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76 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seminal Work on ABA method, family style
When my fourth child was diagnosed with "PDD", I was happy. That was how ignorant I was--I thought it meant he wasn't autistic! Six years and one more autistic child later, I still credit this book with giving me a foothold and a way of grasping how to deal with the educational interventions that I feel continue to remain most viable for so many autistic...
Published on March 31, 2000 by Jean Baldridge Yates

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43 of 51 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Autism is not a "fate worse than death"
This is a well-written and interesting book. Catherine Maurice's devastating criticisms of the fraudulent therapies which attempt to make mothers feel guilty for their children's autism would alone make the book worth reading.
However, I have three very major concerns about the book.
The first is that Maurice presents Lovaas's version of ABA as the only...
Published on March 27, 1999


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76 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seminal Work on ABA method, family style, March 31, 2000
This review is from: Let Me Hear Your Voice: A Family's Triumph over Autism (Paperback)
When my fourth child was diagnosed with "PDD", I was happy. That was how ignorant I was--I thought it meant he wasn't autistic! Six years and one more autistic child later, I still credit this book with giving me a foothold and a way of grasping how to deal with the educational interventions that I feel continue to remain most viable for so many autistic children. I had nothing but my own gut feelings, one other book called "Children with Autism", and this book to guide me in the beginning stages of what would prove to be the longest, most incredible journey I have ever made in my life. It's still evolving, and so are we, in my family.
Because of this book, I garnered the strength to look into educational intervention for my first autistic son in the way of a "home program". I didn't know anything about what a "home program" entailed until I read this book. I didn't know that the optimal time you must devote to a program such as this has been set at 40 hours a week! I didn't know that there wouldn't be any trained therapists available--I had to be trained myself, in fact! I found babysitters, one high school girl, you name it--at one point I was so desparate I dissolved in tears and said, "I CAN'T DO THIS! " But you have to. YOU JUST HAVE TO. And you will, too, because you must.
As my supervisor said to me when she "okayed" us for the program, "Look at it this way--two years of your life will make such a difference." And it did. Not the sucess story the author had, but at least a sense of control over things and an awareness of my son's potential.
This book gave me something to hang on to. I realize now, especially after having a second autistic son, that not all things go as planned, and not all "programs" turn out as ideally as Maurice's did. On the other hand, you must have hope when you are an autistic parent. This book gave me that. And it gave me an understanding of an invaluable way of teaching young autistic children that is still the primary way they are taught most sucessfully (it is called Applied Behavioral Analysis now)that I needed, just to get started in the right direction. Buy it and read it. Use your brain when you read it and accept the fact that all these kids are different and you are not this woman. But be thankful. She wrote THE GROUNDBREAKING BOOK on this type of intervention.
best wishes, Jean
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous!!, January 7, 2002
This review is from: Let Me Hear Your Voice: A Family's Triumph over Autism (Paperback)
When I read some of the comments about this book I was really saddened. I can agree that there is no "cure" for autism, but I must also note that Applied Behavioral Analysis, being the therapy of choice for the Maurice family, has given my child a new life.
This book is different because it offers parents hope: It clearly describes the trials a family endures as they struggle to bring their autistic child into their world. There is absolutely nothing wrong with fighting this disorder. After all, we should all want the very best for our children. We should all want our children to be able to function normally in society.
I have patiently read through every review and wish to make a few comments of my own, having implemented an ABA program with my now 3-year old son, for nine months. ABA is rigorous therapy. It requires time and effort on everyone involved. But, it is worth every struggle, be it financial or otherwise. In no way has ABA therapy, as described in this book, harmed my child. I have not met anyone, nor have I heard of a family, who was not thrilled with the progress made by his/her/their child through ABA therapy. Our child has gained two years worth of development within a six-month period of having ABA therapy. In fact, my child scored a 37.5 (a half point above severely autistic) on the CARS (childhood autism rating scale) and is now considered to have "no autistic symptoms." We are also advocates for the Gluten-Free/Casein-Free Dietary Intervention; both ABA and dietary intervention are responsible for our son's miraculous progress...backed by lots of prayers.
My husband and I cannot technically "afford" ABA therapy. We cannot afford to hire endless nannies and therapists. But I'll tell you what we have done, we have FOUND a way to do this therapy. Where there is a will, there is a way. We took out a home equity loan, got a newspaper article, had fundraisers, sold our cars, did craft shows, bake sales...and we're still pursuing our insurance companies. We even asked our families for help. We pay our bills week-by-week. And we do it for our son. We cannot put a price tag on his future. This therapy takes some getting used to, but it is worth any effort one can give. Our child hasn't had 40 hours every week. In fact, he's made steady progress with 20-32 hours every week. Don't make excuses for your child's autism when you can do something about it. The progression of autism CAN be reversed. There are many ways to cut costs and do this therapy. But it does require effort, dedication, consistency, and time.
