The Castle We Called Home

by Simone Brenneman



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 6/22/2011

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 296
ISBN : 9781452098579
Format : E-Book
Dimensions : E-Book
Page Count : 296
ISBN : 9781452098586
Format : Hardcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 296
ISBN : 9781452098562

About the Book

The Castle We Called Home will draw you in from the very first word, until the last. It is simply a captivating story: "By the age of three, it was obvious that someone needed to be with Hayden, almost constantly, and with focus. It wasn’t only because of his aggression or his lacking sense of danger. It was as much because he would otherwise wander aimlessly, looking for trouble, putting objects of any type in his mouth or destroying things. Or even worse, he would park himself in front of the TV and slip into Nowhereland.

It tormented me. Why couldn’t I get more deeply into his head? It was like standing in a corridor, a door ahead, locked and bolted shut….and me, hopelessly and frantically, fumbling with a mess of keys.…none of them fitting.

Was it that I genuinely didn’t possess the right key? Or was it that I wasn’t able to give myself the presence of mind to recognize the right key and then guide it into the lock?

Or was the problem that there really just wasn’t a key anywhere that would fit?

It truly tormented me because we were falling apart at the seams. I had found the key with Genevieve. I’d only had to think her and feel her and reach down from within. With her it was all about getting into her head and her body and her world, and then letting her feel safe and accepted enough, to let me enter. From there, it was a matter of using tools that fit for her, like Fantasy. But with Hayden, I didn’t feel that I had that edge.

I couldn’t help feeling that I had let Hayden down. Why couldn’t I do the same for him that I had done for her?

For more information about this book and others by Simone, as well as TV and radio appearances and her blog, please visit or

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“Simone is wonderful … a must see!” Connie smith, CTS

About the Author

Simone is a mother of two autistic children, and two typical children. She works as a writer, a behavior interventionist and a dance and yoga teacher. She has delved deeply into the world of autism through the minds and bodies of her children, as described in both The Castle We Called Home and Effervescence. The pervasive challenges of both of her unique children enticed and demanded that she live very much submerged in their unique worlds, to help them to emerge. In her words: "Back then, when Hayden and Genevieve were so small and so overwhelmed by the world, I took their lead and I trained myself. It was out of desperation, so I was highly motivated. But it was also out of fascination. In some ways, getting in and living in their world was the easy part. The tough part was getting out and reprogramming myself ". Simone became her children's "stepping stone" as well as their therapist and program designer. All levels of her work and experiences are absolute joys, equal to the joy of speaking and presenting through the media and her writing, about her autism and the endless ways of embracing it. The challenges of being relentlessly driven, creative and insightful in forging out successful paths for her children, is met with her desire to focus on the impact of these unique children on their families. Both of her books explore lovingly and realistically the far-reaching effects on siblings and parents. She speaks candidly about the intense joys and equally, about the intense difficulties and complexities. Simone writes with passion, and yet as though she is sitting across from the reader, conversing over a cup of coffee. Her writing and insight has been recognized and acknowledged by the highly-esteemed animal scientist and author, Temple Grandin.