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A Friend Like Henry: The Remarkable True Story of an Autistic Boy and the Dog That Unlocked His World
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A Friend Like Henry: The Remarkable True Story of an Autistic Boy and the Dog That Unlocked His World

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  1,605 ratings  ·  240 reviews
Now a New York Times Bestseller!

"The incredible story of a family with an autistic son, Dale, who conquers his disability thanks to the special bond he forms with Henry, a golden retriever puppy ... This is a fascinating and inspiring real-life account."-Woman & Home

A Friend Like Henry:
The remarkable true story of an autistic boy and the dog that unlocked his world

Whe
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Paperback, 262 pages
Published September 1st 2008 by Sourcebooks (first published July 26th 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Lydia LaPutka
This book was very enjoyable. I highly recommend it to teachers, dog lovers, and anyone affected by autism. It takes you through many emotions--depression, elation, frustration, heartbreak, joy, anxiety, etc., etc. I think I gasped aloud on several occasions! Any book that elicits that much physical, stark emotion in me is right up my alley.

Having had several mildly autistic students in my years as a teacher, I can't imagine parenting one with classic autism. This author poured her heart and so
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Readyourselfhealthy
This is the story of a boy with severe autism and how getting a family dog helped him to 'recover.' It is an emotional rollercoaster of a story and one that is exhausting to witness. The early years with their son were much more than most parents could endure. What I really like about this book is the fact that it shows what can be done with patience and an unwillingness to give up. This boy had severe autism right from birth and no one could predict what he could one day accomplish. Getting a f ...more
Faith Chin
I think this book was A-MA-ZING!!!! I never knew a non fiction book could be so interesting!!! Never judge a book by its cover!!! This book is about, well, the author herself, Nuala Gardner, her autistic son Dale, and a dog that changed their lives. Yes, a dog. The character I'm going to do today is none other than Dale. The first thing you must know about Dale is that he's autistic. Autism is not a sickness but a condition. It's something you're born with. Dale does have autism, but it was so s ...more
Sheree
A harrowing & inspirational true story of the Gardner family written from the mother's perspective in honest, blunt language.
This is not a flowery, descriptive telling, it is a matter-of-fact recount of day to day life with a severely autistic child. Nuala & Jamie's fight to have Dale's autism recognised & officially diagnosed, the anger & sadness, the depths of despair reached, the exhaustion & the small triumphs that kept them going. The all-consuming struggle to break into
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Jane
This was a remarkable true story. I learnt so much about autism from a mother's perspective and how she managed to unlock the people within her children. It is told with honesty and emotion, an important read for any professional dealing with autism.
Melissa
An unexpected loan from a friend, this novel is truly a touching read and I recommend it to all! A Friend Like Henry is about a family's struggle in coping with their son's autism and how a Golden Retriever named Henry changed their lives in ways they couldn't even imagined.

I have no experience dealing with autism, neither do I know anyone with autism, but I do know what some of the signs of it are, and reading this novel, I definitely have developed a greater sense of respect for each and every
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Vanessa
This is story is close to my heart as I work with children and young people with autism. It allows the reader insight into the unusual, hard to understand world of children with autism, but also to understand the pain and challenges from the carer's perspective. To anyone with any experience with autism, you'll find this book articulating behaviours, stories and emotions that seem eerily familiar - and lets be honest, we all love familiarity and being able to relate to what we are reading.
But no
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 PuMbA's MoMmy*•.♥.•*
What a beautiful story. I never thought about the hurdles parents with autistic kids had to go through. After reading this I now realize just how much harder parenting can be for them. Henry came into this family's life at the right time. A dog's love can provide so much comfort to a human being that it's almost mind boggling. Henry was a very special dog to Dale and I am sure he is now his little guardian angel.