I love this book and I recommend it to anyone who wants a true account of what it is like to see one's child break out of autism. You may decide that the therapies implemented by the Maurice family are not for you...but that should not hinder you from at least pursuing the possibility of implementing ABA therapy. Read the book. It is a great reference, and if you wish to do the therapy, good for you. Your child will thank you one day.
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53 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An extraordinary book., March 16, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Let Me Hear Your Voice: A Family's Triumph over Autism (Paperback)
Six months ago my 3 year-old son was correctly diagnosed as having PDD. The experts that examined him told us that there was no cure for it, and the best thing we could try would be play therapy. I read the books that they recommended on that subject, but I was not convinced by them. Fortunately, via the internet I found this book and the other one by C. Maurice, that is, "Behavioral intervention for young children with autism". Everything looked so convincing that I decided to try ABA right away. I did not hire any therapist, but started to work with my son several hours a day following the suggestions of those two books. My son made an extraordinary progress. In six months all the signs of PDD were gone, acording to new evaluations, and in some areas he is above average, like in cognitive skills. Thank you Catherine Maurice. Without your books I would probably have lost my son forever.
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43 of 51 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Autism is not a "fate worse than death", March 27, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Let Me Hear Your Voice: A Family's Triumph over Autism (Paperback)
This is a well-written and interesting book. Catherine Maurice's devastating criticisms of the fraudulent therapies which attempt to make mothers feel guilty for their children's autism would alone make the book worth reading.
However, I have three very major concerns about the book.
The first is that Maurice presents Lovaas's version of ABA as the only possible option, ignoring the fact that there are other educational methods (such as TEACCH, Greenspan, or the various other techniques within the behavioural field such as the Koegels' modifications of ABA), which also have solid scientific evidence backing them.
Secondly, she also ignores the experts who have raised doubts about Lovaas's claim to have effected complete "recoveries" from autism, and who have pointed out that greatly improving a child's level of functioning, while vitally important, is not the same as a "cure". I've seen too many parents who read Maurice's book and immediately start to plan on the basis that after a few years of Lovaas treatment, their child will be completely normal. The overwhelming balance of evidence is that as a rule autistic children grow up to be autistic adults. We (I have high-functioning autism) may grow up to be independent, happy and successful adults, such as Dr. Temple Grandin, but we remain "different", and often experience great stress from the constant pressure placed on us by families and society to be more "normal".
Thirdly, I was worried by the way in which she constantly treats autism as a tragedy and a fate worse than death, and speaks of dragging her children kicking and screaming out of autism, forcing them to be "normal". Autism certainly doesn't make life easy (and I work with kids with severe autism combined with severe mental retardation, so I know just how difficult it can be), but nonetheless it's also part of who I am, not a "shell" in which there is a normal person hidden away. How would you feel if you found out that your parents viewed who you are as a tragedy to be cured at all costs?
ABA can be a very useful way of teaching, but I'm worried about people who use it not to teach children but to try to "force" them to be normal. There's a big difference between trying to help someone learn and function better and trying to "fix" them by turning them into someone else completely.
I'd recommend that people who read this should not make it their only book on autism - they should also read a more general account of autism giving information on the condition itself and on various methods of educating autistic children, and also a first-person account such as those written by Dr. Grandin.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Melissa Albert's review is filled with inaccuracies, June 5, 2006
This review is from: Let Me Hear Your Voice: A Family's Triumph over Autism (Paperback)
Like Catherine Maurice, I have two children that were diagnosed with autism at age two; one in 1994 and the other in 1996. I am a registered nurse and a long-time autism advocate. My kids are at opposite ends of the spectrum at this point but both were very severe at diagnosis. I cannot help but wonder what field Ms. Albert is in; perhaps a restaurant reviewer? She appears to have so little basic knowledge of autism, its symptoms and effective evidence-based treatments. Do you have or know any children with autism Ms. Albert? The Maurice kids displayed very classic signs of autism and the doctors that diagnosed them and later published a study detailing their descent into autism and recovery are some of the most respected autism experts in the country. To question their credibility and the reality of her children's diagnosis just makes Ms. Albert look foolish. And to actually endorse Martha Welch's holding therapy, which borders on child abuse, along with other useless or unproven treatments just adds to the absurdity of her claims.

