A Boy Made of Blocks
There you are, feeling freaked out and unsure of where to go next. Your child has been diagnosed as having autistic traits, and though you may have had your suspicions, it can still be a ‘tough pill’ to swallow. To start with, it may be a scary and lonely journey when you discover that your child has additional needs. Initially, you may spend time understanding the implications of the diagnosis but you may also be trying to get to terms with the whole situation on an emotional level. You may even feel that the future for your child can, at times, appear bleak.
Everyone deals with such situations differently, and there is no right answer. Some people like to educate themselves, and others prefer to take each day as it comes. Whatever you do, I am sure you are doing the right thing for you, your family and most importantly your child.
No matter your personal situation, reading other people’s stories may help with getting a better grasp of your own life as it can put you on a path of self-discovery. You may realise that you are actually coping better than expected which allows you to celebrate your own personal strength. On the other hand, by embracing other’s life stories, you may acknowledge that there is a need for a positive change in your own response to daily challenges. From narratives like ‘A Boy Made of Block’ it becomes clear that we all feel fear, but that we can draw strength from suggestions described in such books.
I love books, and there is nothing better than stumbling across a great book that has been recommended personally by someone else. With the occasional review from a guest contributor, I aim to bring you honest thoughts on a wide range of literature that may, or may not, appeal to your own reading style or specific need. Enjoy!
'This is indeed a fabulous book about a dad's journey to connect with his autistic son and how he learns to understand and connect with him. It is indeed a great book for your other half to read as you gain some valuable insight. I would that it can be read from about 16 years and beyond, it is really suitable for anyone who comes into contact with a child with special needs, especially dads, or anyone who just wants a good read.
The book is about the struggles of a dad (Alex) coming to terms with his autistic son (Sam) and how he finds his way back to him and his family life. He loves his wife and son but doesn’t know how to show it. He moves out of the family home and finds a way to connect with his son using Minecraft, which he plays over the internet with Sam. He slowly begins to understand what he needs to do to work his way back and build the relationship with his son (and wife) one block at a time.
The parts of the book which stuck out for us (my husband and I) were how the dad struggles to understand the autistic behaviour of his son and how he, the dad, shuts down because of this. Also, the realisation in the end of what he needs to do to help his son and his family become whole again. The author really guides you to have sympathy with all the characters in the book and how you can understand and identify with the struggles through your own experiences. It is funny in places and sad in others but the journey that Alex and his family take is amazing.
I would recommend this book to anyone, especially dads, uncles, grandparents etc. who are struggling to understand the world of an autistic child or their own feelings when dealing with an autistic child. It gives a brilliant insight into both worlds.
I read this book then brought it for my husband to read. It wasn’t until the end of the book that he had the understanding Alex has of autism. The book is written in a way that is easy to identify with all the characters even if you do not have autism or an autistic child.'
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Have you read a good book that you are keen to share with others? If this is the case, I would love to hear from you. It is very easy to pass on your thoughts, simply complete our Book Review form. Alternatively, you can get in touch with me, and I will help you directly.
By Tina Elven
with thanks to Jenny