I suggest readers have tissue handy when reading this book.
Maggie
Before reading this book all I knew about autism was that those afflicted with it didn't make eye contact and seemed to be emotionally closed off. This book opened my eyes to what autism is, how incredibly hard both the suffer and parents must work so that they get the right schooling and then succeed in that schooling, and what those strange behaviors may indicate that they are suffering. I found this book fascinating and especially educational for me.
Karen
What a wonderful book about a dog that changes the lives of two children with Autism. Yes, it was a heartwarming story about a Golden Retriever, but it was so much more than that. I found myself riveted by the Gardners' story and how as a family they learned about raising children with Autism.
Irene Marie Dawson
Inspirational and heartwarming

Inspirational and heartwarming

being the grandmother of a child on the autism spectrum I found this wonderful book an inspiration and recommend it highly to everyone. Unless you are honored to know one of these wonderful children yourself it is impossible to truly understand the challenges. everyday life presents to them and their families. The Gardner's have managed to clearly convey how terrifying and rewarding raising a challenged child can be.After all,who is to
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Fiona
Jamie and Nuala have their first child, Dale and straight off Nuala a trained midwife has a sense all is not well. Severe autism is diagnosed after what was a fight to get the professionals on their side and not assume that Nuala was a neurotic mother. Loving their child very much they begin a journey to help "unlock" him from his own world and integrate him into society. Dale pushes them to the extremes, tantrums, biting, screeching and at one point Nuala is no longer sure she can manage this a ...more
Katiuscia
La mia recensione completa la trovate qua
http://katiusciarigogliosi.blogspot.i...

La storia del piccolo Dale, narrata direttamente dall'autrice, nonchè madre, Nuala, e della convivenza del piccolo ometto di casa con la sua malattia: l'autismo. In anni in cui anche solo pronunciare quel nome metteva paura, in anni in cui poco o nulla si sapeva di questa malattia, Nuala insieme al marito Jamie cercano con tutte le loro forze di far crescere in modo normale il loro figlio. Tutto è difficile: parlare
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Ellys Sufia Firsanti
Melalui buku ini, Nuala gardner menceritakan pengalamannya dalam mengasuh anak lelakinya yang mengidap autisme, Dale. Saya mengagumi kesabaran Nuala dalam segala hal yang Ia ceritakan di buku ini. Ketika Ia menyampaikan kekhawatirannya akan komunikasi dan imajinasi Dale yang tidak wajar, Ia justru diremehkan oleh petugas kesehatan dan dianggap tidak membangun kedekatan dengan Dale oleh psikolog pendidikan.

Sampai pada akhirnya Ia mendapatkan dugaannya sendiri bahwa Dale mengidap autisme klasik me
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chucklesthescot
When Dale was born his mother noticed that he had trouble communicating and had behavioural problems.She suspected that her son was autistic but health professionals seemed happier to blame the parents for the way Dale behaved.This is her struggle to be heard and to find a way into Dale's lonely world.
Very heavy going and I couldn't keep reading about every tantrum the boy had.I was getting mentally tired with the story!
Zoe
I found this story very touching and was very close to crying many times! The way the parents are treated by other people is digusting and it gives the reader hope because the parents keep on fighting. The book contains lots of feeling and is very honest and open, drawing the reader in. It's easy to read and very hard to put down!
Luann
I read this book not because it was about a child with autism but because it was a book about a dog. I have no direct personal experience with autism but I was very interested to see the influence a dog could have on a child with this disability. I got totally wrapped up in the story of Dale and Henry (the dog) but was most impressed by the absolute dedication the author made to giving Dale and later Amy the life experiences and opportunities to allow them to become the best they could be. The s ...more
Joyce Boston
As someone who is awed by the healing power of animals, I wanted to love this book. I volunteer with special needs children, some of whom have autism, and am grateful that the author has demonstrated the tremendous impact a dog can have. However, as a veterinary technician, I had to cringe at some of the very bad pet care that was highlighted in the book- leaving the dog in the car, feeding it steak and other people food, being "concerned and "rushing" it to the vet after it had been in pain for ...more
Jeanne
I wanted to read a book about how dogs can have a therapeutic role in treating autism. But this book read like someone's annual Christmas newsletter. It was dry and personal and not very informative.
Pauline
True story of parents coping with autism in their son.A real insight into the plight of parents not getting the help they need and how they fight for their childs rights.
Ali
This is such a sweet book! I love dogs but I still found the way this particular one, Henry, changed the life of one small boy incredible. However I enjoyed the book also for the practical information on autism included within the story. The Gardeners were an inspiring family and Nuala in particular in her tenacity at fighting for her kids.(even if you know no one with autism this book is worth the read to be encouraged on that level) Any way this is a scrappy review intended to say; read the bo ...more
Don Cummins
A Friend Like Henry

