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    Finding Her Heart
    Donna Wittlif
    Only true love can help Allison conquer Asperger's and loneliness. David says he loves her, but is he the one? She risks everything to find out. What she finds is more than she can imagine. A must-read for anyone who is looking for love.

    Price:  $2.99

    book excerpt

    Excerpt from Chapter 1, Hiding the Truth

    No one knew what made me tick, not even Uncle and Aunt. Sometimes I cried because the kids at school and the teachers didn’t like me. The school counselor told Aunt Harriet that I have a condition called Asperger’s Syndrome. Mrs. Bunker, my first grade teacher, had me tested. I remembered, like it was an hour ago, the day when we learned the results of the test.
    “Allison is very intelligent,” Mrs. Williams, the school counselor, had said. “She has an IQ of one-forty-five, but she shows signs of Asperger’s Syndrome. Allison needs to be in the city where she can make friends and play with other children.”
    “She has plenty of friends,” Uncle Deb had said, scowling. “Half the animals in the woods will let her pet them.”
    “Mrs. Williams means children her own age,” Aunt Harriet said. “I agree. We need to move into Puttersville.”
    “Harriet Gray, if you want to live in Puttersville, you can take Allie and go. But don’t expect me to support you!” Uncle Deb shouted, right in front of the principal, Mrs. Bunker, and
    Mrs. Williams. He’d stalked off.
    “I’m sorry,” Aunt Harriet said, shaking her head.
    “Allison is falling behind in her school work,” Mrs. Bunker said. “Every time I check on her, she is drawing and not doing her assignments. She won’t look at me when I speak to her.”
    “Allison’s social skills are not commensurate with her age,” Mrs. Williams had reported.
    “She doesn’t play well with other children. She needs friends to play with.”
    “I do want friends, but the other kids don’t want to play with me,” I said. “So I draw.
    Someday I’m going to be a famous artist.”
    “Allison is a great little artist. You should have seen her snow sculptures of animals last winter,” Aunt Harriet said. “They looked so real.”
    “Mrs. Gray, I’ll ask our special education teacher to write an Individualized Educational
    Plan for Allison. She’ll call you when it is ready, and you and your husband can come and sign it. It will contain goals for Allison getting her work done in school and socializing with other students.”
    That was six years ago. Did the goals work? Maybe I did a little more schoolwork because my teachers gave me extra time to draw after I finished my assignments. But did I make more friends by my thirteenth birthday? No one was coming to my party.
    That night, I wrote my first entry in my new diary:
    Uncle Deb and Aunt Harriet fight all the time. About me. Aunt Harriet wants to move so I can have friends. But will I? The same kids who live in town go to school with me, and they’re not my friends. So I don’t think moving will change a thing. They won’t play with me, so why should I play with them? Sometimes I’m sad because I don’t have friends at school. But other times I don’t care. I don’t need them if they don’t want me.
    The fire that burns within me drives me to draw and paint. Someday I’m going to be a famous artist. I’ll have my own art gallery and charge other artists to display and sell their paintings. Everyone will want his picture in my gallery, and I will be the artist everyone talks about.

    “Allison,” Aunt Harriet yelled through my bedroom door. “Come get your socks and put them away like I asked you to.”
    “Sorry, I forgot. I locked my diary and put it on the shelf in my closet, then went to get my socks. How can I remember to put away socks when I have no friends and no one came to my birthday party?
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