Digger O'Brien On Handling Life's Ups & Downs With Humor And Grace

posted by Samantha Cohen - 

Five-time Emmy Award-winning television producer Digger O’Brien talked to Helen Little about his brave debut memoir, Pointing Is Rude. The honest and riveting memoir talks about Digger’s son, Fredrick, and his autism diagnosis. Digger opens up about his exhausting, emotional, and surprisingly often comical journey to find a cure, visiting prestigious hospitals and specialists until his adventure takes off in a totally new direction- adopting an infant boy from Ethiopia! This book can make you laugh and cry, often on the same page.

Digger started writing just as a form of journaling and a way to control his emotions. After expressing himself through his words for a couple of years, the stories eventually started to pile up and Pointing Is Rude was born. Throughout the memoir, Digger opens up about what he's going through on a personal level including the tears, joys, and triumphs of raising a son with Autism. The author also talks about how it was easy to write the story, but the hardest part was deciding how to properly convey the material and how he wanted to position the book. Digger felt that his son and other children had a story to tell and since he couldn't do it himself, his father did it for him. 

He also explains where the captivating title came from. He was on the phone with his wife after their son's doctor thought he may be on the Autism spectrum. His wife expressed that the doctor saw concern because Fredrick wasn't pointing like a two-year-old typically knows how to do. Little did Digger know, that lack of pointing is one of the earliest indication of an Autism-spectrum disorder because they think what happening in their mind, is occurring in everyone else's mind.

Digger also talks to Helen about the moment he heard about his son's diagnosis, how he sprinkles his humor tactfully throughout the emotional pages of the memoir, their decision to adopt an infant from Ethiopia, and much more.

The beginning of Pointing Is Rude may break your heart, whether you are a parent or not, but the story of Digger and his wonderful family is bound to lift you up with their strength, love, and their good humor about the challenge at the center of their lives. The memoir has less focus on the disorder of Autism itself, but more about the beautiful power of family.

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