just the right person


Psst – click on it!

Dear Ms A (Brooke’s speech and language therapist) and Ms J (her classroom teacher),

I wanted to share the story behind this book as a gift of appreciation for all that you have done this year for my girl. It happens to be one of my all-time favorite books, and one that I thought that you would appreciate, but that’s only half the story.

When I began reading I Might Be You, I felt compelled to reach out to its author, Barb Rentenbach. She is a woman who is severely impacted by autism. She is non-verbal, and until her teens had no effective method of communication. It wasn’t until she began the arduous process of learning to type that she was able to share her voice.

Her story is moving and her insights life-changing. But she also happens to be funny as hell. She’s irreverent, sometimes a little raunchy, delightfully sarcastic, and well, in sum, she’s us. And we, at least in our best moments, are her.

Much to my delight, she and I have continued to correspond online. She recently told me about a man in her town who bought 60 copies of her book to distribute to libraries and schools in their area. I wrote back that I’d do the same in a heartbeat if money allowed. And this is what happened next. (The names that she calls me are inside jokes.)


no prob, dear connector. ill send you a box (15) to help spread the love as we are on the same mission. address please? free b


Omg. Are you serious?????? I don’t know what to say. For real????? I’m going to cry.


got it, sap. money is not going to be a barrier in our fight. ill ask ss to have one of her minions ship it on monday. done b


Thank you is so insufficient. But thank you.


daryl, i am happy to. because i know the fun your sensitive advocate self is going to have gifting the books to just the right person at the right time. u will feel it. u will smile wide and cry sweetly because u r a junkie for that kind of connection joy. enjoy. off to write now, feeling it 2 b

This woman, who tells us that for so many years she was believed to be devoid of thought and emotion (Can you imagine?), has crawled inside my soul and figured me out – all via the dang Internet. And I’ll be damned if she doesn’t have me pegged. Because here I am, giving a book to just the right person at just the right time – smiling wide and crying sweetly because, indeed, I am a junkie for this kind of connection joy.

Thank you – for everything.



So you know what has to happen next, right?

You see, I’d already BOUGHT two books to give as gifts, in addition to the one I’d bought myself. And THEN Barb sent me FIFTEEN more. And she said that I would give the books to just the right people at just the right time. And she seems to have this eerie way of just knowing stuff like that. So here’s what I’m thinking …

The two books – the ones that I bought – they need to go to YOU.

This is what I propose. If you can afford the book, buy it. You already know how I feel about. Just click HERE or on the picture above and buy it. If you can afford two, buy two. Hell, if you can swing 60 to give to your schools and libraries, get on it.

But, if that’s not possible right now, leave a comment below and let me know that you’d like me to put your name into the hat for one of the two books.

If you really want to give one to your kid, your mom, your pastor, your local librarian, your kid’s school, a local college or university, a crotchety old neurologist who might need a little nudge toward understanding, a compassionate and dedicated speech therapist or an amazing classroom teacher, throw your hat in the ring.

Man, this whole hat thing gets confusing. No wonder I don’t do give-aways.

Anyway, you get the point, right? If YOU are that just right person, or you want to GIVE the book to that just right person, tell me.

Brooke and Katie will pick two names out of the various hats that are in the ring and off they’ll go, out of the Interwebz and into real life. 

I don’t know what else to say to Barb. Thanks aren’t big enough. Hopefully, sharing her words and her wisdom with the world is a start.



Ed note: I will take submissions until 5pm on July 8th. We will announce winners on the 9th. Thank you!

52 thoughts on “just the right person

  1. Would love to have this book for our service providers and to loan out to families. The sections I’ve read are amazing and Barb is an inspiration. Put my name in whatever hat, ring, or circle of love there is!!

  2. I’m throwin’ my hat! would love to have a copy. My 4 year old grandaughter has autism, and I try to read as much on the subject as I can. Thanks, crossing my fingers.

  3. I already bought my own copy (and am stalking the mailbox ’til it gets here), but I would love to give one to my girl’s speech therapist. Because she believes, and she tries, and she cheers, and my girl has come so far with her. And I think, on the hard days, she could use a reminder of what’s possible. (Can’t we all?) Thanks, Jess. And Barb.

