Sunday 23 August 2009

Saving Ben: A Father's Story of Autism

Title: Saving Ben: A Father's Story of Autism
Author: Dan E. Burns
Publisher: University of North Texas Press
Reading Level: Adult
Rating: 3

My niece is on the Autism spectrum so I let my sister Amy review this book for me. Here is what she thought!

Thanks to the author Dan Burns for sending me this book!!

Each year thousands of children are diagnosed with autism, a devastating neurological disorder that profoundly affects a person's language and social development. Saving Ben is a story of one family coping with autism, told from the viewpoint of a father struggling to understand his son's strange behavior and rescue him from a downward spiral. "Take him home, love him, and save your money for his institutionalization when he turns twenty-one." That was the best advice his doctor could offer in 1990 when three-year-old Ben was diagnosed with autism. Saving Ben tells the story of Ben's regression as an infant into the world of autism and his journey toward recovery as a young adult. His father, Dan Burns, puts the reader in the passenger's seat as he struggles with medical service providers, the school system, extended family, and his own limitations in his efforts to pull Ben out of his darkening world. Ben, now 21 years old, is a work in progress. The full force and fury of the autism storm have passed. Using new biomedical treatments, repair work is underway. Saving Ben is a story of Ben's journey toward recover, and a family story of loss, grief, and healing. "Keep the faith, never give up." These are the lessons of the author's miraculous journey, saving Ben.

This book is a true life experience of a father dealing with accepting his son's severe autism and fighting for his hopeful recovery. It isn't for the faint of heart and if you're looking for a fairy tale recovery this book won't end with one. It does, however, show an amazing story about a man who wouldn't give up on his son! You can almost feel the author's grief, discouragement, and hopelessness at times. You also feel his immense love and determination on his son's behalf. If you need an inspiring story about acceptance then this is it!

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