The Boy Who Loved Windows: Opening the Heart and Mind of a Child Threatened With Autism

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In 1997, writer Patricia Stacey and her husband Cliff learned that their six-month-old son Walker might never walk or talk, or even hear or see. Unwilling to accept this grim prediction, they embarked on a five-year odyssey that took them into alternative medicine, the newest brain research, and toward a new and innovative understanding of autism. Finally their search led them to pioneering developmental psychiatrist Stanley Greenspan who helped them save their son and bring him into full contact with the world. ...

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Cambridge, MA 2003 Hard cover First edition. New in new dust jacket. Glued binding. Paper over boards. With dust jacket. 300 p. Audience: General/trade. Gift Quality. Brand New. ... Fast Arrival. Packaged, shipped and protected in bubble wrap. Free USPS Tracking. Read more Show Less

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Overview

In 1997, writer Patricia Stacey and her husband Cliff learned that their six-month-old son Walker might never walk or talk, or even hear or see. Unwilling to accept this grim prediction, they embarked on a five-year odyssey that took them into alternative medicine, the newest brain research, and toward a new and innovative understanding of autism. Finally their search led them to pioneering developmental psychiatrist Stanley Greenspan who helped them save their son and bring him into full contact with the world. This enthralling memoir, at once heart wrenching and hopeful, takes the reader into the life of one remarkable family willing to do anything to give their son a rich and emotionally full life. We stand witness as they struggle to elicit the first sign that Walker is connecting with them, and share in their fears, struggles, tiny victories, and eventual triumphs. The Boy Who Loved Windows is compelling and inspiring reading for parents and professionals who care for children with autism and other special needs. The book is also a stunning literary debut, of interest to anyone who cares about the lives of children and the passion of families who, against huge odds, put these children first.

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Editorial Reviews

Marietta Times
I'd be shocked if The Boy Who Loved Windows doesn't win a stack of major writing awards...[An] altogether compelling story.
9/4/03
Newsday
If you or anyone who know has a child with autism, you won't want to miss reading The Boy Who Loved Windows.
9/9/03
Oprah Magazine
Riveting...A gripping, unsentimental narrative of a family struggling to keep intact in the face of financial pressures, time constraints, and humbled pride...Compelling.
Publishers Weekly
Former Atlantic Monthly staffer Stacey makes her debut with a sharply observed, deeply personal account of her son Walker's metamorphosis from a worryingly unresponsive infant to an intelligent, normally functioning child. Living in the leafy college town of Northampton, Mass., Stacey documents her harrowing experiences as a mother, as she and her husband, Cliff, quickly realize that Walker is not a normal, happy baby. Walker fails to respond to his parents, eats very little, is unable to express emotion and spends much of his time staring at windows. Stacey works night and day to try to reverse Walker's diagnosis of possible autism, trying every conceivable treatment and specialist and obsessively educating herself about new trends in the neuroscience behind the disorder. She realizes that Walker blankly stares out of windows not because his senses are dulled but because they are overwhelmed; Walker is hypersensitive to the world and cannot cope with the constant rush of stimuli. Child psychiatrist Stanley Greenspan recommends his controversial "floor time" strategy for Walker: several hours of rigorous playtime between parent and child per day, emphasizing interaction. The time, money and stress involved in maintaining an intensive schedule of treatments for Walker from his eighth to 20th month soon show their toll on the Stacey family, as funds run dry, the parents grow further apart, and less time is available for Walker's older sister, Elizabeth. Stacey in particular becomes increasingly nervous, obsessive and exhausted from her constant battle to improve her son's life, but the result is stage-by-stage breakthroughs. Some readers will want less personal and medico-historical detail and fewer in-depth treatments of the various therapies and sessions, but Stacey keeps the focus on her own understanding, which ultimately sustains the book. (Sept. 15) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Personal narratives about autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) can be tremendous resources for parents, educators, and therapists if they document successes and failures. In The Gift of Autism, Sharp, a family physician, writes about her autistic son, Nic, now 12. Like Kelly Harland in A Will of His Own, Sharp discusses ASD's effect on her as a parent rather than on her child. While sharing some valuable observations about issues like the failure of others to understand one's situation and the difficulty of obtaining services, she leaves out age benchmarks in anecdotes of Nic's behavior, making it difficult to gauge either the severity of his condition or the status of his progress. And in describing a tantrum, for instance. she explains how horrible she felt but not how she calmed Nic down-information the reader really needs. In The Boy Who Loved Windows, Stacey, a writer and college instructor, recounts the intense therapies undertaken by her son, Walker, now six, when he showed signs of severe sensory integration issues before one and possible autism at a very early age. Providing constant benchmarks and vivid descriptions of Walker's progress, Stacey talks about the family stress caused by a child with special needs, sibling issues, dealing with public early-intervention services, and therapies. Of note is a description of meetings with Stanley Greenspan, a noted child psychiatrist, and the implementation of his "floor time" method of therapy, one now greatly in use with ASD children. The far stronger of the two books, Stacey's is recommended for all public libraries and for academic libraries with education and social work collections. Sharp's is recommended only for libraries with comprehensive autism collections.-Corey Seeman, Univ. of Toledo Libs., OH Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780738206660
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 9/2/2003
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.16 (h) x 1.05 (d)

Meet the Author

Patricia Stacey, a writer, college teacher, and former staff member of the Atlantic Monthly, lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Part 1
Sirens 3
You'll Have to Wait 13
Grasping 19
Part 2
What's in a Face 27
The World Is Too Much 35
Reciprocity 44
The Brain Doesn't Wait 51
The Game 58
The Body Is a Map 67
Part 3
The Questions That Haunted Us 83
New Clues 93
A Walk Around the Driveway 102
The Epidemic 108
Part 4
Through a Door in the Wall 123
A Challenge, a Game, a Vocation, a Sentence 133
Begin with Desire 144
Tyranny of Attention 150
Partly Heard Song 163
Words 169
The Specter of Loss 182
Ways to Make a Salad 186
The Ladder 194
To Paradise Pond 199
Exotic Poisons, Unusual Connections 205
Through Another Door in the Wall 208
Part 5
Imagining the World 221
A Close Call 227
Companions 238
A Searchlight 240
The Senses Revisited 244
Part 6
I Have a Prob'em 263
Epiphany 270
What Wrecks This World 275
A Car Turning Off the Road 281
Eyes of a Stranger 285
The Fate of Babies and Pirates 289
Epilogue 297
About the Author 300
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2004

    It doesn't get more personal than this

    Patricia has an amazing talent for writing clearly. As a mother of a 2.5yr old autistic boy, I know all too well the pain, confusion, frustration, guilt and happiness that goes along with fighting autism. Patricia was so wonderful to let us in on her life - how it affected her marriage, her guilt for ignoring her older daughter, losing friends who couldn't comprehend what she was doing. I think that so many of Patricia's thoughts are the very same thoughts that us parents have who are also fighting autism. I could relate in so many ways; her thoughts were my thoughts. Feeling like you're the only one in a vast ocean of wild emotions? Then you need to read this book. You'll quickly realize you're not alone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2004

    phenomenal book

    Stacey's book has it all! She provides enough information for parents in similar positions to actually help their child. Moreover, the story is beautifully crafted by a very gifted writer. Thank God for Patricia Stacey and this book.

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