Reading this eloquently written book opened my eyes and heart to the challenges of life with an autistic child. Making it a story about a dog and this very special family kept me riveted to every page until the very end. We have always had a dog in our family; however our very special Rusty captures the best of all of them. He just turned 13 and, his health is failing. I broke down completely while reading about Henry's final days, but that also made me make a plan for Rusty"s
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Miriam Lopez
Nov 03, 2014 Miriam Lopez rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Miriam by: research
This book will certainly make all your emotions change with every page turn you give. Join Nuala and her story on how a dog changed her life and gave her, the kids that were struggling with Autism a new life. This book is surely to be enjoyed by anyone that loves pets and who have a family member who has yet to open up because of autism. I was immediately connected with this book because my best friend (dog) who got my brother to open up and made his therapist see that he wasn’t Autistic and mak ...more
K Maier
Have a hard time understanding anything over 3 stars. I admire the extraordinary lengths she's gone though for her kids and subsequent tremendous impacts. However, it's obvious in her writing that she is not an author or literary graduate. This book isn't about Henry. Or Dale. It's about Nuala. It's about Nuala and Dale, Nuala and her fertility, Nuala and Amy, and Nuala. The ending was an expected tear-jerker, but I had the greatest affinity for her mother who I'm sure was as lovely and special ...more
Rachel
Another beautiful sad story, even more because it is all true. My heart goes out to the Gardner's and all those who have kids who suffer from autism. Reading of her (Nuala's) courage and bravery in the face of her son's (and daughter's) struggles, her not holding (a thing) back to ensure that her kids get a chance in life and the way she picks herself together and fights for her children fills me with admiration for all the women out there who have EARNED the title 'mother'. Glad she is blessed ...more
Teri
Such an amazing story!!!
Karen
I would give this 3 and a half stars if I could. It's the real-life account of a family struggling with autism, along with a secondary plot about infertility. It's written by the mother of the family and is fairly well done, although the writing feels a bit amateurish at times. Their son Dale is now in his 20s so there was less awareness of autism when he was young, which made their journey even more difficult. What made this book reading was the beautiful relationship between Dale and his dog H ...more
Joseph Harris

This is the inspiring account of a family's struggle to break into their son's autistic world - and how a dog made the real difference. Dale was still a baby when his parents realised that something wasn't right. Worried, his mother Nuala took him to see several doctors, before finally hearing the word 'autism' for the first time in a specialist's office. Scared but determined that Dale should live a fulfilling life, Nuala describes her despairat her son's condition, her struggle to prevent Dale

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Ruth
I got this book from the library because it was one of the books for my ward's bookclub. I had never heard of it before now.

It is a true story of an autistic boy Dale and how his dog Henry helps him. The author Nuala is the mother of Dale and tells a very detailed story of what it was like for her family to deal with Dale, his developmental issues, and health and educational professionals.

I enjoyed reading this book and was reminded of some of my former clients who also struggled with Autism.
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Cassie Hall
A Friend like Henry
The characters in my book were well developed. It was a real life situation. I believe that the mother Nuala was a little harsh at times. Even though your child is born with a mental problem you should love them though anything that comes your way. Her child Dale was born with autism. It’s a hard concept to deal with; it’s something that as parents; you never want your child to have. Dale had no control over what he did. He was too young to understand what was going on; but a
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All Because of Henry Mijn vriend Henry. Memoires All Because of Henry: My Story of Struggle and Triumph with Two Autistic Children and the Dogs that Unlocked their World

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“Oh, that’s terrible, that’s not nice.” We immediately stopped what we were doing in the kitchen and hurried through to the lounge, not quite believing that our son was actually sounding as though he felt sorry for someone. On the screen, there was a badly injured woman in a mangled car. We eavesdropped as Dale went on, “Oh, dear, Henry, that’s a shame.” Jamie and I looked at each other in amazement—at long last our son was showing empathy—but with impeccable timing came Dale’s punchline: “It’s all broke, Henry. Poor car.” We resigned ourselves to a slightly longer wait for empathy. Despite our continued efforts to engage with Dale” 0 likes
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