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Rating: 
Amazon Price: £4.31 (as of February 18, 2018 12:41 pm – Details). Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Also available on amazon.com for £4.31 (as of February 3, 2018 4:11 pm – Details). Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

We feel like parents in a fairytale turned to stone by a curse and condemned to stand like statues with our hearts thudding in our chests as our son plays wild games, all alone in the palace. He sees us he knows us, he expects us always to be in our right places – but he has no idea that we are human too.

David is eleven years old. He is happy, healthy and affectionate. He loves school, climbing trees and Disney songs. But he's also profoundly autistic.Imagine being, like David, unable to speak more than a few words and unable to express your most basic needs. He is oblivious to danger and blind to other people's emotions, including the pleas of his parents. He is unaware of the chaos that he creates and is completely unmoved by the heartbreak that he causes.

This extraordinarily moving account describes the heartbreak, and the unexpected joy, of autism. With raw honesty, Christopher and Nicola Stevens lay bare their experiences, which are by turns harrowing, hilarious, and inspirational.Autism is often depicted as a lonely affliction but, as David's story unfolds, his parents reveal how the condition has given them an unbreakable togetherness; an insight into prejudice, as well as kindness; an understanding of life without words or language; and an intense appreciation of their children. Caring for David is an all-consuming experience…and through it they have learned, most of all, the meaning of unconditional love.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 912 KB
  • Print Length: 289 pages
  • Publisher: Michael O’ Mara Books (11 May 2011)
  • Sold by:  Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0050IE3WS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray: Not Enabled
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

Customer Reviews

A Real Boy

6 people found this helpful.
 on 10 February 2016
By Claire Ogden
I never, as a rule stray from fiction, I am a fiction reader through and through and fictional stories are my escapism. We are experiencing a situation as a family that is hard to bear, I feel the need to escape more than ever but yet I knew, after reading the synopsis of how ‘the curse turned the adults to stone’ the emotion that short paragraph evoked was to strong to be ignored and I needed to read the story of David Stevens immediately.

Heartfelt and uplifting

One person found this helpful.
 on 15 November 2017
By Kindle Customer
This book was truly inspirational and helped me to come to terms with the news that my youngest is on the spectrum. This book gave me hope, knowledge and insight to realise that my son will be OK. I loved the humour in this book, and there were some really heartfelt, emotional parts. I found the history of autism fascinating but more than anything I loved that this family worked with their son to ensure he was happy, whilst safe, to go with the flow and not let other’s reactions keep them from going out and doing what family’s do. I’ve avoided shops with my youngest for a while now, the tantrums were too painful. I know better now, thanks to the attitude of the author, and won’t let the judgement of strangers stop me taking my son anywhere he wants to go or I need to be.

Funny yet disturbing.

 on 26 May 2017
By Jadranka
Although brilliantly written, I have mixed emotions. As the great-grandmother of a little two year old boy, not yet formally diagnosed as autistic, I find this book disturbing as well as very funny at times. The author and father of the child is amazing and manages to keep such a sense of humour, but this boy is profoundly autistic – 100 times worse than our own is and has every been. But there are so many things that I recognize that it is upsetting for me to read, compare, and wonder what my granddaughter, her husband, and their other little boy of five will have to cope with for the rest of their lives. There is no doubt that David, the star if this book, is a mightily complex yet lovable character, and his parents are to be totally admired for the way they continue to look after him as love so much. They have allowed him to grow up to be himself, so he is happy, and what more can any child ask? I know that he has found, and will continue to find, life puzzling, and to his mind, ridiculous at times, which no doubt it is, and I can only hope (and indeed expect with the parents that he has) that he will continue to thrive. My heart goes out to this family and my own, whilst at the same time I am thankful that our own little boy seems to have similar, but much milder traits.

A book to make you think.