  4. I would love to read it and then pass it on to various family members who could really use it. She seems hilarious just by your conversation.

  5. I would love to read this book and to pass it on teachers/administrators who are trying, but still don’t get it. Please enter me in this ring, hat, group hug!

  6. Money is tight right now and I’d love a book! But if I don’t win I’ll buy one when we can afford it! :).

  7. I would love to read This book. Although it seems like something I would return to over and over again, it will probably be a book that begins a journey from one of my teacher friends to the next.
    Thanks Jess and Barb!!!

  8. *Raises Hand and Crosses Fingers*
    I’m in need of some inspiration from auties who are doing the damn thing despite a late start. I’m having trouble staying hopeful about the future these days.
    Also, there are so many people in mine and my sons life who need to know more about what autism is and can be, than just us could ever show them.

  9. I would love to read this with my daughter. I’ve only read her fiction up to now, but this book seems to be calling to us to change that! Please enter me. Thanks!

  10. Don’t enter me…I am listening to it on Audible! So cool that it’s Ariane reading it!
    Just wanted to say….so far it is great ….and Barb blows my mind!she is awesome!

    • talk about just the right person at just the right time, the audio book is my favorite version because ariane zurcher gifted me her strong, sophisticated voice. thank you all. thrilled to be heard, b

  11. Hello! I would love to be entered for a copy. I’m a grad student so money is pretty tight these days (understatement) but I have heard so many great things about this book and would love to read it. 🙂

  12. Putting my name in the ring as well. If I can figure out how to read Kindle books on my new ipad, I may purchase the ebook, but I’d rather have a hard copy that I can share after I read it

  13. Throwing my name into the mix 🙂 Normally I’d buy my own, but I just gained a job after five months of unemployment, and my hubby is still looking for a job as well. Would not only love to read it, but I know exactly the educator it would be passed to afterwards. She’s one of those – the ones that really GET our kids – and a full year after my son has moved on from her classroom, still likes to get the e-mails from me that challenge her to look at things with a new perspective. She’s working on her master’s in administration, and I’d like to think that one day she will be out there, helping make policy that changes the world for the next generation of kids.

  14. I just bought it, but FYI it is available to Amazon Prime members for free in their lending library….also an option. 🙂

  15. I would love my name to be in the hat . My mom and I will read it and we will pass it along or send it to another on the list that would like to read it

  16. OMG, Barb calls you Daryl! What a hoot! I have already ordered the book and plan on sharing it. I have no doubt that your giveaway will land in the right hands!

  17. Adding this to my summer reading list….or my “When I have time list”…Being a mom to 3 teenagers, and a special education paraprofessional (who also works summer school hours…), I don’t really find much time to read. But, I enjoy learning about my students and the lives they lead through others. I want to try and understand so that I can be the best at my job that I can be.

  18. I would love to read this book, and have my son read it as well. He is a single dad with a 4 year old, on the spectrum, and has been diagnosed with Phelan-McDermid Syndrome. Always searching for the light at the end of this long tunnel, and hoping to find a way that this beautiful little girl will be able to communicate someday.
    Your blog is so inspiring…thank you for sharing so much of your life. Some days it feels as though you are running in circles, trying to figure out what direction to go, and if you are making the best decisions for her. I guess we are all in the same boat.

  19. What an amazing gift! Your posts always make me cry. This was no exception! I will buy this book when funds allow. If you can put my name in one of the hats, if chosen I will share the love. Thanks!

  20. Oh I so want in!!! The book has been in my wish list since you first mentioned it and now – well I got the chills thinking about the fun in spreading Barb’s words (yes, Barb’s words!) around to just the right people at just the right time.

  21. Toss my name I’m the hat if I’m not too late, which I usually am!!:) My son, Luke, who will be TEN in 8 days, has autism. I would love the book for myself and also to share with his oldest brother who don’t seem to “get it” in regards to Luke’s uniqueness and quirkiness and simple coolness.:) thanks for considering me.

    From a mom to 3 special guys…..

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