There's a Boy in Here: Emerging from the Bonds of Autismby Judy Barron, Sean Barron Published 01 Jan 2002
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This is a view from inside the mind of autism—a dual autobiography written in point-counterpoint style by Judy Barron and her son, Sean Barron. Together, they chronicle Sean’s young life and the effects of autism on him and his family. As a youngster, Sean was confrontational, uncontrollable, “isolated and desperately unhappy.” Baffled about how to interact with others, he felt “like an alien from outer space.” Then, at seventeen, Sean experienced a breakthrough that began his release from autism. Today he’s a public speaker, college student, and reporter—and close to his family. You absolutely must read this book.
"There's a Boy in Here: Emerging from the Bonds of Autism" Reviews
As far as books go about autism... this is the best one. I met the author at a lecture he gave at the Rutgers DDDC. He has autism and functions on a much higher level than he did when he was a child. The book bounces back and forth telling stories from his childhood, first told by his mother, then the same story in his point of view. It makes you understand how something so bizarre to most people can be so completely "normal" to someone else.
I found an old copy of this book at a little thrift store. It intrigued me because I have a child with special needs. It is a very powerful and insightful book detailing the journey of a family with a child with autism in the late 1960s - early 1970s. The book is written in parallel with the son, now grown, and the mom writing their memories of this difficult childhood. It is a wonderful story of victory over obstacles, perseverance through pain and opposition, and the emergence of one young man from the grips of autism.
This book was extremely interesting because of the subject matter. It was written by a mother and a son( who is autistic) about what his life was like growing up. Even more interesting was the mother's perspective. She and her husband had no help to cope with him. It wasn't until he was 6 that they even had a name. They just knew he was different.
This book is like everything... you feel the pain in every view. you go up and down, cry and laugh with this family while they are growing their child.
one of the best book I've ever read.
The book is the experience of one family and one autistic boy at a time (1965 at age 4) when very little was known about the disease.
It is not a “how to” book for getting children to emerge the disease.
As autobiographical material and an excellent character study of a family struggling to cope, I highly recommend this book.
Upon reading it, one must believe the parents to be some kind of saints for having not only put up with, but loved and supported such a child as Sean whose hyperactive, compulsive, irrational, cold-blooded behavior made him appear a devil-child.
Most of our sympathies lie with the parents, particularly Judy in the early stages. But two strong images come to mind that clearly depict Sean’s tormented life: his cowering in a corner of Dr. Rossi’s office after the doctor spanked him and his running after the family car on the grounds of Beechbrook begging to be taken home.
The device using Sean’s narration to counter his mother’s to explain his behavior is well-served. He allows us inside his tortured mind as much as he can with memories of why he loved to throw things down the heat register (to see where they would go and how far; what was down there), why he played games with people (needed to control conversations; needed attention), why he couldn’t stop doing repetitive destructive actions (sometimes to see how things work; fascination with movement; it was his only satisfaction) and why he hated his mother (she stopped him from doing the things he loved to do).
All emotions are in play in this book from love to hate, anger to pity. On one occasion father Ron destroys Sean’s room, so frustrated and angry with the years of destruction on Sean’s part. We empathize with his behavior, just as we do with Judy’s frustration that keeps her yelling and hitting Sean.
In his teen years we see Sean’s growth, now more visually than ever before. We see him progressing in school with greater rewards, more mature behavior and more effort on his part to relate to the real world. Ultimately, the biggest payoff of all, seeing Sean as he is today, working, functioning and loving. We “see” him writing this book, over the phone with his mother, a woman he despised, a woman he couldn’t even look at. It does give one hope.
This is the story of a family struggling to deal with a child with autism told from the perspective of the mother and the son with autism who are both trying to understand and cope at a time when little was known about this condition.