Monday, June 13, 2011

A short review of a dad's memoir

This is a thoughtful dad's perspective on what it's like to have a son with autism. The dad is Joel Yanofsky, a Montreal author and book reviewer. In addition to capturing the joys and frustrations of his relationship with son Jonah, we get a look at the impact of autism on a marriage. "Tantrums had become routine -- for Jonah and me," Joel writes. "He'd cry and rage, and I'd explode. I can't count the number of times I was exiled to the basement." "If you have to brood, brood there," (wife) Cynthia would say.

We follow Cynthia and Joel to counselling and through years of applied behavioural therapy. Joel gives us his take on a number of memoirs about parenting a child with autism, and interviews well-known writers and bloggers, including Estée Klar of The Joy of Autism and Emily Perl Kingsley, who wrote Welcome to Holland.

I found this book moving, funny, candid and ultimately hopeful. Louise