Look, Catherine Maurice never offered anyone false or unrealistic hope, she just offered some hope and information back when there was none. It is true that sometimes parents can cling to someone's story and hope that their experience will be the same, but I for one was glad to know that autism was not necessarily a "nightmare without end." She never claimed that ABA would recover all or even most kids, but study after study shows that some children make incredible gains, and some actually do lose their diagosis after years of intensive treatment. Catherine Maurice shared her journey into the world of autism, including her mistakes and doubts, very eloquently and truthfully. How many could put themselves out there and detail this highly emotional experience? Why would anyone bother with bullies like Melissa Albert? While we are all entitled to an opinion, we should be responsible enough to check facts before discrediting an author's story. And lastly, slamming Catherine Maurice for being wealthy is just over-the-top and unfair. Autism strikes families from all socio-economic classes and her experience was as heart-wrenching as mine. So she found a therapy that worked for her kids but she should not take the time to tell parents about it because she is wealthy? How easy it would have been to dismiss autism from her life after her kids recovered, and just move on. She wanted to help other parents and write an honest account of her family's experience. And she did help. Today school districts and states are starting to offer funding for ABA, in major part because of her book and the published studies of many fine researchers and clinicians. I feel blessed to have learned about ABA through Catherine Maurice's book "Let Me Hear Your Voice" and I will always be grateful to her for offering my family that light in the night to guide our way.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging and Inspiring, October 18, 2002
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This review is from: Let Me Hear Your Voice: A Family's Triumph over Autism (Paperback)
I began my journey into the world of autism when my 3-year-old son was diagnosed with PDD. At the time, you could have fit my knowledge of autism onto the head of a pin. LET ME HEAR YOUR VOICE was one of several books I purchased on Amazon and the first one I read once they arrived.
My son's diagnosis left me utterly devastated. By the time I finished reading this book, I felt someone had turned on the light so I could begin to find my way. I was buoyed by the simple fact that recovery IS possible and this book served as a roadmap for me. I had also purchased Making a Difference: Behavioral Intervention for Autism - also by Catherine Maurice and began my own ABA program at home while awaiting my son's admission into a Special Ed preschool program. By the time my son began school 2 months later, the teachers and therapists were wondering why he'd been diagnosed with PDD as he was markedly different from other PDD kids. Now, less than 2 years later, his score on the CARS is in the non-autistic range.
ABA is not the only treatment or cure and it is not for every child, but I believe it can bring about improvements that otherwise would not occur spontaneously. While the book is a strong advocate of ABA, it is a wonderful book to read for those who are new to the world of Autism. Giving this book as a gift would be one of the most thoughtful things you could ever do. If I had not read this book, it is doubtful I would have acquired the knowledge of autism I now have - this book was a primer for the sort of education I hope NO parent needs, but if they do, LET ME HEAR YOUR VOICE is the place to start.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Giving children with autism a voice for effective treatment, November 28, 2006
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This review is from: Let Me Hear Your Voice: A Family's Triumph over Autism (Paperback)
As a professor and clincian trained in applied behavior analysis, I generally tell students that four major events profoundly affected the future outlook for children with autism: 1) The publication of Lovaas's 1987 study in which nearly half of children treated with an applied behavior analytic (ABA) program "recovered" (with a substantial additional number of children making substantial progress), 2) the publication of Cooper, Heron, and Heward's professional book "Applied Behavior Analysis," 3) the publication of Maurice's powerful book "Let Me Hear Your Voice," and 4) the founding of a standardized certification credential for professionals in behavior analysis by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. The first event (Lovaas's 1987 study) laid out the objective empirical evidence supporting the use of ABA with children with autism. The second (the Cooper et al book) described the thousands of evidence-based techniques and principles of learning that make up the science of ABA. The third event (the Maurice book) popularized the idea for many thousands of people that recovery from autism was possible and that there was a science-based treatment approach that could lead to such recovery. The fourth event (certification in ABA) came about, to a large extent, from the demand for ABA services generated by Maurice's book.

As "old" as Maurice's book is now, to date there are still no controlled peer-reviewed studies that have demonstrated the effectiveness of any of the alternative treatments for autism (many of which were described in Maurice's book). On the other hand, studies examining and confirming the effectiveness of ABA continue to appear in peer-reviewed scientific journals (most recently a replication of Lovaas's 1987 study by Sallows and Graupner in 2005 that found the same "recovery" rate of nearly half the children with autism that were treated). Despite this continued reliability of effectiveness, ABA is still attacked by its critics as "inhumane," "rigid," or something that generates "robotic children" even though there has never been a scrap of empirical evidence to support such mischaracterizations. ABA continues to be ignored by many school districts as the intervention of choice for autism despite its impressive track record. It continues to be naively derided by popular educational "advocates" such as Alfie Kohn (see his books "Punished By Rewards" and "Unconditional Parenting"). It continues to be denied funding from insurance companies who have no problem funding other less expensive non-evidence-based "treatments." Fortunately, Maurice is still fighting pseudoscience and advocating for science-based autism intervention through her work in the Association for Science in Autism Treatment, her speeches, and through her other books ("Behavior Intervention for Young Children with Autism" for example). She continues to inspire parents and professionals alike to do what is ethically right for our children: to teach them to speak, to teach them to love, to teach them to learn! so that THE CHILDREN have the tools to decide who they want to be and what they want to do in life. There can be no more noble endeavor than helping this happen for our kids.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, just a bit dated at this point, May 18, 2006
This review is from: Let Me Hear Your Voice: A Family's Triumph over Autism (Paperback)
As a special ed teacher of an autistic classroom, I found this book very interesting. It was written at a time when ABA treatment for autism was a little known and cutting edge treatment, whereas now you can barely Google the word 'autism' without countless ABA references. As a result, Ms. Maurice describes a journey through a world of therapy options that have fallen by the wayside in today's treatment world...play therapy, holding therapy, and the like. This book is famous because it helped, in part, to make ABA the widely used therapy it is today.

