Walker Finds a Way: Running into the Adult World with Autism Hardcover – January 21, 2016
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- Hardcover : 240 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9781785920103
- ISBN-13 : 978-1785920103
- Dimensions : 6.26 x 0.67 x 9.21 inches
- Item Weight : 1.06 pounds
- Publisher : Jessica Kingsley Publishers (January 21, 2016)
- Language: : English
- ASIN : 1785920103
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,868,621 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Robert Hughes' second memoir about his autistic son (now an adult) is a page-turner with a "plot," humor, many allusions to literature and film, and triumphant moments amidst a truckload of difficulties.
The author invites us into his home and along on father-son excursions to see how Walker and his family deal with his "crippling inability to communicate." Instead of saying. "I must escape from this crowded, noisy place right now," Walker is more likely to shout "Car!" However, his father's insights and imagination often translate his son's thoughts for us, one of my favorite features of the text.
Though Walker can be difficult to handle at times, his family enjoys his cheerful nature and nurtures his happy smile. The story ends with a moment of pure joy for Walker, orchestrated by his parents and brother.
This book is about two challenges--1) successfully interacting with a severely handicapped person; and 2) negotiating with social service facilities that are supposed to be providing help. To accomplish both, what's needed? What the Hughes family has--love, patience, perseverance, and the ability to cherish small steps forward.
I’m keeping Walker Finds a Way and its companion, Running with Walker, on my writing desk so I can “go to church” with them when my spirit needs a boost. These books take us down the Road Less Traveled through the Slough of Despond up to “the leaping greenly spirits of trees and the blue true dream of sky” (e.e. cummings). Thanks, Hughes family, for the lift. Your journey mirrors my own. I’d do it again.
As the mother of an autistic young man, I nodded in recognition at so much of what Hughes shares about Walker’s, and his family’s, experience. More important, though, was what I learned, through the remarkable and hard-earned understanding Hughes and his wife, Ellen, have of their son, and their unwavering commitment to his welfare. Their insights are welcome food for thought in my own journey to understand what is in my son’s heart. “Walker Finds a Way” offers no saccharine “made for TV” cure or even false hope for this lifelong condition. Rather, it is an honest, authentic, deeply personal portrayal of a challenge met with strength, courage and transcendent love.
engaging with strangers, though his father would sometimes need to intervene when Walker's difficulties with conversing threatened or frightened those whom they met on their runs. The subtitle reflects the central issues this second memoir addresses: Running into the Adult World with Autism. Faced by the failure of institutions in the dysfunctional state of Illinois, Walker as an adult "runs into" the seemingly impossible challenges a young adult faces when autism limits his inability to function independently. Warm, touching, and again witty, this memoir made me smile, cry, and rage at the world Walker must navigate. A charming, moving book, it's brillantly written and engaging.