The Horse Boy by Rupert Isaacson
This is one of those magnificently written books that every parent should read. It is heartfelt, honest and gripping. The author’s commitment to his son is inspiring and his quest to find peace for his son’s dysfunctional behaviour is admirable – if not a bit extreme. There were a few anomalies though – specifically, his wife’s voice is largely absent and on some levels this is quite disconcerting. It was hard to ascertain whether her absence was simply a consequence of the dominance of his voice or whether she was indeed absent from this child’s life. Alternatively, perhaps she was against Rupert’s desire to take this journey … It is impossible to know. One thing that we do know is that she is a strong woman who is prepared to put aside her own fears and hesitations for the greater good of her family.
Nonetheless, the characters that this family encounters along their journey are fascinating and bring colour to what would otherwise be a very intense account. Finally, the author’s revelation toward the end of the novel that his son does not have to be “cured”, his autism “removed”, and that the family’s focus should be on enabling him (and in turn, them) to live a high functioning life, is wonderfully fresh and gives hope to all those people who have suffered a similar experience. An outstanding book. Well worth the rewarding read.
As an aside, this is one of those books that is worth researching further. Some of the following links are fascinating!
“Healing Autism with Horses”, http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/14/healing-autism-with-horses/
“A Gallop Toward Hope”, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/15/books/15horse.html?_r=1
“Autism Therapy on Horseback”, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7GHzselNmA
You can also view the trailor for the film: http://www.zeitgeistfilms.com/displaytrailer.php?directoryname=horseboy&size=low&extension=avi