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4.8 out of 5 stars98
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 6 August 2007
I knew from the moment I lifted this book that it would hold a special place in my heart . This remarkable story of a boy and his family, lost in the world of Austism, captures all the horrific events that such a disability brings . I should know as I also have a son with the same condition . What an amazing trasformation - just when you feel all is lost , Henry steps into Dales life and helps him to make sense of his confusing world . This wonderful story tugs at your heart strings and also leaves you with a feeling of hope . Hope that Dales remarkable transformation could help others .
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on 26 August 2007
A friend like Henry is a book that every parent and dog owner should read, the struggle of the Gardener family and the rewards of owning Henry not only for Dale but for Nuala draws upon every heart string. Every parent wants the best for their child but in some case the mountains we have to climb can seem insurmountable. The silent love and affection your dog can bring you was perfectly captured in the words of the book. Thank you for sharing this story.
It should be on the national curriculum.
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on 24 October 2009
I loved this book. It made be cry like a baby. How a previous reviewer that said they couldn't get on board with the characters is lost on me. I was hooked from the minute I opened it until the end when I sobbed my heart out (and I'm not normally one to cry over a book!) Buy it - it's a great read about a boy with autism, his family's journey and the amazing relationship (and help) that the little boy has with his dog. Fab, Fab, Fab!
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on 16 August 2007
I never write reviews, but this book is one of those that you just have to tell everyone you meet to read!
I cried from anguish and joy in turns as I read the harrowing and hopeful journey of the Gardner family as they fought to have Dale's autism recognised and through Dale's breakthrough's due to his family's incredible efforts and Henry the dog's magnificent presence in his life. This should be compulsory reading - it's wonderful!!
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on 16 April 2008
As the parent of a Autistic Child the story was nothing new to me
but what was the comforting thing is the knowledge that someone else went through the same as me yes i could relate to most of the things in the book and the same feelings of dispair and the wish that my child could be "normal" this is a book that all parents should read as i think that the more understanding there is of the condition can only be for the good and help to dispel fears in relation to MMR and other factors
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on 31 October 2008
a friend like henry,written by Nuala Gardner and published by Sourcebooks is a parents' book about autism...with all the fluffy bits removed. Honest, blunt, significant, rewarding. A well written, meaningful and very readable book.

a friend like henry is a book that tells the reader how frustrating, enlightening and magical living with autism can be, both for the person on the spectrum and those that live in the world parallel to ours.
I am happy to say that at no time in this book is it ever implied that Dale should be 'cured' of his autism, it is obvious throughout the book that the search is for coping mechanisms and behavioral modification.

One of the things I enjoyed most was that Nuala does not claim that pet therapy is the only solution to the above dilemma but she does openly and honestly share one way of using an autistic child's obsession to their family's best advantage.

One of the things I disliked the most about this book (besides the use of all lower case for the title and author name), was the way it rewired all my emotions and made me cry every few pages. I found that I had to pace myself through this book by reading it in between several others in order to give my emotions a break. I nearly couldn't continue on reading it at the end but I am not going to tell you why, as it will 'ruin' the ending for you. However, I am happy that I did carry on.

After reading this book I am still convinced that our N3S is still the child most likely to be savaged by a dog but I picked up a few tips encouraging on behavioral modification which we will apply through other mediums.

The section where Dale 'speaks' at the end of the book along with Nuala's afterword are nice twists and are the perfect ending to what I feel is a triumph of literary honesty. This is a very special book.

I speak as both an adult Aspie and a mother of an Aspie child when I say that this book will break your heart into several pieces and then show you interesting new ways to put it back together again.
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on 28 July 2009
A Friend Like Henry
This is the true story of the Gardner family, whose son Dale was born with severe autism. Dale's behaviour ranges from sullen silence to kicking and screaming tantrums - he cannot interact with others, he cannot show love towards his parents.

Follow the family's frustrations - from the lack of understanding of outside observers to dealing with medical and other authorities.

A visit to friends with dogs has Dale communicating with the dogs in a way that he cannot with people. A golden retriever puppy, Henry, joins the family. Henry's devotion allows Dale to communicate and open up, first to Henry, then to his family.

It is very moving to follow the progress made by Dale, and you could feel the joy of his parents as Dale starts to express his emotions and feelings.

Read the book first, but you must also watch 'After Thomas' which portrays this story beautifully

Excellent, highly recommended - a box of tissues needed!
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on 7 September 2007
Right from the first page i knew i wouldnt b able to put it down, what a amazing story of an impossible struggle with highs and lows fustration and a brilliant ending which had me in tears but still remained one of the best happy endings ever!!
What a truely amazing dog and wonderful story...
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VINE VOICEon 3 October 2007
This is an excellant book and it made me feel normal as I could identify with alot of what was going on in the authors life. Despite the fact that my sons are no where near as bad as Dale, it reassured me that with the right kind of parenting skills, support etc, the prognosis can be good. It also illustrated what I already knew, that animals play an important part of a disabled childs life. This was a brilliant book.
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on 31 May 2014
Jamie and Nuala have their first child, Dale and straight off Nuala a trained midwife has a sense all is not well. Severe autism is diagnosed after what was a fight to get the professionals on their side and not assume that Nuala was a neurotic mother. Loving their child very much they begin a journey to help "unlock" him from his own world and integrate him into society. Dale pushes them to the extremes, tantrums, biting, screeching and at one point Nuala is no longer sure she can manage this any more. Pleading for help she eventually gets it and with a combined effort from various professionals and the family they begin to break into Dale's world. But it is the introduction of Henry, a golden retriever that changes Dale's life forever.
A true story, at times heartbreaking that everyone should read. You know that child that you think it just badly behaved? Think again...perhaps he has been diagnosed on the autistic spectrum, please don't judge the parents for what seems like their inability to control their child. As a dog lover I adored this book, tears were shed on the last few pages. The appendix was fantastic and was written by Dale, a boy who was once written off and through the dedication of his family is now a well rounded young man living with his disability.
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