A Child’s Journey Out of Autism by Leeann Whiffen

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A Child’s Journey Out of Autism: One Family’s Story of Living in Hope and Finding a Cure by Leeann Whiffen

A Book review of A Child's Journey Out of Autism by Leeann WhiffenStars: *****

Sourcebooks (2009)
339 pages
Memoir/Special Needs

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Summary: When Clay Whiffen was diagnosed on the autism spectrum, his parents didn’t know where to turn. They refused to believe that he could not be cured, and began to try every therapy they could afford – and many they couldn’t. Frantically they worked, knowing that Clay slipped further away every day. When intensive medical testing revealed that Clay no longer fit the criteria for any condition on the autism spectrum, the Whiffens’ wildest dreams were realized. Clay had conquered autism.

A Child’s Journey Out Of Autism

A Child’s Journey Out of Autism is different than the rest because the child’s (Clay) autism diagnosis was REVOKED! That’s right, he was cured of his autism.

I won’t lie, this book was very hard to read, most of the time. I got right into it, felt like a part of the family, felt like it was my little brother who was going through all this. Leeann’s writing style just pulls you right in. Many times throughout the book I had to put it down and read something else before I started crying hysterically. I am a very emotional person but if you are at all like me, you’ll have the same trouble. Even if you aren’t overly emotional, you’ll still feel empathy for the Whiffens.

The book actually doesn’t read like a memoir. It’s fast-paced and suspenseful. I couldn’t read it fast enough, I wanted to know what was going to happen next. Would a treatment work, would he fall back into his prior behaviours?

The Whiffens tried almost every treatment designed for autistic kids from ABA to biomedical treatments (medicines and vitamins) to RDI to a Gluten/Casein free diet, as well as CARD and services from a local place for kids with disabilities. If you don’t know what these terms mean, you will when you read the book. It’s all explained very well as you listen to the experts explain it to Leeann and Sean (the husband.) Especially when it comes to ABA, I’ve never read a better story that helped explain how ABA really works. Not a scientific explanation but a real down to earth, this is how it is one.

The basic thing is that this book provides hope. Hope that children with autism can be helped and hope that even if these children can’t be totally cured like Clay, they can get better.

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.