Finding Joy in Extraordinary Children: Parenting and Savant Autism

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Joyce Yexley's new book shares her daughter's story, offers others hope

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Although I prayed for endless miracles for my daughter, God healed my heartache and filled me with unconditional love to live a life with joy with their extraordinary daughter.

According to the CDC, autism affects 1 in 68 individuals under 21 living in the U.S. Of those individuals, 10 percent demonstrate savant abilities, or extraordinary skills not exhibited by most persons.

Author Joyce Yexley’s daughter, Amy, had total brain damage from a severe stroke at birth. Her doctors anticipated she would be blind, deaf, and multiply handicapped. Amazingly, at 32 months Amy heard a song and played it on a piano in therapy class. From then on, though she couldn’t read or write, she would play the organ for hours on end.

32 years later, Amy was officially diagnosed as a savant, one of only about 300 in the world. To bring understanding and awareness to this phenomenon, Yexley has recently released her new inspirational nonfiction, “Not My Plan,” which captures both the challenges and joys of raising a child with special needs, specifically savant autism.

Drawing from her own personal journey, Yexley provides advice for other caretaking parents on how to overcome grief, attain happiness and find greatness in extraordinary children. Readers will learn more about Amy’s incredible gift and rare condition that continue to bring joy and comfort to her family.

“’Not My Plan’ shares the journey of a heartbroken mother struggling with her fears while trying to overcome her grief of having a child with special needs,” Yexley said. “Although I prayed for endless miracles for my daughter, God healed my heartache and filled me with unconditional love to live a life of joy with their extraordinary daughter.”

For more information visit

“Not My Plan” by Joyce Yexley
Hardcover, $28.95
Paperback, $11.95
e-Book, $5.99
ISBN: 978-1-51270-692-5
Available at, and

About the author
Joyce Yexley is a fashion historian, writer and speaker. She holds three advanced degrees. As approved speaker for Stonecroft Ministries, she has traveled to six states sharing her faith journey to women’s organizations. She has published articles in faith-based and women’s magazines. She has served on the board of Cass County Historical Society. Previously, she worked in the home furnishings industry for 20 years as a design consultant, buyer, and manager. Her business, A Century of Fashion, is a fun-filled presentation including vintage fashion, live models, music, and a power point. She shares fashion programs to venues such as museums, fundraising events, schools, reunions, and centennial celebrations. You can learn more at

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Andrea Hawman
Bohlsen Group
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