Susan Jane King

Thriving with Jesus in life's ongoing challenges

Check Out My Website–You Can Order Books There!

Optimism for Autismfrontcover

I am excited to announce that my website is up and running. You can order my new book OPTIMISM FOR AUTISM there if you would like signed copies. Come visit, learn about the book, and check out the Free Resources available to you!


Optimism For Autism Was Awarded 5 Stars!

Front cover


My book Optimism for Autism has been awarded 5 STARS by Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews and Awards Contest! Optimism for Autism: The Inspirational Journey of a Mother and Her Autistic Son will be available a week from today, April 2, on, at local bookstores, and at (for signed copies).

Here is what a Readers’ Favorite reviewer had to say about Optimism for Autism:

“She [King] writes with the love of a mom and not only covers the great things that happened over the years, but stays grounded by writing that it was never a walk in the rose garden. Despite some setbacks, it was all due to the Lord and His blessings that enabled such a wonderful story to come forth from a frightful beginning,” Steven Painter wrote for Readers’ Favorite.

“I was blessed to have read this book,” he added. “Many parents and caregivers would be wise to read it as well, not only for the magnificent writing, but for the powerful tools they can use in their own circumstances. In her book, Optimism for Autism, Susan King, along with her autistic son Patrick, tells a story that should be read by any struggling parent trying to raise a child who needs intercession. Armed with a boatload of faith, King (along with her husband David) embraces the challenges of raising Patrick, who started life with such struggles that it was difficult for her to know where to start. And there are many parents in the same boat. But help is here, and anyone can find encouragement by reading this book,” he added.


On a 1-5 Scale, I Give It 8 Stars!

“As a professor, I have read thousands of books over the last 50 years or so. Only two of them have moved me to tears. And Susan King’s masterful volume is one of the two.

Her clear, concise, readable writing is marvelous. She tells candidly and completely of the trials that accompany having an autistic son — and of the great joy she experienced as he becomes a fine student, athlete, and overall young man. She also tells in clear prose what she and her family went through in the process. And she breaks new ground by giving son Patrick’s recollection of each experience.

Susan is a very devout person, as are her son, Patrick, her great husband, David, and her three daughters. They clear countless hurdles by turning things over to God with strong faith that He will guide them through and provide needed strength. As a Christian whose faith waivers at times, I derived great inspiration from her portrayal of God’s power for God. I feel my own faith has deepened considerably while reading the book.

Millions of people have autistic children and can learn a great deal about coping from this volume. So can millions more who have handicaps such as bipolar disorder. Using a five-star rating system, I would give Optimism for Autism at least eight stars!!!”—Dr. Hugh Culbertson, professor emeritus of journalism, Ohio University

Hope in the World of Autism

“I can’t tell you how many tears were shed while reading this book. I loved it! I feel like we are just beginning this autism journey with my son in kindergarten, and this book has given me lots of hope for what is to come. I have read lots of books about autism over the last 4 years, and it helps to hear other people’s struggles and triumphs. But what I really liked about this book is the emphasis on scripture and who is ultimately in control. It can be easy to forget that God has my son’s best interests at heart. But I want to do a better job at not being angry with our circumstances but finding the purpose in what we are going through with my son. I just need to do a better job at trusting God to take care of us! This book inspired me to do that.”—Kelly, mother of a young autistic son

Finding Purpose

Optimism for Autism is more than just a story about an autistic child and the challenges that transpire from a momentous diagnosis. It’s an illustration of the miraculous wonders of an almighty God who can transform some of the darkest moments into a multitude of blessings in order to display His glory. Optimism for Autism is an inspiring story that challenges me as a Christian. I feel challenged to live a life more like Patrick: seeing people for who they truly are, being quick to look to God when things get rocky, and ultimately trusting in God that everything will be okay. Optimism for Autism brought a new realization into my life. I realized that life is not about me; it’s about how God can utilize me to better serve his purpose. This book is a must read and an imperative reminder that with God, anything is possible.”—Ashley Collins, young professional

