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Following Ezra: What One Father Learned about Gumby, Otters, Autism, and Love from His Extraordinary Sonby Tom Fields-Meyer
Synopses & Reviews
A heartwarming, intimate and amusing memoir of a father's experience raising his autistic son.
When Tom Fields-Meyer's son Ezra was three and showing early signs of autism, a therapist suggested that the father needed to grieve.
"For what?" he asked.
The answer: "For the child he didn't turn out to be."
That moment helped strengthen the author's resolve to do just the opposite: to love the child Ezra was, a quirky boy with a fascinating and complex mind. Full of tender moments and unexpected humor, Following Ezra is the story of a father and son on a ten-year journey from Ezra's diagnosis to the dawn of his adolescence. It celebrates his growth from a remote toddler to an extraordinary young man, connected in his own remarkable ways to the world around him.
"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."
Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
A heartwarming and hopeful memoir of a father's experience raising his autistic son.
When his son Ezra was diagnosed with autism, Tom Fields-Meyer knew little about parenting and even less about neurological disorders. This intimate memoir chronicles his remarkable experiences of learning and growth from the time Ezra was diagnosed at age three to his bar mitzvah at thirteen. In that time, Ezra evolves from a remote, peculiar toddler to an extraordinary young man, not "cured," but connected-in his own unique way-to the world around him.
About the Author
Tom Fields-Meyer has been a writer and journalist at People magazine, the Dallas Morning News, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. He is a graduate of Harvard and currently lives in Los Angeles with his family.
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