An excerpt from Chapter 2 of Life Amplified

April is Autism Awareness month. Here is another snippet from my book: Life Amplified – Our Family Touched by Autism.

The following excerpt is from Chapter 2:

Looking back, we see some red flags in addition to his lack of words. As a toddler, Titus would never gesture for things he wanted. He was mostly independent in that regard: if he needed something he would attempt to get it himself or wait until we offered it to him. At the time, we were amazed at how content he was. He could play by himself for long periods of time and watch half-hour videos from his swing. Whenever he got a new truck or any other toy with wheels, he would not play with it in the appropriate way. There were no boy noises and he would immediately turn the toy over and spin the wheels around and around. Instead of playing with little cars, he would line them all up in a long row. If we moved one he would see and take it and put it back in his correct order. At his 2-year check up I again voiced my concerns about his lack of language. The pediatrician again reassured me that though his verbal capacity was “a little behind,” he was still developing fine. He said that I was “an overprotective first-time mom” and that I needed to “relax and not worry.”

Right around the 2 ½ year milestone, Titus had stopped saying “bye-bye.” We thought maybe it was part of his adjustment to having baby Noah around. One morning soon after, I decided to take Titus and Noah to a preschool story time at the local library. Titus was a bit restless as he sat with the other preschoolers while I sat in the back feeding Noah. But when the teacher started leading the kids in a song, Titus started screaming. This wasn’t just fussing: this was high-pitched, uncontrollable, clawing me in an “I want out of here now!” way. I had never seen him act like that. I grabbed him up in one arm and Noah in the other and left the library right away. Titus was still screaming and didn’t calm down until we walked through our front door. I was really concerned. I called the pediatrician later that day and scheduled an appointment. I thought perhaps he had an ear infection and the singing may have caused his ears to hurt. In the back of my mind was the possibility that something more serious was wrong.

*** If you’re interested in the rest of the story, order your copy of the book today, here on my website. ***


April is Autism Awareness Month

April is Autism Awareness Month. Each day this month I’m going to share little snippets from my new book Life Amplified: Our Family Touched by Autism.
The following excerpt is from Chapter 1:

Sunday morning, June 27th, was Placement Day. We shared a quiet breakfast over coffee and cinnamon rolls, treasuring the moment. It felt strange. We were about to become parents and we were sitting in the dining room and not in a labor and delivery room. We knew our life would never be the same and yet we were very excited about the change that was just hours away. Aaron’s father made a surprise visit to our house that morning, having no idea what was going on. Thankfully all the bottles and supplies had been neatly put away in our kitchen cabinets so there was no evidence that someone new was arriving at our house later that day. He knew we were getting ready to adopt so the crib and the stroller were not a giveaway. The giveaway should have been that we were about to burst with nervous energy and joy. For him it was just a regular visit and he left having no idea that he was about to be called Grandpa. We left our house just after noon with the car seat and a cozy blanket placed in the back seat, not really knowing if we’d bring a baby back with us.

The books have arrived.

I am so excited to announce that the book is officially out !  Remember to order your copy here on my website or if you prefer an E-book form you can purchase it on  If you would like to order multiple copies please message me and I can give you a discount.

FREE SHIPPING for the month of April in honor of Autism Awareness Month.

Pre Order the book Now

Today is the day.

As of today you can pre-order Life Amplified.  I am offering autographed copies as well as unsigned copies of the book so please order accordingly.  I am expecting a shipment of books to arrive on my doorstep April 3rd.  I will be shipping pre-orders out soon after.  If you prefer an E-book format, it will be available on on or around April 3rd.

For the month of April, which is Autism Awareness Month, I am offering FREE SHIPPING, which includes pre-orders made in March.

If you happen to want multiple copies I will offer a discount. Please email me about this option at

Awaiting a release date for my book

Waiting.  No one likes waiting, especially at the end of a journey.

This particular journey of writing a book about my son and our life with autism started about 5 years ago.  As I would share stories of happenings in our life friends began telling me, “You really should write a book!”    Being the mother of 4 children, my time is limited as well my energy.  But as time went by I couldn’t get the idea of a book out of my heart.  Finally, when I couldn’t ignore the calling any longer, I started writing back in May of 2014.

I found my writing process to be rather smooth for a first book, time being my enemy.  When I had a minute or two in my day I would write a quick note of a memory that had occurred within the last 15 years of being the mother to a child with autism.  A surprising aspect of the process was the emotions that returned as I retold events, at times my heart racing, and tears flowing.

Within the past several days I’ve finalized the manuscript and the cover.  Today my manuscript is at the printer.   The book should be released within the month of April, which was my goal since April is Autism Awareness Month.  Titus, the main character in the book, is very excited as well.  I’ve tried to include him in as many aspects of the book as possible.  His question at the moment is “how many books will you sell?”  Once again, a question that I cannot answer.

This is the first review that I received about the book:

If you know one child with autism, you know one child with autism. But not
everyone gets that chance. In Life Amplified, Karen Haslem gives readers
an honest, intimate, remarkably engaging look at the struggles and triumphs
of her oldest son, who has autism. Drawing strength from their faith, the
Haslem family strives every day to embrace, not just tolerate, Titus’s
differences. Written with humor, grace, and a gift for lucid detail,
Haslem’s memoir captures a sequence of vivid episodes that convey the joy,
heartache, pride and terror of being Titus–or being Titus’s mom.

Life Amplified will bring new understanding and inspiration to other
families touched by autism, as well as anyone seeking insight into their

My hope is that many people will be encouraged by our story.