With that in mind, I should have never read this.
A Friend Like Henry is about one family's journey with autism, and how with the help of a special dog, the parents were able to gradually bring their son out of his own world and into theirs.
One of the ways they did this, was by creating a "voice" for Henry the dog. Some people with autism find direct conversation too threatening. A dog's voice, (or a puppet for that matter) can be much more effective. Little Dale, would not respond to his parents but would do anything for Henry. They were able to use his love of Henry to coax him into conversations and activities. Gradually they were able to use Henry's voice less and less and their son was able to communicate freely with them.
I've my own experience and know many other parents who have been blown off by pediatricians and have had to fight tooth and nail for services for their kids on the spectrum. This book has its share of that and those parts weren't easy reading for me, but I did enjoy A Friend Like Henry.
Being the salty girl I am, one of my favorite parts is when the mother sits the now adolescent Dale down and teaches him how to deal with bullies at school. (I see no problem teaching kids on the spectrum what typicals learn naturally, especially if it is for their own protection). They practice until Dale gets his "Fuck off!" just right. He uses it effectively and does not get bothered by bullies on the playground again.
The clincher of the book, of course, is Henry. The sweetness of this precious giving, loving, devoted, big old fat beautiful boy drips off the page.
I, I mean we, need a dog!
for the children.