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Brains, Trains & Video Games

3.69  ·  Rating Details  ·  140 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Brains, Trains & Video Games: Living The Autism Life details the emotional, humorous and often profoundly insightful journey of an everyday family raising a child with autism. This is a book about life with Ewan—the center of one family's universe and the gravity that holds them together. Far from being the stressor that causes this family to disintegrate, autism has m ...more
Kindle Edition, 246 pages
Published (first published June 5th 2011)
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Jan 21, 2012 Allison rated it liked it
I fully admit that I am not the parent of a spectrum child, but I am a teacher who has worked with a number of ASD kids. This book is a comprehensive insight into the life of a family with a child who is on the Autism Spectrum. However, it's not the best written thing I ever read. I would like it more if, like my high school English teachers used to stress, she would "show" instead of "tell" more of her information, and I wish someone had edited more carefully (She has used "complaisant" when sh ...more
Rebekah Crain
This book was raw- not written by professional talent, but by emotion and experience. There were times where the wording became repetitive, and several times where information was presented as new even though the author had already covered it. If you can get past this, then you should read this book.

I personally don't have a child or family member who deals with Autism, but I have friends that do. Because of that, I wanted to read Ewan and Alicia's story, figuring it would be insightful. It was.
Oct 16, 2014 Jamie rated it liked it
In a previous book review I detailed why it may be that a person would pick up a non-fiction book on a special interest subject. In this case you either have autism in the family or have some professional interest in the condition, eg. a Special Ed. Teacher, instructor/therapist, etc. - relative of the author notwithstanding. Being a father of a child with ASD - my special interest in choosing to read this book - the kind of information I am looking for is very specifically the condition, how it ...more
Apr 22, 2012 Katharina rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2012, work-related
Please help Ms. Hart proofread her book! She has an interesting and captivating memoir which I failed to finish due to many grammar and spelling mistakes. She also recounted the same stories at multiple points in the book. I'd like to know how Ewan is doing now, but I can't bring myself to finish the book.
Val Sprague
Jun 28, 2013 Val Sprague rated it liked it
I found the subject matter very interesting. I'm a special ed teacher and while I don't work exclusively with autistic kids, the occasional autistic kid does make his/her way into my room and I find them very challenging and fascinating to work with.

Like many other previous reviews, I found that this book needs some significant editing. There were too many repeated stories and a lot of grammatical and spelling errors. I also found that she spent way too many pages detailing her childhood, her h
Amy Stephan Zeman
Mar 20, 2016 Amy Stephan Zeman rated it really liked it
Working in Early Intervention, books like this remind me about how each family is always at their own place with their child. Alicia is a huge advocate for EI and I respect all she has done. I appreciate her being so raw with her experiences through her journey. Reminds me to refresh the way I do my job. I will read her next book, but didn't love how they ended things, but I guess that's what you do to have people read the next one!
Apr 08, 2012 JanBreesmom rated it it was amazing
I found Brains, Trains, and Video Games by Alicia Hart to be a welcome change from the other books I have read on autism. As a mother and advocate of a young son with autism, Ms Hart writes from her heart, using her personal experience to share what she has learned about dealing with family, healthcare practitioners, and her autistic son, Ewan.

I have a four year old grandson with autism. This book helped me to understand what my grandson, my daughter, husband, and their other children face in
Julie Tichonchuk
Apr 06, 2012 Julie Tichonchuk rated it liked it
A wonderful story about how it is on the inside of a family affected by autism. I felt the editor should have worked closer with this new author though. I found parts repeated often. Rereading s paragraph that was worded slightly different than it was on the opposite side of the page. One example was the author's daughter's name was Skye after an island was told in the beginning of the book and again at the end. This detracted from a great story that needs to be heard. Then the end was abrupt.
Mar 04, 2012 Allison rated it it was amazing
As a teacher that's been teaching a while, but new to the EC world and to the many faces of ASD, I loved the insight this mom gives to their journey through the maze of life with a child with ASD. It gives me, as a teacher, some understanding about the spectrum-students I teach...what their challenges look like outside the classroom... I thoroughly enjoyed the book and how EASY it was to read. Can't wait for the next one!
Dec 06, 2013 Rosemary rated it liked it
As an ASD parent there were so many familiar moments for me. It is a book that is need of a really good review by an editor. It became very disjointed and extremely repetitive. I don't think I will ever forget how much time he spent at Lab School each day! Way too much personal information. Would have loved to hear more about Ewan and less about everyone else. I did laugh, I did gasp and I did smile.
Mar 02, 2013 Jennifer rated it liked it
As a small piece of the professional puzzle in autism treatment, this book is imperative to read. My only vice is that I would prefer to hear less about the family, and much more about the interactions with professionals and how that specifically altered their lives with autism. However, this book made valid claims, I wish only to have had concrete examples.

Natalie Casella
May 10, 2012 Natalie Casella rated it it was amazing
The excruciating pain and the joy felt by parents of autistic children are poignantly described by Ms. Hart. Her fighting for Ewan embodied the spirit of the tiger mother. A detailed account of the medical and emotional turbulence felt by Ewan and the whole family. A promising writer who writes with emotion and can explain medical terms to us regular folks.
Joyce Sigler
Jan 31, 2013 Joyce Sigler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I know this author personally. Her book is fascinating...a walk through her life as the mother of a fascinating autistic child and a "normal" child. You will enjoy the book, particularly if you have a vested interest in the subject matter. She needs an editor, though, as there are grammatical errors that can be highly distracting.
Alicia Hart's book Brains, Trains & Video Games was written from her personal experiences as a mother of a child with autism. It was fascinating to read about her family as well as the interactions with various professionals. Very emotional and insightful.
Jul 07, 2012 Stacy rated it liked it
I thought this was a good book; I really admired how the author became such an advocate for her child.

I did not like how it ended. Apparently, there will be more books, but this ending was not a good place to leave the story.
Mar 29, 2013 Sarah rated it really liked it
I suspect that if you don't have an interest in autism, you may not find this to be quite as riveting as I did but even if you have an interest in children's development, its so well worth the read. Keep the tissues handy though.....
Neal &
Apr 06, 2012 Neal & rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
Definitely a heartfelt in-depth account of life with Autism, but EXTREMELY slow. I found myself skimming through sections because I was getting bored. Definitely will not read the next book. Preferred watching Temple Grandin.
Bobbi Bullard
Apr 30, 2012 Bobbi Bullard rated it really liked it
A very good accounting of a family working to continue being a family while raising an autistic child to fulfill his potentia.

I enjoyed this and would recommend it.

The book is well written and interesting.
Laura Schrillo
Sep 04, 2012 Laura Schrillo rated it liked it
No sugar coating here. You can feel the struggle of this mother as she deals with this young mans diagnosis and the people that enter his life. Very interesting when discussing the machine and food chaining.
Oct 21, 2012 ♫Angielee♫ rated it it was ok
First admission: I don't have a child on the spectrum
Second admission: I couldn't finish this book
Third admission: I erased my review because what is in my head isn't coming out right on paper.
Kari Fisher williams
Oct 29, 2012 Kari Fisher williams rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autism
Such a wonderful tale of a Mother's perseverance and love of her child with autism. This woman does NOT give up! Loved it!
Jun 26, 2013 Kate rated it really liked it
Beautiful and honest portrayal into one mother's journey with autism. Opened my eyes and my heart.
Dec 22, 2012 Georgiana rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle-free
Not perfectly edited and with an abrupt ending, but this is a very interesting read.
Samantha Stichter
the end is so much better than the beginning. look forward to the
Susan Hillard
Mar 13, 2012 Susan Hillard rated it it was amazing
Just simply awesome!
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Goodreads Librari...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Combine versions of book 7 29 Mar 13, 2013 05:48PM  
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