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Brains, Trains & Video Games (Living The Autism Life) [Kindle Edition]

Alicia Hart , Brianne Bolin , Tera Swango , Ewan Nees
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $12.99
Kindle Price: $2.99
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Book Description

Brains, Trains & Video Games: Living The Autism Life details the emotional, humorous and often profoundly insightful journey of an everyday family raising a child with autism. This is a book about life with Ewan—the center of one family's universe and the gravity that holds them together. Far from being the stressor that causes this family to disintegrate, autism has made this family what it is today. A family that laughs more than it cries, and a family that eagerly awaits for the next Ewanism to spring forth from the lips of this solar system’s sun. Over the years we have built a bridge between his world and ours, his brain and ours, and his perspective and ours. Join us on the journey we’ve taken to help create a world of possibility for our son—a world filled with words, thoughts, ideas, and love.

Alicia Hart, author of Brains, Trains & Video Games, is a wife, mother and advocate for children and adults with autism spectrum disorder. She has worked for various autism related agencies, early intervention programs, and has consulted with schools, hospitals, and other programs regarding autism spectrum disorders, feeding aversions, and augmentative and alternative communication. Alicia continues to write and has planned a series of books surrounding the autism life. The first book, Brains, Trains & Video Games, details their life through infancy, early intervention, augmentative and alternative communication, feeding problems, medical care and preschool. The next book in the series, Foods, Moods & Isms, is about a single year in the life of this family--a year of great change, difficult obstacles and an ever changing view of life. Foods, Moods & Isms was released on March 8, 2013. For more updates, please visit The Autism Life or the Alicia Hart -- Author Facebook page.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Alicia Hart...Wife...Mother...Writer...Connoisseur of fine candies and caffeinated beverages...Recognized authority regarding comfortable pajama pants. Find me on Facebook at The Autism Life or on Twitter at @TheAutismLife or at @EwanismOfTheDay.

Product Details

  • File Size: 476 KB
  • Print Length: 246 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1463794657
  • Publisher: Alicia Hart (June 3, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00548AL98
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #272,130 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
69 of 71 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Story, author portrays self as martyr January 24, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
When I saw this book, I picked it up for my Kindle right away. It looked intriguing. While I do not have a child diagnosed on the Autism spectrum, I have my suspicians that my son is an Aspie's kid. This book was interesting but it also disappointed me in a few ways.
First the good:
I like how strong Alicia is in fighting for her son. Sometimes a mother DOES know something isn't right.
I like how she tries to push her son passed doctor's expectations.
Her admission that it takes a lot of time and resources to help these children.
I like that she explains any of the terms and therapies used to help autistic kids.
Her appreciation for early intervention. Where I live that is very hard to get. All of those therapies would have to be paid for out of my pocket.

The stuff I didn't like so much:
Alicia portrays herself heavily as a martyr. She repeatedly talks about everything she sacrifices but only touches briefly on what her other children miss out on due to her hyper focus on Ewan. She also makes her husbands contribution sound almost incidental when his financial contribution (while at times not enough) was all they had.
Sections and details are repeated in the book almost as if someone else added them and didn't bother to check to see if that information had already been given. For example, the reason behind Skye's names is described twice in the book in different sections.
Making doctors out to be the enemy and that she is always right got grating after awhile. In this book, only the people who agree with her theories and methods are good, the rest are bad. But then she cautions, every kid is different so don't just copy what we did.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Engaging but lacking editing January 21, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I fully admit that I am not the parent of a spectrum child, but I am a teacher who has worked with a number of ASD kids. This book is a comprehensive insight into the life of a family with a child who is on the Autism Spectrum. However, it's not the best written thing I ever read. I would like it more if, like my high school English teachers used to stress, she would "show" instead of "tell" more of her information, and I wish someone had edited more carefully (She has used "complaisant" when she means "complacent," "persona non grata" for person who is (completely welcome but) not present, and "pronunciate." Am I being picky?). She also gives the same information several times within the book, as if she hasn't already told you before. That said, though, it's a really good story, and I'm learning a lot, and I'm quite sure that I would not have made my way through her life with as much calm and drive as she has.

I also have somewhat of an issue with the ending. She stopped the book on a very abrupt cliffhanger. It was as if she had written a 500 page book, and an editor said "this is waaaay two long. We're going to have to break it into two parts." So she just found a likely place and ripped the manuscript in half. I have no sense of closure. That said, though, I will likely read her next book when it comes out so that I can learn what happened to her son.

Overall, this book was highly engaging, but somewhat of a bumpy ride.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Life Story That Just Happens to Include Autism June 8, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
What a wonderful, enthralling book. I was unable to put it down. A read of about 7 hours.
While the title indicates it will be about Autism, it is also more. It is a glimpse into the struggles, challenges, and ultimate finding their way saga and LIFE story of the Nees/Hart family.

