Monday, September 24, 2007

RIP "A Friend Like Henry" by Nuala Gardner

It was beautiful and sunny when I got back to work after lunch so I left the sunroof down on my car

....and then completely forgot about it

...and it hosed down outside for at least an hour before I walked out the door at 5.10pm and saw what I had done.

I dont mind the wet seats so much - it is the fact I had a book on the passenger seat which is now a sodden mess that I am most upset about.

Title: A Friend Like Henry
Author: Nuala Gardner
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton Ltd

A Friend like Henry is the heart-warming true story of Nuala Gardner's battle with the British health system to diagnose and treat her son's autism.

Nuala chronicles her son Dale's rapid descent from a communicative, bubbly little boy into a stranger trapped in his own private autistic hell and the devastating toll his behaviour has on the family.

From obsessive repetitive actions and temper tantrums to losing all language skills, Nuala lays their lives bare for the readers to see including, with devastating honesty, her own inability to cope with her son's troubled behaviour.

Sadly, diagnosis and treatment is a long time coming for the Gardner family at a time (the late 1980s) when Autism was rarely heard of and little understood. Their efforts to ensure Dale has an normal a life as possible is also hampered by educators bent on excluding him from mainstream classrooms.

But the Gardner's lives are transformed when they welcomed a very special Golden Retriever into the family. The instant and intense bond between Dale and his new companion Henry help the family to produce the breakthroughs in Dale they had long sought. From taking a bath to saying 'I love you', Henry helps introduce Dale to all the normal activities parents take for granted, and sets him on the road to being the charming and well-adjusted young man he is today.

A tender and charming story of one family's struggle with autism A Friend Like Henry is also a fitting tribute to a devoted and talented dog who's unwavering love and devotion helped a little boy conquer autism.

No comments: