Please note that you will not find any unfavourable reviews here. I only write reviews on books that I enjoyed reading.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

a friend like henry by nuala gardner (title and authors' name all lower case as depicted on book cover)

a friend like henry,written by Nuala Gardner and published by Sourcebooks is a parents' book about autism...with all the fluffy bits removed. Honest, blunt, significant, rewarding. A well written, meaningful and very readable book.

a friend like henry is a book that tells the reader how frustrating, enlightening and magical living with autism can be, both for the person on the spectrum and those that live in the world parallel to ours.
I am happy to say that at no time in this book is it ever implied that Dale should be 'cured' of his autism, it is obvious throughout the book that the search is for coping mechanisms and behavioral modification.

One of the things I enjoyed most was that Nuala does not claim that pet therapy is the only solution to the above dilemma but she does openly and honestly share one way of using an autistic child's obsession to their family's best advantage.

One of the things I disliked the most about this book (besides the use of all lower case for the title and author name), was the way it rewired all my emotions and made me cry every few pages. I found that I had to pace myself through this book by reading it in between several others in order to give my emotions a break. I nearly couldn't continue on reading it at the end but I am not going to tell you why, as it will 'ruin' the ending for you. However, I am happy that I did carry on.

After reading this book I am still convinced that our N3S is still the child most likely to be savaged by a dog but I picked up a few tips encouraging on behavioral modification which we will apply through other mediums.

The section where Dale 'speaks' at the end of the book along with Nuala's afterword are nice twists and are the perfect ending to what I feel is a triumph of literary honesty. This is a very special book.

I speak as both an adult Aspie and a mother of an Aspie child when I say that this book will break your heart into several pieces and then show you interesting new ways to put it back together again.


Leatherdykeuk said...

Thanks for the review! Gods! I have so much on my wish list!

Jamieson Wolf said...

What a vital and important book. Autism is, for some reason, largely overlooked and a lot of the aspects of the disability are missunderstood.

What a brave thing for Nuala to write and what an incredible book. I'll certainly have to pick it up. (Looks at towering To Be Read Pile which is leaning a little towards the left)


SueG said...

Sounds like a really important one. Thanks, Deej!

Megan said...

What a wonderful, insightful review

Caroline said...

Somone else told me that I must read this book.

This one is on my wishlist, but I know that it will break my heart.