One person found this helpful.
 on 11 June 2016
By Friend
Loved this book, I have grandchildren who are autistic, but reading this book I realise how lucky we are, some things I can see in them, but they able to go to normal schools,and are doing well, thank God. I watch them growing and remember things that happened when they were younger, lots of repetition, everything had to be done in a certain way. I know of a child like David whose family are finding it difficult, but are doing everything in their power to cope with it all. Parents like these need a lot of help, which is sometimes is hard to get, even a short time on their own to relax and not have to worry and to know their child is in the safe hands of someone who understands the childs needs. I wish David and his family a good future and Gods help to cope with their life.

A heart warming read.

2 people found this helpful.
 on 19 February 2016
By KariCon
As the parent of a recently diagnosed autistic child, I found this book incredibly emotional, I laughed and I cried as I found similar early experiences in its pages. This is not a book for people looking for answers or ways to cope, the condition itself is so varied between children. It is a searingly honest account of how autism has affected the Stevens family. Our son is our first child and we are just trying to find our own way to deal with the challenges his condition comes with. It’s not easy and there are some days you think you can’t cope and fear for the future. This book has given me hope. Thank you for sharing your story.

tears and laughter: a song to life

One person found this helpful.
 on 21 March 2015
By tangerina
This is one of the most moving books I’ve read in a long time. I came to it after reading Lisa Genova’s fiction portrayal of autism in Love Anthony, which was also an emotional experience. But this book is different because it’s a true story, and the honesty shines out of every page. The detailed account of everyday life with David is totally absorbing, sometimes shocking, often terribly sad, and yet at the same time uplifting and inspiring. The parents’ determination to take their child everywhere and let him enjoy whatever he can is admirable and humbling – when i think how much i often complained about the disruption caused by my so-called ‘normal’ child…

Fabulous!!!

2 people found this helpful.
 on 27 June 2015
By R. Brailsford
Absolutely amazing. I laughed I cried. Thank you so much for writing this book. My son is now 6, diagnosed at 2. He’s got many sensory issues. I wish I had read this book sooner and been as brave as you in the beginning. One bad incident with the public made me want to protect my son and keep him away from horrid ignorant people. Now i say to hell with it … its their problem not ours. So thank you for that. I have recommended this book to everyone I know. To anyone who wants to be ignorant then you know what read this … educate yourselves don’t you dare waggle that finger, stare, or make rude comments. You do not have a clue what you are judging until you have walked a mile in a parents footsteps.

And ours …

2 people found this helpful.
 on 17 March 2015
By Emmy
Hard to say you love a book that describes some of the difficulties of autism. It may be frightening at times or impossible to believe for those with no knowledge of the disorder. However, it is also reassuring to know that other parents are facing similar battles to yours with education, social services and even getting that first referral from the GP. And oh! The joy of the first combination of words that is not an echo of something you’ve said! In our own family we’ve shared frustration and sadness as well as great elation and joy. A factual and informative book yet comforting and amusing too.

Well worth the read

One person found this helpful.
 on 21 June 2014
By anna
Father’s story after younger son diagnosed with autism, well written with honesty and humor. Shows how the family goes forth as best they can through the battles to find a suitable school, disapproving looks (after all, its down to bad parenting skills!) and the occasional kind person who understands and helps (instead of giving ‘the look’); in one case a five year girl who instinctively knew that David just wanted to play with her bike. Its worth reading because instead of moaning and defeatism, the father just tries to deal with he difficulties he encounters with a ‘can-do’ attitude and humor. It is also a book that you’ll remember later and you’ll learn how random acts of kindness make life easier and don’t cost much.

This book is amazing; an honest

2 people found this helpful.
 on 22 September 2014
By Jojo
I have worked closely with a number of autistic children & their families over the past 8 years, whilst running my own preschool. I am passionate about improving the lives of those affected by autism and I am naturally drawn to publications/tv programmes on the subject. This book is amazing; an honest, heart wrenching insight into a family’s struggle to access the right support for their autistic son and the daily challenges they face. What shines through is the parents’ unconditional love for their son, their selflessness and their joy in response to each small developmental step made… The best autism book I’ve read since ‘Horse Boy’.
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