The New York Times praises Portia Iverson's new book "Strange Son" as an honest, unvarnished account of the struggles she and her family have gone through to help her son, Dov, achieve the ability to communicate. You can read the review here.
For a nonverbal boy, this achievement meant that after years of silence, Dov could reveal his ability to read, could say how he felt about his younger brother, could express desires for certain toys. What makes the account resonate, says reviewer Abigail Zuger, is Iverson's refusal to sugarcoat the ongoing challenges: "Although teenage Dov can now communicate effectively and learn at his grade level, he remains saddled with profound emotional, neurological and behavioral abnormalities" -- a point made in contrast to many media messages that suggest parents should look for miraculous recoveries from autism, Zuger writes.
Iverson also describes her experience bringing from Bangalore, India to southern California Soma Mukhopadhyay and her autistic son Tito, who has learned to write poetry and communicate very well -- as long as his mother is nearby. The book recounts how Soma's style of teaching her son helped Dov.
Iverson probably could write a second book about her experience as an activist and advocate. She co-founded the advocacy group Cure Autism Now (which recently merged with Autism Speaks) and also co-founded the Autism Genetic Resource Exchange, a gene bank for researchers.
To read more about the book, visit StrangeSon.com. The Times posted an excerpt on its website which you can find here (it's a PDF file).