Following Ezra: What One Father Learned About Gumby, Otters, Autism, and Love from His Extraordinary Son

Tom Fields-Meyer. NAL, $15 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-0451234636
When their middle-son Ezra was 2, Fields-Meyer and wife Shawn (parents of two other boys, Ami and Noam) grew concerned about his unusual behavior. Ezra avoided eye contact, was non-communicative, and demonstrated serious difficulty coping with stimuli or engaging "normally." After he was diagnosed with autism the following year, Fields-Meyer and his wife worked with Ezra's teachers and friends to help him integrate into the wider world as much as possible. While Ezra struggled with aspects of social interaction (like tact), his gift for numbers, lists, and minutiae eventually allowed him to interact with people in ways his parents never expected. They never tried to force him into a mold of "normal" behavior, and everyone benefited from this approach. Fields-Meyer's touching memoir ends with Ezra's bar mitzvah, an event that both signaled the end of his childhood, and served as a benchmark of his ability to function in surprising ways. Neither terror nor saint, the charming Ezra's triumphs are more remarkable for their lack of super-human accomplishment, illustrating how ordinary families can persevere and thrive with love and patience. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/2011
Release date: 09/01/2011
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-101-54409-9
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-101-54121-0
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