A Friend Like Henry
This is the inspiring account of a family's struggle to break into their son's autistic world - and how a beautiful retreiver dog made the real difference. Dale was still a baby when his parents realised that something wasn't right. Worried, his mother Nuala took him to see several doctors, before finally hearing the word 'autism' for the first time. Scared but determined that Dale should live a fulfilling life, Nuala describes her despair at her son's condition, her struggle to prevent Dale being excluded from a 'normal' education and her sense of hopeless isolation. Dale's autism was severe and violent and family life was a daily battleground. But the Gardner's lives were transformed when they welcomed a gorgeous Golden Retriever into the family. The special bond between Dale and his dog Henry helped them to produce the breakthrough in Dale they had long sought. From taking a bath to saying 'I love you', Henry helped introduce Dale to all the normal activities most parents take for granted, and set him on the road to being the charming and well-adjusted young man he is today. This is a heartrending and fascinating account of how one devoted and talented dog helped a little boy conquer his autism.
From the publishers of the bestselling BORN ON A BLUE DAY and MARLEY AND ME: the moving and bestselling story of how a devoted family dog helped free a little boy from the prison of his autism.
'I sat down for a few minutes to skim through A Friend Like Henry"...Hours later, I was still there, with tears running down my cheeks - for the appalling difficulties faced in dealing with the condition and with officialdom, but most of all for the extraordinary devotion and empathy between the boy and his dog. Just buy it, please.' -- Sarah Stacey, Mail on Sunday 'Truly affecting ... terribly touching' -- David Sexton, Evening Standard 'More than just a heartwarming tale about a healing relationship between boy and dog. It is also a mother's painful search for love from a child' -- Herald
Nuala Gardner is a nurse and midwife. She and her husband Jamie have two children, Dale and Amy, both of whom have autism. Dale is 18 and planning a career working with children with autism.