Top positive review
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Fantastic Follow Up
on 19 December 2013
The conversational style of this book may not appeal to everyone but do read on because
it highlights the challenges faced by young people with autism conditions and their
families, in a no-holds-barred way. What seemed like a dream future for Dale, following
his success at a mainstream secondary school, soon turned into a nightmare as he and his
parents tried to navigate and fight against the bureaucracy of Dale's college.
The book also describes the supports that Dale and his parents put in place to enable
him to succeed at college and this is important information for parents and carers of
other young people on the spectrum who are embarking on college courses or into
employment. However, in spite of Dale's, his parents' and support workers' heroic efforts,
Dale was still let down by a system that promised to support him but failed to deliver.
Running parallel to Dale's story are two other amazing journeys: his sister Amy's
transition from primary to secondary education and his mother Nuala's growth as an
author and as a specialist training dogs to promote autistic children's communication and
build their confidence and self-esteem. Sadly, the journey ended for Nuala and Jamie as a
couple when their marriage broke up.
At times I felt uncomfortable reading the very personal details in the book and wondered
what Amy and Dale will think in future years about their stories being told in such a
public way. Having said this, this is an important book in that it gives us privileged
access to a very raw, harrowing and often humorous picture of this family's life on the
Autism specialist teacher