Reviews

I Gave Him My Best Shot

This book is a fictional story of a family: two parents with two boys, the youngest of whom has autism

This book is a fictional story of a family: two parents with two boys, the youngest of whom has autism.

It describes the behaviours often displayed by people with high-functioning autism, and these will be familiar to many readers who have experience in this area.

The book also offers insights into the stress such behaviours can place on a marriage and the depth of emotions, including guilt, resentment, anger and anxiety, that parents of children with autism can feel.

The story describes the sacrifices the central character’s brother makes throughout his life to support his parents and his brother, all as such is a good illustration of the invaluable role of siblings.

Although fiction, this book is written with a great deal of insight, care and passion about the experience of autism, and would be a useful read for learning disability professionals.

As a novel, however, it is less successful. It starts with a bang, literally, but then peters out. Many of the plot twists are predictable and some of the main characters are difficult to warm to because they seem too self-absorbed, impulsive or naïve.

Nevertheless, this would be a good read for anyone new to working with people with autism because of its useful insights about the potential stresses on their families, but is not an essential read for experienced professionals.

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