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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
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on 21 November 2013
Loved this book,having read a friend like Henry,could not wait to find put what was happening with Dale.Could not believe how he went from one interview to another with not a single employer taking him on,he has done more than a lot of others who Don,t have autism.would not hesitate in telling others about this and the first book.well done,nuala,u did your family proud.!!
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on 15 April 2014
I found this book initially due to my love of dogs and the wonders they can do for all types of people. In addition having recently had the bombshell dropped on my that my son has 'Global Development Delay', I found this book more than fitting.
The book captures you in the struggle and challenges Nuala & Dale faced just to achieve what may be considered the norm by many, especially Dale's piers.
The love, encouragement and devotion offered by Nuala to Dale & Amy is often felt throughout the book, it truely is a rollercoaster of events to which I couldn't beleive happened even in todays society.
Anyone who loves dog, or has a friend or family member on the ASD will love this book, even if you don't it's a great read bringing much needed exposure to this invisable disability.
I truely look up to Nuala for the perserverance and determination a mother will endure for her child.
A must read. Well done Nuala.
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on 21 June 2014
A families battle with autism and the authorities, with a greatly improved outlook for the two young people involved. I found this book both touching and inspiring.
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on 3 March 2016
A book for families with autistic members that will encourage them to seek early diagnosis and therefore specialist and child specific help. The enthusiasm was admirable and exhausting and the level of commitment too? Another book on effects on relationships in the family and support for them and non autistic siblings and grandparents would be a good partner book along with a text book on 'preparing' for a dog for the autistic kid. The content and capacity are remarkable but it is a roller coaster of a book? A must read though!
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on 6 May 2014
This is an excellent book.
a). It gives the reader an insight into some of the larger problems that can arise with
children with Autism.
b). The patience and perseverance of a mother who did her very best for her children.
c) The young man who never gave up and showed his determination.

Definitely would recommend this book for families with Autistic children, but also for those
who don't have to deal with the problem daily.
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on 25 December 2013
i did not understand before, and now i do, what dedication is involved, and the rewards such commitment can achieve
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on 16 January 2014
A very good book. Very true to life when you live with children with ASD. Also some hints that were helpful!
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on 3 February 2016
I was given first book 'a friend like henry' and once finished promptly ordered second on kindle. These books are very honestly written and straight to the point. Thank you Nuala and Dale for sharing your story. You have made me laugh and cry but most important of all given me an amazing insight into autism from a very personal point of view.
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on 14 March 2014
This is a great book and so very truthful and accurate to anyone who has had dealings with children with autism. I would recommend this book to any parent who has an autistic child. Through this book I have begun to understand autism a bit more which helps me to understand the autistic child more. Highly recommend that you read both Henry books.
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