Fish Dreams

by Irma Velasquez

“Fish Dreams seamlessly blends magic and practical advice as it tells the extraordinary story of a mother’s journey with her autistic son, Aaron, never wavering in her fierce love and determination to help him live a life true to his authentic self.”

Victress Hitchcock, filmmaker and author of Who Knew

Practical advice about parenting a child with autism.

Raising any child is a challenge. Raising a child with autism is simply a challenge of a different kind.

When her son was diagnosed with autism at the age of three, Irma Velasquez was devastated. It was the pre-internet era of the early 1990s, and both information and experts were hard to find. Desperate for answers, she sought out therapists and educational programs designed to teach Aaron how to become successful in school and in life. But those early years ended up teaching Irma more than they taught Aaron. Irma realized her desire to “fix” her son had been a masquerade to fulfill her own needs, and she began to love him just as he was: perfect.

Irma writes poignantly about how she channeled her fear and frustration into love and acceptance. Told through detailed memories and raw inner truths, she recounts how her personal growth led her to a very special bond with her son; one that taught her a new way of looking at the world, and at herself.

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A Fish Out of Water

As an immigrant from El Salvador, Irma often felt like a fish out of water within American society. She soon realized that her son’s experience was, in many ways, similar to hers: born into an over-stimulating environment and being forced to swim.

Raising any child is a challenge. Raising a child with autism — a syndrome that is both complex and varied across individuals — is simply a challenge of a different kind.

Over time, Irma discovered that she could step into Aaron’s world and let him lead, and through that shift, he began to open up and share his inner world with her. She became his safe space, and as he became more comfortable in his own skin, he became her window to a more spiritual way of living in harmony with herself.

The Meaning of Unconditional Love

Fish Dreams is the story of a deep bond between mother and son. It is the story of a radical shift that can happen when a parent steps into their child’s world. It’s a memoir on holistic parenting, on autism, and what it means to love somebody truly as they are.

You’ll find yourself reflecting on your own relationships as you read about the following:

  • The early signs of autism
  • A history of autism from the 1990s to today
  • The importance of trained individuals in your child’s development
  • The methods Irma discovered and implemented with her son
  • How to love your child as the whole human they already are
  • Practices that will help you connect with yourself in a more intimate way and help you find your own inner guidance.

Fish Dreams is a book that explores what it means to live into the questions and mysteries of life with courage and Velasquez is a wise and insightful author. Full of art and honesty, memoir and poetry, Velasquez offers us a window into the vital relationship between a mother and her child and then travels further to explore the relationship a mother has with herself. Written with warmth and spirit, Fish Dreams is a book about homecoming. It is a book about love.

—Jeannette Encinias, poet, author of Queen Owl Wings

Prepare to be moved and to unearth clues to your own inner guidance in this story of transformation. Through generously revealing what was stirred deeply within her as a mother of a child with autism, Irma Velasquez shares the sacred journey into her heart’s truth as she continually crosses into unmapped territory. What she discovers holds a treasure for our individual lives and shared humanity. I encourage you to read and share Fish Dreams.

—Roxanne Howe-Murphy, EdD., author of Deep Living with the Enneagram: Recovering Your True Nature

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