a child with disabilities or have a friend with a child with disabilities, this book might strengthen your faith, friendships, and above all else, your relationship with yourself.
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Jacksonville

As Jack passes me up in height and his voice deepens, I’m in awe of the man he is becoming. But at the same time, I recall the golden-haired boy with clear, cornflower blue eyes who captured my heart & changed me. The boy who taught me to notice. To see.

~Mari Sandifer