If anyone has dealt with Autism they will not only relate to this book but also learn from it. Hope is given as the readers see Ewan come out of the silence and corners of Autism to share his interest in trains and gameboys and connect with the world around him.I couldn't help but cry the 1st time Ewan, through aid of a communication device, asked for pancakes. By the end of the book Ewan will be well onto his way of finding his voice.

Alicia Hart is a fighter for her child, recognizing almost instantly that something is "different" with her Ewan, which ultimately will lead to the Autism diagnosis. Her never accept less then the best for him, comes across as she seeks help from Dr. after Dr., and therapist after therapist. We read of the family's walk with Early intervention services, Speech therapy, Eating specialists, and later battles with the school system and stressful IEP meetings.

The book gives an honest,intimate look into the trials of parenting a child with special needs and how it affects everyone in the family. The ups and downs, the fears, and then the acceptance of a limitless future.

The writing also comes across as a glimpse into a personal journal. The stories come to life of those that have dealt with and survived the heartbreak of divorce, addictions, financial pressures, family stresses, miscarriage, Cancer, and even death.

Everyone will find something to relate to in this book and will be left wanting more.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't stop reading it! June 7, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I downloaded the kindle app onto my iphone just for this book and thank goodness I did. I couldn't stop reading it, which says a lot considering I have two special needs kids of my own to care for and shuttle between multiple therapies and preschools. But I was so glad to have this book in my pocket and my hand so I could get back to it every time I found my hands empty for a moment or two. I only recently found Alicia Hart's 'The Autism Life' facebook page but love the insights and couldn't wait for this book to come out. I was not disappointed. On the one hand I learned first hand and in intimate detail how another family navigated the difficult systems of therapies, school districts and service providers that I am now doing with my children, and on the other hand I was riveted by the deeply personal story of a family with foibles and failings all exposed to the light, falling apart and coming together around one amazing little autistic boy. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has an autistic child, loves an autistic child or who works with autistic children. Ewan is a great example of just how much our kids can progress and achieve given the right tools and supports at the right times in their lives. And it is a good reminder to parents and educators that every autistic child is an individual and the most important thing is to address the individual strengths and challenges that every child presents. Parents need to look to therapists and educators for their years of experience, but therapists and educators need to look to the parents to get to know each particular child. Thank you Alicia for this wonderful book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars a worthwhile read
I have an autistic nephew and I could easily relate to many of these accounts. It was well written and an eye opener to the struggles and joys of loving someone with autism.
Published 7 days ago by J. Wilson
2.0 out of 5 stars Not very helpful
I felt with each turn of the page I was reading the page before. The book seemed to revolve more around the mother more than her son. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Kim Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars so insightful...
While no one in my family is ASD, I have a brother who exhibits a couple of traits.. This book gives me some insight into what may be going on in his minds and hopefully gives me... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jenni
4.0 out of 5 stars Autism Assessment
If you are coping with parental or learning issues, this book will help you to determine and define communications issues relating to Autism and any life issues related to Autism.
Published 2 months ago by J. Jorgenson
2.0 out of 5 stars Nice story
It was a good story but poorly written and in need of substantial editing.Too much padding and way too much repetition
Published 3 months ago by Rosemary Butt
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Enjoyed the book immensely. Helped me see the other side of the coin. Understand a little more of what parents go through.
Published 3 months ago by June Morgan
2.0 out of 5 stars There's a Lot in This Story of Interest, But ...
There is clearly much that this author is anxious to share with her audience, and some of it is well worth reading, but parts of the book are very rambling and repetitive. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Judy T
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent insight into how autism affects a family
I'm an early interventionist, and this book was enlightening -- how we're viewed through a parent's eyes. I'm looking forward to reading the next book and following Ewan's progress
Published 7 months ago by T. sharpe
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart touching story
A wonderful truthful telling of a loving, caring family. Looking forward to reading her next book to see how they face his illness.
Published 9 months ago by vivianmae
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
This was an interesting read - wish there was more focus on the various aspects of autism and kids than on personal marriage relationship...
Published 10 months ago by G. Moore
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More About the Author

Alicia Hart, author of Brains, Trains & Video Games, is a wife, mother and advocate for children and adults with autism spectrum disorder. She has worked for various autism related agencies, early intervention programs, and has consulted with schools, hospitals, and other programs regarding autism spectrum disorders, feeding aversions, and augmentative and alternative communication. Alicia continues to write and has planned a series of books surrounding the autism life. The first book, Brains, Trains & Video Games details their life through infancy, early intervention, medical care and preschool. The second book in the series, Foods, Moods & Isms: Living the Eosinophilic Life, was released on March 8, 2013.

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