Having worked with children with severe autism, and having an interest in speech and language problems, I hoped that this book would encapsulate the complexity of the condition and the difficulties this can place on families who have to adapt the life they know to best support the child. In some ways the book was successful, highlighting the strain families feel when a diagnosis is given and gave a believable perspective on the mother's feelings and worries. I found the description of Daniel's behaviours rather stereotypical and the therapy technique described, and the successes seen, were rather too good to be true and loosely described. The writing style was not as engaging as it could be, with considerable emphasis on the inner feelings of the mother rather than in developing plot.
I enjoyed 'Daniel isn't talking' but if you are looking for a book which realistically describes Autism and its associated behaviours along with the social and practical implications of having a child you can't communicate with, it is less than successful. As a heartfelt account of the emotions within families following a diagnosis of Autism, it fulfills its role.
I only recently picked this book up and it was one of those rare finds where I didn't want to put it down to do something else. Even the idea of answering the phone couldn't repel me from reading it.
Melanie Marsh, mother of two, has become a shadow of herself. Before she met her husband she was a confident and vibrant young lady. Over the years she has shrunk inside of herself, relying on the words of her psychiatrist to help her see sense of what is going on around her.
The reason behind this, her 19 month old son Daniel has become obsessed with a toy train, won't stop crying and will not talk or play with other children. When her husband runs back to his ex, seeming unable to deal with the diagnosis of Daniel having autism Melanie struggles even more so.
Until a chance meeting with a lady in a supermarket suggests that she gets in contact with a man who would be able to help her. Things start to look up as she gets to grips with the fact that Daniel needs her as much as she needs hims.
This is another type of book which comes from the perspective of the Mother and how she deals with the situations thrown at her. From odd or disapproving looks from the other parents in the supermarket to the obvious coldness which seems to come from her in laws.
I don't read a lot of books involving autism however the way Leimbach writes about how Daniel has changed you can sympathise with the way in which the character Melanie acts. I hasten to add that I did not sympathise with Daniels Dad Stephen.
He appears to me as a weak man, one who would run away from any kind of difficult problem which comes about.
This is a book I find with an underlying purpose. I don't feel that the author has clouded over the issue by putting too much into the other mini storylines, raising money for tests, examinations, flaky husbands etc.
Personally I really enjoyed it. If you read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime I think you may also like it. It's a powerful way of looking at the situation through somebody elses eyes and wondering if you could do any better than she has.
You can get this for £5.49 from Amazon or less depending if you opt for the market place section.
I bought Daniel isn't talking back on the summer at a car boot sale for £1. I started reading the book the day I got it but it did not grip me so it ended up on a shelf. I recently gave it another go because I am clearing out books so I managed to read it. I have to stay I found this book a struggle to read as the plot moved to slowly and the book contains far too much waffle for my likings.
Daniel isn't talking is written by Marti Leimbach the book is 281 pages long and retails at £6.99. (ISBN 978-0-00-721701-4) The cover is plain white with a photo of a young lad with blonde hair and dark eyes.
What is it about?
Daniel isn't talking is about a young lad with autism. The story is written from the mother's perspective and covers how autism affected her marriage and relationships. Melanie (Daniel's mother) meets a man called Andy who claims her can help her son Daniel, he is a play therapist. The book follows her through learning about autism and her son. It also follows how her relationships change as she commits herself to helping her son achieve his full potential.
What I think about the book.
As I said, I found this book a struggle to read. I love reading books about living with autism and the parent's perspective but this book was different and I did not realise until half way through why. This book is not written by the mother of an autistic child it is written by a writer! This book is a fictional story based on some facts about autism. I did not enjoy the writer's style of writing and found pages were spent on setting scenes and going off into Melanie's imagination, which I was not interested in. It felt like the book had been padded out with a few pages of waffle! I was also dismay by the way Melanie was able to spend hundreds of pounds on treatment for her son who I am not sure is very true to life. The book had a nice enough stories but it was not the right book for me!
You cannot go wrong for a pound so I guess this book is ok. The story was a bit slow and there seemed to be a lot of waffle and scene setting that was wasted on me! I did learn a few things about autism from this book and found the play therapy very interesting. I think the author needs to focus more on the plot. The other thing that annoyed me is she made out that her husband left her because of the autism when he was actually having an affair so it probably would not be anything to so with there son. This bugged me because many families struggle through having children who suffer autism and it does but strain on many relationships. If you like, fictional stories then you might like this but I prefer reading true stories.