Top critical review
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Mixed feelings as a reader and ASD parent
on May 27, 2012
As a reader, I think this book is enlightening and inspiring. I am grateful for Carly opening her life and her struggle for the general public to learn and to witness. As the parent of a child with autism, I found the financial and resource discrepancy between Carly's family and many families in this situation start to grind. The list of advantages quickly left me feeling detached from this family: full-time nanny, upper middle-class home/neighborhood, full-time (and weekend) therapists, summer camps for all the children, attorneys, vacations, and people giving up time and resources in every crisis.) Instead of feeling hopeful, I quit reading at page 223 when a neighbor offers to renovate her house to accommodate Carly living there four days a week. I know it may sound harsh, even envious--it is. But I wanted to hear about a regular family's triumph over autism--I hoped to hear about how we, too, may overcome autism. But without even a fraction of these resources, I am left feeling helpless. My husband and I haven't gone on a date in two years. Friends and family shake their heads and "tsk, tsk" over our situation, but no one offers us three hours A MONTH, let alone home renovations. I'm just not sure who the audience is for this book. Mostly because I don't personally know of any family with these resources. I would just caution other autism parents wanting to read a story about family struggle to be aware of this element to the book. Could Carly have improved enough to communicate if she didn't have 24/7 professional staff for the first 10 years of her life? Could her parents have stayed married if they didn't have four days a week without her home? My intent is not to trash the family. It's great that they were able to give their daughter and family so much. My intent is to say that had I known this part of the story, I doubt I would have purchased this book. It left me feeling depressed about what I can offer my child and hopeless for such a recovery for him.