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Dancing with Max: A Mother and Son Who Broke Free Kindle Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 187 customer reviews

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Length: 209 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews


Being a parent of a child with special needs can be isolating and difficult – and a challenge when it comes to faith – or so Colson found her experience with her now 19-year-old son, Max. In Dancing with Max: A Mother and Son Who Broke Free, Colson shares her experience. Colson – whose husband left when Max was an infant – was overwhelmed with the lack of progress Max was making early on as she saw others his age get along in life just fine, while she suffered through his repeated setbacks and, at times, embarrassing incidents. Finally finding answers, she discovered that Max had autism, enabling her to move forward and grow with Max. In sharing her discovery of God’s gift to Max seeing the world with a different but uncluttered view, Colson will bring hope and encouragement to those who have a child with autism. The book includes a prologue and epilogue by author – and Max’s grandfather – Charles Colson. (Christian Retailing)

From the Back Cover

Meet a remarkable young man. Max doesn't communicate like we do. But he communicates better than we do about the most important things. Max doesn't think like we do. But his actions reflect deep spiritual truths. With candor and wit, Emily Colson shares about her personal battles and heartbreak when, as a suddenly single mother, she discovers her only child has autism. Emily illuminates the page with imagery---making you laugh, making you cry, inspiring you to face your own challenges. Chuck Colson, in his most personal writing since Born Again, speaks as a father and grandfather. It is a tender side Max brings out of his grandfather, a side some haven't seen. As Emily recalls her experiences, we discover that Max's disability does not so much define who he is, but reveals who we are. Dancing with Max is not a fairy tale with a magical ending. It's a real life story of grace and second chances and fresh starts in spite of life's hardest problems. And Max? Max will make you fall in love with life all over again, leaving you dancing with joy.

Product Details

  • File Size: 730 KB
  • Print Length: 209 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Zondervan (September 7, 2010)
  • Publication Date: September 7, 2010
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishing
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003Z0CMO4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #263,748 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Emily Colson is the daughter of Charles Colson. She is an artist and writer. After many years as an art and creative director in the field of advertising and design, she now pours her creative gifts into helping her son Max, who is diagnosed with autism. She has even pioneered an innovative communication system to assist her son. Emily has been a single mother for most of Max's 19 years, with hard-fought lessons of life, love, and laughter. Emily and Max live on the coast of New England where they can often be found dancing.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is one of the best books I've read all year.

First time author Emily Colson, daughter of well known author Chuck Colson, has written an honest, gritty, and ultimately uplifting story about her struggles as a single mother who discovers her son is autistic. Colson writes with a great sense of humor as well.

Two of the best chapters in the book are GRIEVING THE DREAM and ORDER FROM CHAOS.
The story within the story, however, chronicles Emily's relationship through the years with her father. Through the ups and downs, eventually we find out just how much Max changes not only her life, but the elder Colson's as well.

One of my favorite quotes from the author is this..."Max is not a burden; he is my greatest gift. I'm not about to give up. I'm just not sure I can keep going."

But you know she will. And anyone who reads this book will learn great lessons as well.
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Format: Hardcover
Dancing With Max takes you on a journey through parenting and faith. The author does not tell a story from start to finish, instead she weaves a tale of parenting over two generations with real life getting in the way. This book was fabulous! As the parent of a special needs child I found Dancing With Max to be a realistic, humorous look at some of the challenges special families face. It inspired me and made me want to be a better parent. It made me laugh out loud and yes, cry sometimes too. Colson says many times in her book that her son is "A gift from God". This is so true and I am thankful to be reminded of this! Great read!
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Format: Hardcover
This is a quick, easy to read story that will make you laugh and cry, and is all the more endearing because it is true. Many of us, me included, have a family member or friend touched by Autism. In spite of the challenges, I think anyone who knows someone Autistic will agree that these folks are special and wonderful and here to teach us to be more like them.

This is an honest, touching, sweet, realistic, superb book. I own it and bought a copy for all of my siblings for Christmas. Highly recommended read.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I've never heard of Charles Colson, the religious speaker who was involved in Watergate and who is the father of the author of this book, but after reading this, even as a fairly non-religious person, I want to find out more about him. He obviously did something very right in raising his daughter Emily. I was very moved by this memoir of her life raising her autistic son Max. More than most any other book I've read, she demonstrates how I'd like to be raising Janey, my autistic daughter. She starts, finishes and puts first always just loving Max, accepting him for who he is, not trying to change him for the sake of making him more "normal", but only to help him be happier. She delights in his special interests, like Audis or industrial fridges or bridges. One hilarious moment is when they are visiting a specialist, and although Max is not inclined to talk while they are there, he does say what he wants to do after the visit---go to the liquor store. He doesn't explain what Emily knows, that he wants to see their refridgeration! Max isn't cured, and it doesn't seem that Emily spends a lot of time asking "why?". What she does is see how Max affects those around him, and how he brings out acts of kindness, like that of the Volvo dealer who spent an hour with Max showing him the new S70.

With autism on the rise as it is, it's going to affect almost everyone out there at one time or another. Emily often mentions people who come in contact with Max and later have an autistic child in their family themselves. I know for some reason, as a child I was often drawn to accounts of autistic children. I am not religious enough to say God was preparing me for Janey, but sometimes I am starting to wonder if that was the case. I hope someone someday reading this book is prepared in the way I was to accept and love their own unique child with autism.
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Format: Hardcover
If I could sum this book up in one word, it would be joy! Emily Colson's son is autistic and picked out this to read because my brother is too. Her son, Max was considered "severely autistic which sets him apart from many of the books written about autistic children. As my brother is too, I was very interested in this book. When Max was finally diagnosed as autistic, her marriage broke up. Her husband became distant and not involved with Max. This is common among families with an autistic child. The going from doctor to doctor, endless testing wears the couple down.
Even though her son was born much later than my brother, the same problems with the educational system, getting treatment, and specialists were there for her. She was forced to find new ways for Max to learn, to accept his limitations and be thankful for his special way of seeing the world. What I loved most about this book is Max's joy when he discovered something; he loved whether it is church services, refrigerators, the car seats of a special Volvo car. Also, the realization that it is not too late for Max to learn, the window theory is wrong. People with autism can learn after they are a few years old. I know that from my brother and she knows that from Max. This book is full of heartbreak and disappointment but the joy and fun in life shine much brighter. I would recommend this book to everyone.
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