Relatable for Overcoming Challenges

“I can’t believe this is Susan King’s first book! It is so well written – her true stories of Patrick and his struggles with autism had me laughing as well as crying. While reading many of the stories, I felt like I was there! It was also truly heartwarming to read Patrick’s perspective on his autism and how his faith has helped him realize his autism is not just an obstacle, but has also been a blessing in his life. I believe it will also be very helpful for any teachers, parents, or counselors who work with autistic children to hear Patrick explain how he feels and what he hears in certain situations and why he needs to act in certain ways to cope. For anyone who is struggling with a challenge in their life, Susan’s words of encouragement and inspiration will jump off the pages of the book to help in overcoming those challenges. For those who may not be currently struggling with any challenges, you will find yourself looking at your own life through different eyes and putting some serious thought into how you would handle certain situations if they happened to you. It was so interesting and easy to read – I didn’t want to put it down. Definitely a must read!”—Tonda Mathie, mother, college teacher

Thank you everyone who is helping to spread the word about Optimism for Autism! My and Patrick’s prayer is that it will help others know the love, faithfulness, power, grace, hope, and encouragement found in the Lord.

Question: If you were able to read an advance copy of the book, what would you like to say about it?






Ministering from the Hurt Place



Here I am with a grown-up Patrick. He turned 21 today, March 19!


Last week, I experienced the blessing of having lunch and talking with the mother of a 5-year-old autistic boy. My heart swelled with admiration for this young wife and mother, who is pouring her heart and soul into her family. As we met, I remembered the early years of my son’s diagnosis with autism, and my heart went out to this brave mother.

She sent me an email later, thanking me for meeting with her and saying our time together helped to encourage her and give her hope. I felt my eyes moisten as I read her email. I experienced the deepest sense of gratitude that the Lord would allow me to encourage others on the special needs journey, or any journey for that matter.

Yet, that is just what the Lord does. He is a redeemer, through and through. He takes our hurt places and uses them to bring help and healing to others. So whatever struggles we face, those situations often become the very place God wants to use us to minister to others.

Here’s why:


Once we have lived with a certain challenge ourselves, then we are doubly qualified to offer advice and encouragement regarding it to others. We have walked the road they now travel. Once someone has gone and experienced a foreign land, they are capable and competent to tell others about it because they have been there. That’s why Jesus warned Peter he would betray Him, and then gave him this direction: “But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:32, NIV). After his denial experience, Peter became uniquely qualified to counsel others who did the same.


The education minister at our church, who is also a counselor, says that most people have two basic needs: to be accepted, and to be understood. Once we have felt the pain of our particular challenges and hurts, we become extra sensitive to others who are going through the same experiences. “I know how you feel” comes from a deep place in our hearts. We receive them because our struggles have opened a window to see into their souls. The Bible calls this being “tender-hearted” (Ephesians 4:32, NASB). Over and over, it says the Lord is compassionate; our hurt places help shape us to show His compassion to others.


Our hurt places not only give us the credibility to help, and the empathy to help, but they also give us a parcel of tools to help. Time after time, as we have dealt with our challenges, we have acquired different tools to place in the toolbox of our lives. We learn what helps and what doesn’t as we face our hurt places. Without realizing it, we develop our skills and become master craftsmen in our trade. Then, when others find themselves in our “vocation,” we can allow them to be a sort of apprentice and learn from us, not in a proud fashion, but with humility and grace. That’s because we know the road is difficult, but also because, like the men on the road to Emmaus, we realize the Lord walks with us all the way (Luke 24:13-35).

We should embrace our hurt place, because the Lord wants to use it to let others know who He is and how He is walking with them in theirs. Our ministry rises out of our hurt place.

Question:  How have you ministered to others from your hurt place? How have others ministered to you? Comment at the link below.


My son Patrick and I have written a book entitled OPTIMISM FOR AUTISM. It speaks of the Lord’s love and faithfulness during our ongoing challenges with Patrick’s autism. Our desire is that it might give encouragement and hope to others with long-lived struggles. We can always abound in hope with the Lord (Romans 15:13)!

Our book will be available on Amazon and at (for signed copies) on April 2.

Thank you for spreading the word about the book. Also, thanks to all of you who have joined our Book Launch Team. We are at 91 members . . . only 9 members away from our goal of 100!

Front cover


Will You Be 1 Of My 100?

