building puzzles under water: an autism story

By Carrie P. Holzer

“He will likely never speak.”

Sometimes, being told that you can’t do something lights a fire ​inside of you so fierce that you have no choice but to succeed … ​and then blow all the doubts out of the water.

In Building Puzzles Under Water, Carrie P. Holzer tells the ​story of her son Cam’s diagnosis of autism and the following ​decade of his progress.

This book details the journey that her family took, the ups and ​downs, and the multiple successes they had with giving Cam the ​life he deserves, one where he gets to express himself and have ​friends, things that we all take for granted that were pieces the ​family wasn’t sure Cam would ever discover.




What business does a mother of two with a background in real estate and commercial lending have writing a book about autism?

This is a question I have asked myself many times over. But after eleven years of being told, at every turn, to share Cam’s story, I've made it my business.

This book is an open, honest and at times humorous look at the highs and lows of life with autism. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

“I felt as though I was sitting just outside of myself watching another family receive and process this news: empathetic and wondering where they go from here?

This family, my family.”

“Anytime Gabby would teach ​Cam something new, she had a ​huge advantage over the adults: ​she never considered the idea ​that he couldn’t achieve ​something. There was no fear or ​worry for her, just a big sister ​teaching her little brother.”

I got him buckled into the car ​and he reached up and ​offered me a high five “We did ​it!” he shouted. Yes, we did ​kiddo. I started to tear up and ​suggested we get a cake to ​celebrate. My little man ​replied, “I prefer doughnuts.”

praise for the book

Cam teaches us the beauty in ​being comfortable with who we

are just the way we are no ​matter where we are. You will ​laugh. You will cry. But you will ​NEVER put

your head on your pillow at ​night without a smile on your ​face!

Genie DiChiazzo

Parent of special needs

Building Puzzles Under Water ​introduces a bold and ​humorous voice to the autism ​conversation. Carrie Holzer's ​vulnerable telling of her son's ​story hooked me from the very ​start. I felt fully invested by the ​time Cam first climbed onto a ​school bus, and more so with ​each milestone.

Amy Camp

This is such a genuine and ​inspirational story

about life with kiddos on the ​spectrum, and I also find ​reassuring as a parent ​knowing there is always hope ​and opportunity. This is a

great read for autism parents ​and any parent who wants a ​fuller perspective on life.

Jeff Weinstein

Parent of special needs



From atypical to pretty damn typical, Cam has ​plenty of teenaged attributes from playing video ​games to telling fart jokes. But he also loves ​origami, has a great singing voice, and is a fantasic c​omic strip writer and illustrator.​ ​

And he still prefers doughnuts to cake​.

chevret bakery


Our thoughts and feelings flow like a river. If we try to stop the flow of a river, we will meet the resistance of the water. It is better to flow with it, and then we may be able to guide it in ways we want it to go.

- Thich Nhat Hanh

Instagram Outline Logo