Written by Sofie Dreskin Staff Writer
Photo by Helena Fu Photographer
Members of the community gathered Thursday night to hear writer LeeAndra Chergey speak about her memoir “Make a Wish for Me: A Family’s Recovery from Autism” at the South Pasadena Public Library’s most recent author night.
Chergey began by presenting her book and experiences in parenting a child on the autism spectrum. Following her presentation, members of the audience related their own experiences as parents of children with autism to Chergey’s. A discussion, led by Chergey, delved into many additional topics including schooling.
“We really appreciate having LeeAndra here,” attendee and South Pasadena resident Steve Philbin said, “We have had about 11 author nights surrounding autism and they are always great.”
Throughout the memoir, Chergey depicts her family’s experience as they “overcame the stigma and pain” of her son’s diagnosis with autism when he was two years old. The book, which chronicles her son Ryan’s journey through behavioral therapy and education, has received positive reviews since its 2015 release.
Chergey attends many local community events giving similar presentations about her memoir. Her daughter, a 16 year old high school student follows in her footsteps and often presents to schools in her district about her brother’s diagnosis.
“I hope to reach out to other communities and hear their stories,” Chergey said.
Author Nights are hosted year-round by the South Pasadena Public Library. The next event will feature Lisa Wingate discussing her newly released book, “Before We Were Yours”, on June 27 at 7:00 pm.