Book Front Cover

Dear Friends,

On April 2, 2014, my book OPTIMISM FOR AUTISM will be released.  I have been told by those experienced in these matters that it helps to have a Book Launch Team, about 100 people who will help you spread the word about your book. I am taking the plunge and trying to do that.

I believe this book will offer hope and encouragement to so many:

  • Parents and relatives of special needs children
  • Teachers
  • Caregivers
  • Therapists
  • Anyone facing ongoing challenges
  • Christian readers
  • Individuals seeking inspiration and encouragement

The book speaks of the power, grace, and faithfulness of the Lord in the midst of life’s difficult places. That’s why I am asking you to help others know about it.

Would you consider being 1 of my 100?

If you join the Book Launch Team, I will send you a free PDF of my book. To join, please either comment at the link below and give me your email address, or send an email to me at

As a member of the Book Launch Team, I will ask you to:

  • Write a short review on Amazon
  • Help spread the word about my book, especially during the week of April 2
  • Share ideas and brainstorm other ways we can get the book’s message to all kinds of audiences. All ideas are welcome.

* * *

Thank you for your support of OPTIMISM FOR AUTISM. Here is what some people have already said about the book:

“An uplifting story that will change the perspective of the people working around and with autistic people.”—Readers’ Favorite Book Review

“Patrick offers powerful insights into the autistic mind, and he and Susan hold out hope to anyone facing severe challenges.”—Beth, exceptional needs specialist, National Board certified special needs teacher

Having led a 400-member Special Olympic organization for more than 16 years, I can relate and appreciate the highs and lows of dealing with the unique life of an autistic child. Kudos to Susan and Patrick King for sharing their story and giving others the encouragement to meet the challenges and share in the joys of accomplishment.” –Jane

Susan is such a gifted writer. OPTIMISM FOR AUTISM is so insightful on the struggles and triumphs of autism both by Patrick and his family. As Susan chronicles Patrick’s years, you see a picture of the mountains God alone can move. –Tonya, certified professional nanny and parent consultant


Helping the Weak

Sarah and Henry Grace and Henry

Sarah and Grace with little Henry

My daughter Sarah got a new puppy this week. We all have fallen in love with little Henry. I’ve watched and smiled as Sarah has played with, fed, snuggled, and taken her puppy outside for countless “potty breaks.” She’s training him on a leash and teaching him different commands. She slept by him on the couch the first few nights and helped him transition to his crate.

Henry can’t do much by himself yet. He depends on Sarah for his basic needs, as well as love and protection. He also has another helper . . . our 4-year-old golden retriever Grace. From the moment Henry entered the house, Grace welcomed him, played with him, shared her dog bed and toys with him, and showed him the routines of being a dog in the King family. When Henry got frightened by the sound of the blender, he ran straight to Grace and burrowed his head under her thick fur.

Watching Henry reminds me of what the Bible has to say about the weak:

We are to accept the weak and not judge them.

The Bible says, “Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions . . .  But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God” (Romans 14:1, 10, NASB). We all have personal, faith, and life struggles. We should not be hard-hearted and quickly pass sentence on others when only God sees their heart. Rather, like Sarah and Grace, we are called to accept others in their weakness and love them there.

We are called to help the weak.

1 Thessalonians 5:14, NASB, says, “We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone.” Sarah and Grace chose to help Henry in his weakness. The rest of our family chose to help Sarah when she got tired and needed a break. It is supposed to work this way in the body of Christ. We are called to help those who are weary physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Helping and caring keeps us connected to one another, and as Jesus said, “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35, NASB).

Jesus cares about the weak.

Jesus has a heart for the weak. In fact, He died for them: “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6, NASB). When we were weak and unable to do anything to resolve our sin problem, Jesus gave Himself to help us. He met us in our weakness and loved us there. He loved us to the end, all the way to Calvary, where he died to pay the penalty for our sins.

If Jesus so cares for the weak, and if we belong to Him, then we should care about the weak too. We should be asking the Holy Spirit how we can help them, and then do it. When we get a true sense of Jesus’ great love for us in our weakness, we are moved to love others in theirs.

Who knows, maybe someday Henry will be the one showing a new puppy the ropes!

Question:  How have you been helped when you were weak? How have you helped others? Comment at the link below.