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Customer Review

VINE VOICEon December 2, 2004
When Betsy, then 3 is first enrolled in school, she is autistic and nonverbal. Betsy's mother said that Betsy developed and spoke within normal limits until she was a year old.

Betsy's behavior fits the classic profile of Infantile Autism. She "self-stims" by rocking, squinting and engaging in other singular motor activities; she does not speak nor interact with anybody. School personnel tell the girl's mother that they can make no promises and will do what they can to help Betsy adopt more socially appropriate behaviors and self help skills.

Brownie, a male beagle mix and a dove are the ones who catch Betsy's attention. She is first captivated by the dove and by watching this free bird, she begins exploring her surroundings and interacting in small increments. She initially ignored Brownie, but he was determined to get her to play with him. In time, she befriends the lovable hound.

The only thing I didn't like in this book was when the author described autism as "a cold gray autistic world." Not necessarily. That neurotypical misperception cost this book one star. For a person with autism, the world is not necessarily bleak. Autism is a neurobiological condition that impedes communication and social skills to varying degrees, based upon the individual.

By the book's end, Betsy finds her way of soaring. To the author's credit, Betsy is not miraculously cured.
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