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  ·  1,185 ratings  ·  184 reviews
A Friend Like Henry is a mother's heartwarming account of how her little boy conquered his autism with the help of a devoted family dog.
ebook, 280 pages
Published September 1st 2008 by Sourcebooks (first published July 26th 2007)
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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
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...more
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...more
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
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...more
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...more
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
La mia recensione completa la trovate qua

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...more
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...more
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!
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!
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.
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.
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
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
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

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....more
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...more
Jul 18, 2008 Kristylemmon rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those interested in how autism affects families
Overall, this was an enjoyable and insightful read. The author is the mother of 2 children with autism and this is about how getting a dog helped them break through to their children (it can feel like autism has kidnapped your child). She's a nurse, not a writer, so at times I found it a little tedious and overly sentimental. That said, I was very impressed that she was able to convey their story so clearly. It's no small task to bring a child from severe autism to high functioning and then to b...more
Comments originally posted here.

A Friend Like Henry

I first heard about this book from my mother, and immediately put it on my library hold queue. I just finished it today and I can only say that I'm very glad I did.

This is the story of parents who discover their son has severe autism. After so many struggles, they get a golden retriever puppy they call Henry. Through Henry, Dale finally begins to interact with the world. This is an inspirational book - what amazing parents Dale and his younger...more
Heidi Busch
This was a well written memoir of one family's experience with autism. I often wonder with children and adults who live with autism, how much their environment and experiences benefit or harm them. This book definitely demonstrates that parents of children on the autism spectrum have to be some of the most creative and resourceful parents. Looking at how animals can provide care and support to people with disabilities is also a great part of this book.

Jun 20, 2014 Robin rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
This a true story of a couple in the UK who wanted to live a "normal" life, raise their children and be happy. Unbeknownst to the couple their baby was born with autism. This book shows just what it took the couple to raise their son as normal as could be. It definitely woke my eyes up to see just what type of services is out there for these children and how hard it is for parents to get the help they need.
Definite recommend!!
Margherita Dolcevita
Uno dei migliori del genere. E' bellissimo. La mamma/autrice è molto brava nel rendere il lettore partecipe di quelle che sono le vicende di Dale, dalla nascita all'adolescenza, accompagnato da un amico a quattro zampe che però, a differenza di quanto si percepisce dal titolo, non è il vero protagonista. E' Dale il vero protagonista, e con lui i suoi genitori, i nonni e tutta la comunità che li ha aiutati e che si è stretta intorno a loro. Fa capire che malattia difficile sia l'autismo, come mol...more
Charmaine Lloyd
I would not have bought a book like this. My motto is "too many books, too little time". So when a friend loaned me this book, I put it off for a bit expecting it to be sweet and sentimental without the x factor.

Well, just shows. I can be introduced to new genres without feeling that I am wasting my precious book reading time(Sharon, have you got any other books for me?).

Especially when the heroes (which are really the parents, more so than the dog - even though he is quite adorable and reminde...more
The story is much more than just about Henry and his undoutedly special bond with Dale. At the same time this is an amazing story of a family (and mother's) battle in the face of the so-called "professionals" to get the best for her children. I find it particularly scary to think that the family have only lived through this experience of battling against the medical and educational system in the last 10 years or so as their children have been growing up in the 1990s and 2000s. Without the core o...more
What a touching read! As the subtitle says, Dale is an autistic child who makes leaps and bounds in his development after his parents get him a golden retriever pupppy named Henry. Their bond - like so many between dog and kid - is strong and enduring.

Henry provides Dale with a safe way to learn eye contact, what facial expressions mean, and the concept of personal space. I was also kind of shocked at how extreme Dale's autism was; I admittedly haven't been around very many autistic people (at...more
This book affirms all I know about the intelligence of golden retrievers and the magnificent, yet mysterious bond between humans and animals. Nuala Gardner shares her heartbreaking story of autism in both of her children, and how Henry the golden literally unlocks her son and gives him back to her. This memoir is direct, and somewhat sparsely written, but full of advice, thought-provoking issues, and evidence of how any child with disabilities can be maximized with a network of love and support,...more
WOnderful eye-opening book about autism, or well one autism boy and how animals really can help.
One of the things who got me really emotional was when the had to put the dog down. I just had to put our down and I am so happy to realise once again that he died happily from no pain whatsoever. Just kisses on our faces telling us that he was going to be alright. Stupid smart wonderful dog.
This is an interesting book about how a Golden Retriever puppy helped unlock an autistic child's world. When Nuala and Jamie Gardner's son Dale was born, they knew from early on that something wasn't right with him, but it took almost 5 years before they had the official diagnosis of autism. Shortly after his diagnosis the family visited some cousins who had two dogs and after seeing how much Dale enjoyed them, they decided to get there own dog. Having Henry in his life helped Dale in countless...more
A Friend Like Henry is a beautiful book that is very moving. For anyone who is interested in special needs or especially autism this is a great book. This is also a wonderful book for pet lovers as much of it is focused on a dog named Henry. The book is about the main characters Dale, Nuala, Amy and Jamie. Dale has autism which is very hard on his family and is almost impossible to deal with. It was Henry on top of Dale's amazing support system including his parents that helped him. Dale improv...more
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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 All Because of Henry

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