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A Real Boy: How Autism Shattered Our Lives - and Made a Family from the Pieces [Paperback]

Christopher Stevens
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
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Book Description

28 Feb 2008
This extraordinarily moving account describes the heartbreak, and the unexpected joy, of autism. With raw honesty, Christopher and Nicola Stevens lay bare their experiences, which are by turns harrowing, hilarious, and inspirational

Frequently Bought Together

A Real Boy: How Autism Shattered Our Lives - and Made a Family from the Pieces + The Reason I Jump: One Boy's Voice from the Silence of Autism + Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew: Updated and Expanded Edition
Price For All Three: 27.72

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Michael O'Mara Books; 1st Edition edition (28 Feb 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843172666
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843172666
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 13 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,541 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Christopher Stevens writes poignantly about life with his autistic son. It's a moving account of the boy's struggle to cope with a world that confuses him - and the extraordinary leap forward that gave them all hope. -- Daily Mail, February 26, 2008

"This wonderfully honest book tells us a great deal, not only about autism, but also about the extraordinary tolerance and unselfishness that is borne out of unequivocal love. At the same time, it reveals some uncomfortable truths about the struggle it takes to access the rights of those with disabilities in our so-called civilized society." -- Jane Asher, President of the National Autistic Society

"incredibly moving" -- The Sun, 15 Feb 08

By turns harrowing, humorous and inspirational.
-- Bournemouth Daily Echo, 27th June 08

About the Author

Christopher Stevens has been a sub-editor and reporter at the Observer for ten years and has ghostwritten several celebrity autobiographies. Nicola Stevens is a Connexions advisor. Together they have two sons.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book! 10 Feb 2009
The extended title of this book suggests a depressing tale - not so! Certainly the reality of living with an autist is described but in the most upbeat way.

I absolutely loved this account. Since the diagnosis of our son in September, I have kept notes of his progress and it was absolutely fascinating to see how much of our experience mirrors this Chris and Nicky's.

My catch phrase is that autism is not an intuitive condition, so to read such vivid accounts of off the wall situations which we have lived through too was really uplifting.

I loved the style of this writing; I laughed out loud at the experience with the woman's skirt and slapping the bald man's head; incredibly we've experienced very similar. As parents of autists, we need to be able to laugh and get back into the (figurative) driving seat; this book helped me gain some perspective and put me back in control ... who wants to feel a victim?

I loved how A Real Boy brought to the fore thoughts I hadn't even realised; how I miss not hearing anything about school, how I too, hold my son by the wrist, how very powerful the words from the sibling about the condition are and the importance of participation in the school nativity, to list just a few.

One big difference between our experience with our son and the Steven's experience with David is that of DVDs. To use the Steven's metaphor; DVDs to our son are as heroin to an addict such is his obsession. So, whilst the introduction of DVDs worked well for the Nichols, in our case, I'm sure they have shaved years off my life! I can cope with hours, days ..weeks even ... of fast forwarding and rewinding Rosie and Jim and other favourites on video... but watching 14.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real Life Autism 16 Jun 2008
A very moving and interesting account of living with autism. I liked the way the vulnerability and the fragility of David's life was shown with such love and poignancy. Often (unintentionally) autistic children are protrayed as frightening destructive creatures because they don't understand the rules of life. This book showed us, as far as is possible, how the world looks from the point of view of the child.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest, moving and brilliantly written 3 May 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I don't often take the time to write reviews but really wanted to write this as a thank you to the authors, David's parents. I work with families affected by autism and as such have read plenty of 'textbook' accounts. However, these don't capture the harsh realities that face many families. David's parents have taken the time to write about the difficulties they have faced but also about the joy and love they have for their child. This isn't a book with a cure or a happy ending but it still managed to make me smile as well as feel the despair of the David's parents when continuously faced with challenges and barriers. It is an account that will stay with me and I hope help me to work with a greater understanding. Thanks to Christopher and Nicky for sharing your story.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A* Book 23 Feb 2009
This is the most true to life, well written book form a parents perspective that I have read. I am a mother of 2 autistic children and i can relate so well. This book has helped me & I have recommended it to countless others. If you have a child or are a carer a relative or even someone with just an interest, this is the book you should be reading.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a real boy 10 May 2010
This is a very good insight into autism, its opened my eyes to this condition. This would be an excellent read for anyone with an autistic child. Chris and Nicky tell a lovely story of outstanding patience with their very active son. They both have a very good sense of humour and seem to see the funny side of what life throws at them.
An incident in their car in chapter 9 got me laughing so much that tears were running down my face, I even had my husband laughing at what I was reading out to him. Yes, there are lots of laughs and also some tears in this very moving story. I have enjoyed this book very much. Highly recommendable to everyone.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars unexpected gem 31 May 2009
By M. Weir
this book made me laugh out loud & cry when i least expected to. it certainly opened my eyes & made me think twice about how we as a society can at times be extremely judgemental when faced with children behaving in an unconventional way. would recommend this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely a 'must read' book. 14 May 2012
By mousey
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My husband & two of my children are autistic (My youngest is severely non verbal autistic) So my heart really went out to this family. It was a brilliant read & I've passed the book on to loads of my family & friends who have all said they now understand autism a lot better.

I do know from first hand experience that not all A.S.D children/adults are the same. Still.. I would highly recommend 'A Real Boy' to anyone. Especially anyone who has no idea how hard life with an autistic child can be. While at the same time, the huge amount of joy an autistic child can bring & knowing that seeing the world through different eyes isn't all that bad.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! 30 Mar 2008
I read this book in one day (okay I was on a train to London and back!) It is one of the funniest, most moving and emotional books I have ever read. It is not inviting you to feel sorry for either the boy in the book or the parents but a portrayal of how life is for them as a family, including the older son. It was funny enough to make me laugh out loud, illiciting some strange looks from the other passengers in the compartment, and also made me swallow once or twice at particularly emotive descriptions. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
a great book
Published 17 days ago by PATRICIA MADDY
5.0 out of 5 stars A 'Must Read'
Very interesting, sad, funny and very well written. What wonderful the patience this couple have with their precious son. Read more
Published 29 days ago by Jean Kiani
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the read
Father's story after younger son diagnosed with autism, well written with honesty and humor. Shows how the family goes forth as best they can through the battles to find a suitable... Read more
Published 1 month ago by anna
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly heart warming
A heart warming book, written out of love. A wonderful story of a boy living in a world of ignorance, helped to achieve his full potential by unconditional love. Read more
Published 1 month ago by miss v l griffiths
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book
Such an insight to autism such a loving caring family and a lovely little boy who gets the help support understanding he needs and deserves.
Published 2 months ago by patrick ramskill
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading
This book is essential reading for parents of autistic children, those curious and professionals who work with autistic children. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Julie McAleer
5.0 out of 5 stars A real boy
I never usually write reviews but this amazing book merits more than a few minutes of my time. As a professional and also someone who cares for an autistic 8 year old I have never... Read more
Published 2 months ago by MRS J E BROWN
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful, courageous story of David, Chris, Nicky & James
This outstanding book written so brilliantly makes me want to be a better mum. I have laughed, shed loads of tears and learnt so much.
Published 3 months ago by Sarah
5.0 out of 5 stars A real boy
A Fantastic book which any parent with an autistic child will relate to. Funny and sad at the same time.
Published 4 months ago by lynne puckrin
5.0 out of 5 stars Just brilliant!!
An amazing story of a boy with amazing parents!! Couldn't put the book down and read it within 2 days! Brilliant!!!!!!
Published 5 months ago by Matthew Webster
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