******* 7 Stars!
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From Kirkus Reviews
A vivid and uplifting story of how a family pulled not one but two children out of the torments of autism--and into a normal life. Maurice is the pseudonym for a mother of three whose courage and determination overrode the pessimistic prognosis that ``autism is incurable.'' She was already pregnant with her third child when her one-year-old daughter, Anne-Marie, was diagnosed as autistic. Maurice and her husband cast about to find not merely a relief from symptoms but a cure, finally adopting the form of behavior modification found successful in carefully controlled studies by O. Ivar Lovaas, a California-based researcher. The program involved a daily regimen of repetitious training, the resetting of patterns of behavior that had gone awry, and the replacement of sympathy by discipline, interrupting the child's repetitive motions and self- withdrawal no matter how she resisted or cried. The family hired a teacher skilled in behavior modification who worked with Anne-Marie every day, as well as a speech therapist who visited three times a week. To counter what she at first felt were the mechanistic techniques of behavior modification, Maurice also took up ``holding therapy,'' which calls for holding the child tightly for at least an hour a day. It was the behavioral techniques that succeeded, and, in less than two years, the girl was pronounced ``normal''--as was Maurice's younger son, also autistic. Unlike other recent books about children who've recovered from autism (e.g., Donna Williams's Nobody Nowhere, 1992), this offers not only hope but a road map, with names, addresses, and phone numbers for Lovaas and others. (Caveat: Behavioral therapy, Maurice says, benefits measureably only about 50% of autistic kids.) Powerful in her detailing and in her intelligent, honest observations, Maurice offers new strength to parents who refuse to give up on their autistic children. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
She was a beautiful doelike child, with an intense, graceful fragility. In her first year, she picked up words, smiled and laughed, and learned to walk. But then Anne-Marie began to turn inward. And when her little girl lost some of the words she had acquired, cried inconsolably, and showed no interest in anyone around her, Catherine Maurice took her to doctors who gave her a devastating diagnosis: autism.
In their desperate struggle to save their daughter, the Maurices plunged into a medical nightmare of false hopes, "miracle cures," and infuriating suggestions that Anne-Marie's autism was somehow their fault. Finally, Anne-Marie was saved by an intensive behavioral therapy.
Let Me Hear Your Voice is a mother's illuminating account of how one family triumphed over autism. It is an absolutely unforgettable book, as beautifully written as it is informative.
"A vivid and uplifting story . . . Offers new strength to parents who refuse to give up on their autistic children." -- Kirkus Reviews
"Outstanding . . . Heartfelt . . . A lifeline to families in similar circumstances." -- Library Journal
Presents an impassioned account of how a mother's love saved her children from autism--after struggling with false hopes, ""miracle cures,"" and painful accusations--through a controversial method of intensive behavior therapy. Reprint. K. PW.
Engaging and Inspiring
Reviewer: Deborah J Stetser from Kaneohe, HI USA
I began my journey into the world of autism when my 3-year-old son was diagnosed with PDD. At the time, you could have fit my knowledge of autism onto the head of a pin. LET ME HEAR YOUR VOICE was one of several books I purchased on Amazon and the first one I read once they arrived.
My son's diagnosis left me utterly devastated. By the time I finished reading this book, I felt someone had turned on the light so I could begin to find my way. I was buoyed by the simple fact that recovery IS possible and this book served as a roadmap for me. I had also purchased Making a Difference: Behavioral Intervention for Autism - also by Catherine Maurice and began my own ABA program at home while awaiting my son's admission into a Special Ed preschool program. By the time my son began school 2 months later, the teachers and therapists were wondering why he'd been diagnosed with PDD as he was markedly different from other PDD kids. Now, less than 2 years later, his score on the CARS is in the non-autistic range.
ABA is not the only treatment or cure and it is not for every child, but I believe it can bring about improvements that otherwise would not occur spontaneously. While the book is a strong advocate of ABA, it is a wonderful book to read for those who are new to the world of Autism. Giving this book as a gift would be one of the most thoughtful things you could ever do. If I had not read this book, it is doubtful I would have acquired the knowledge of autism I now have - this book was a primer for the sort of education I hope NO parent needs, but if they do, LET ME HEAR YOUR VOICE is the place to start.