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The Return of Mikey

Click on image for full size cover

Author: Diane Bucci

13-Digit ISBN: 978-0-9845904-8-3

Imprint: Joshua Tree Publishing

Specs: 6" x 9" Perfect Bound, 264 Pages

Publication Date: January, 2012

Amazon Amazon Kindle

This book is the culmination of twenty years of journaling the long struggle of a very short life. My son, Mikey, was diagnosed with autism when he was three years old. It was changed, or “upgraded,” to Asperger’s syndrome when he was seven. I began writing short, humorous stories about my daily challenges with him when he was young and finally put them together into a book format by the time he was eighteen. It was basically a collection of funny stories detailing my struggles raising a child who did not fit the “norm.”

My original intention was to produce an Erma Bombeck type of book that would appeal to other parents like me. We cannot find humorous parenting books on the shelves that relate to our children. Our books will be in the medical section (see Abnormal Psychology) or the nonfiction section (see Sob-Stories). Of course, there’s always a sprinkling of miracle stories among them. I’ve read them all. Someone removes wheat products from their autistic child’s diet and voila!, the child miraculously becomes normal. I knew that my son would not be the one in a million success story who shakes the world of modern psychiatry down to its roots. But I also knew he had something wonderful to offer people in the way of hope.

Book Website:

Author Diane Bucci

Diane Bucci was born in Muskogee, Oklahoma, but has lived most of her life in Colorado. She married and had two children, Susie and Mikey. Mikey was diagnosed with mild autism when he was three years old. Diane devoted herself to becoming educated in a psychological disorder that little was written about at that time. Frustrated with the lack of information that was available; Diane rewrote the brochure for the Colorado Association for Autistic persons and was elected president of that organization.
Diane began writing short humorous stories about Mikey when he was young, and she was juggling responsibilities of motherhood, jobs, and non-profit work. She has spent most of her professional career as a retail manager but enjoys writing in her spare time. Diane currently resides in Colorado with her longtime companion, Sneakers the cat.

Author's Website:


Here is a book about autism written by a  family who knows autism: the pain, the embarrassment, the laughter, and the humanity that is part and parcel of the everyday life of a family loving and raising a child with autism. Mikey is a wonder: a curious, intelligent boy who communicates in words and feelings the confusion, the contradictions, the crises, and the pleasures of his moment by moment experiences. Mikey was a boy, and man, of talents as well as demons, both captured beautifully in his mother's journal, a tribute to his sense of humor, his courage, and the richness of his relationships with his family and friends. Families sometimes tell me that it is their ability to laugh at the irony, humor, and the wildly irrational moments that autism creates in their lives, in order to fully appreciate their children and the new and unexpected life that autism opens up to a family.  It is a tribute to Mikey's spirit that his mother has written such a rich, deep, and moving tribute to her funny, sensitive, capable, and puzzling son.              
Sally J. Rogers, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
The M.I.N.D. Institute
University of California Davis Medical Center

Diane's book is a riveting, moving and often hillarious account of raising her autistic son during a time before such diagnosis was prevalent. Her sense of humor and strength is what made Mikey the functioning human being he became. As a talk show host, psychic and medium, I had the honor and pleasure of getting to know Diane on and off the air for nearly 15 years of Mikey's life, learning their trials and tribulations and exploring the journey with her. Diane reached out to me shortly after Mikey took his life. He spoke through me to with ease her grief...and on more than one occasion. I am not only blessed but honored and grateful to be part of the inspiration of Diane's spiritual trek in creating contact, communication, and comfort with her son who also encouraged her to finally write her book. A page turner, you will come to know a young man of amazing intelligence, surprising wit and a love who become a part of your life forever. Read the book and know Mikey's has returned...or never really left.
Linda Salvin, MPH, PhD
Talk Show Host, Psychic, Healer, Medium


A touching story of courage, humor, life, death and life again. I laughed and cried on a journey that gives us all hope through the tragedies of life. This book of hope is for every parent and every person going through the challenges of life.  You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll have hope that in the hardest of times. This is a story of unconditional love like no other.  A mothers dedication to an extraordinary son throughout his life and his tragic death.  A sense of humor, profound love, and knowing that our loved ones will never leave us, a book that will give you hope in the hardest of times.
Craig Zablocki
Author & Motivational Speaker


Excerpt from The Return of Mikey

Mikey resumed his questions. “Mama? Let’s talk about the Big Bang that my magazine was talking about.”

“Well the Big Bang is how scientists think the universe began, but it hasn‘t been proved, so they still call it a theory."

I tried my best to explain this theory to Mikey without dumbing it down too much. He seemed to grasp difficult and abstract concepts, and he had developed a rather large vocabulary. We had talked about force vectors when we had discussed black holes at length on another occasion. He also understood how gravity was related to the mass of an object. Mikey always made me laugh when he vacillated between asking highly intelligent questions and then reverted to the typical questions of a six-year-old.

“How big was the bang?” he wanted to know. “Could you hear it?”

I laughed, “Gee, I’m not quite that old, Mikey. That was millions of years ago. I’m sure it made a loud noise, but there were not any people alive to hear it at the time. People were put on earth after it was created.”

“By God?” he asked.


“And what about Jesus?”

“Well, Christians believe that Jesus was the son of God. We are Christians. We believe there was a man named Jesus who lived on earth who was actually God‘s son. God put him here to tell people about God‘s existence and the existence of heaven. And he told people God wanted them to be nice to each other and believe in God.”

“Then why did they hang Jesus?” he asked.

I stifled a chuckle. “They didn’t hang him. They nailed him to a cross. Hanging probably would have hurt less. They crucified him because they didn‘t believe him and they thought he was preaching against their king.”

Mikey pondered this. “If I was Jesus, I would come back and haunt those people who were mean to him.”

“One of God’s messages that Jesus was trying to convey was the importance of forgiveness. Jesus forgave people who were mean to him,” I explained.

Again, he pursed his lips, deep in thought. “I’m going to come back and haunt the kids who are mean to me.”

“Mikey, I think you’ll be so busy looking in the black holes that you won’t care anymore about the kids who were mean. You’ll forgive them just like Jesus did.”

He giggled. “I’ll come back and haunt you guys and play tricks on you. I’ll turn the lights out on you…when you’re in the bathroom.” Mikey erupted into more giggles at the thought of this.

His sister Susie objected, “No, Mikey! I’m already half blind without my glasses. Don‘t turn the lights out on me!”

“Okay,” he obliged. “I’ll just turn them off for a second and then turn them right back on. I’ll make spooky noises, and you won’t know where they’re coming from.”Mikey was laughing harder.

“No, Mikey!” Susie’s ire was raising over this hypothetical preposterousness. “You have to promise you won’t scare me!”

“Okay, okay. I’ll just make funny noises, and I’ll turn the lights off and on really fast.”Now he was laughing hysterically.

“Okay,” Susie settled back down. “Just so long as you promise not to scare me.”

“I promise,” he assured her. “But I promise I’m going to come back and visit you guys after I die. And you’ll know it’s me! It’ll be so funny!“

Kids say the darnedest things.