I first heard about this book from my mother, and immediately put it on my library hold queue. I just finished it today and I can only say that I’m very glad I did.
This is the story of parents who discover their son has severe autism. After so many struggles, they get a golden retriever puppy they call Henry. Through Henry, Dale finally begins to interact with the world. This is an inspirational book – what amazing parents Dale and his younger sister Amy have – and much of their success is due to the hard work of Nuala and her husband Jamie.
It’s not an easy story – things got very bad before they started to get better, but it is a wonderful one. By the end, I felt I knew Dale (having his comments on various chapters added at the back helped) and was personally proud of him. I immediately went online to see if I could find out anything about what had happened to him since the book was published in 2007, and found some lovely pictures of him and his mother visiting a school that supports autistic children. I wish him, and his sister Amy, every success in the world.
Sometimes, a non-fiction book like this, near memoir type can be about an interesting subject, but not necessarily interesting to read. That was not the case here. Nuala Gardner writes very well and her story flows easily, through the rough times as well as the good. I am in awe of what she has done for her children and I’m glad her story is out there to inspire and hopefully help other parents in similar situations.
I’ve certainly never had to deal with anything like Nuala and Jamie did, but we’re coming to terms with an ADHD diagnosis at present and that has been hard enough at times. She’s an amazing lady who has done great things for her children.