As others have noted, a part of me does wonder how much of the two recoveries in this book were attributable to ABA. I think it was a factor, but I think there were likely other factors at play as well. Many children receive 40+ hours of this therapy a week with widely varied levels of success...if I remember correctly, Anne-Marie was only getting about 10 hours a week (well below the number of hours required for ABA to show effectiveness in controlled studies) and yet she fully recovered in less than two years. Autism is not an all or nothing proposition...I'm sure the therapy aided in their recovery but it seems likely that these children were also high functioning to begin with.

I did appreciate Ms. Maurice's take on some of the older treatments for autism that were in widespread use at the time. I think play therapy is fine if it's being used to teach skills...as in, let's hide the balls 'in', 'on', and 'under' the furniture to learn about prepositions. I disagree with the type of play therapy described in the book, however, which seems to operate on the idea that autistic children are emotionally disturbed and need psychological healing in order to recover. The same basic idea is used in holding therapy. I don't think it can be said enough...autism is NOT, I repeat NOT, a psychological problem. It is a neurological difference that is present from birth or develops soon thereafter. Unless a child is severely neglected or physically abused to the point of neurological injury, autism is NOT caused by bad parenting (or by any particular style of parenting at all, for that matter). So even if I don't agree with the super pro-Lovaas-style-ABA philosophy of this book, I thought Maurice made an important point there.
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23 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Book Saved Us From Dark Aged Autism Treatment, April 21, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Let Me Hear Your Voice: A Family's Triumph over Autism (Paperback)
Thank God for Catherine Maurice and sharing her story.This was the most accurate book that explained autism to me.As a nurse practitioner I find It difficult many pediatricians,to whom parents first turn can not recognize the early symptoms of this disorder.This book was my story also.I asked many so called experts what they thought and was told this treatment forced them to be normal,it was adversive,the treatment was expensive.I lost 1 year of my son's life listening to these people who also told me that my child would never speak.The shell of a child that was in my home is now a little boy.He talks in sentence's, read's, write's and attend's a typical kindergarten class.YES ABA/DT is a long hard road to be on but if your determined to save your child with a method of scientifically proven therapy for the most effective result's this is it.I tried the DARK AGED WAY first for 1 year,what a wasted year it was.My son will always have autism he isnt one of the recovered children,but the effectiveness of this method has worked for this family and his level of functioning has improved dramatically. Remember science work's and I have the data (4 yrs now)to prove it.I owe ton's of gratitude to Catherine Maurice as if you never shared your story we'd still be in the dark ages.Please Catherine help us Advocate and Educate the public and medical professional's so NO more children get lost in the DARK AGES.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars With great appreciation to Catherine Maurice, September 23, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Let Me Hear Your Voice: A Family's Triumph over Autism (Paperback)
I can not begin to express the amount of appreciation I have towards Catherine Maurice. Many people who have autistic children may read her book and wonder why this woman was deemed lucky enough to save not one, but two of her children from autism. I believe that she was successful not only for completely dedicating herself to her children, but also because of the book she would write for others as well. After finding out that our daughter has PDD our lives changed. If it weren't for Catherine's book, I don't know where I would have found the strength to help our daughter. Although we are greatful that her diagnosis was on the mild end of the spectrum we still had no idea how to help her. She was already in a special ed play group and receiving tons of speech OT and PT. I had never heard of ABA therapy. It was friend of mine who put me in touch with someone who runs an ABA program that I got my first real education in ABA. By some miracle I connected with a two fantastic ABA therapists who was trained by a top professional. My daughter had an immediate connection with her, and in the short six months that have past we have seen a dramatic difference in her behaviors. No two people have the same experiences in life and no two parents will have the same reaction when their child is diagnosed with PDD. What I have learned from this book is that we owe it to our child to pull ourselves together as quick as possible so that we can perhaps foster our own "miracle." Throughout this process I have encountered countless kindred spirits who have intentionally or coincidentally came to our rescue. I do count Catherine Maurice as one of those spirits.
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Let Me Hear Your Voice: A Family's Triumph over Autism
Let Me Hear Your Voice: A Family's Triumph over Autism by Catherine Maurice (Paperback - July 19, 1994)
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