Sally906's Reviews > Daniel Isn't Talking

Daniel Isn't Talking by Marti Leimbach
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's review
Apr 14, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: general-fiction
Read in January, 2007

** spoiler alert ** Daniel is autistic. He started out laughing and playing peek-a-boo just as any other baby. But sometime after his first birthday his mother, Melanie, knew there was something wrong with her son. Her husband, Stephen, dismisses it as motherly hysteria. When Daniel is finally diagnosed Stephen turns on Melanie and asks her why she didn’t pick it up earlier. All the experts tell her just to put Daniel in a special school, but Melanie won’t give up on improving her son’s quality of life. Stephen loses patience and leaves Melanie and moves in with his ex-girlfriend.

There is no happy ending for Daniel – he is autistic, there is no cure. What makes this book so good is Melanie’s fight for her son – how she puts her whole being into finding the best treatment for him – fighting medical bureaucracy. She has an able-bodied daughter, Emily, as well – she never lets Emily feel second best. The book is well-written, well researched, and the characters are very real. There is a dark humour through the book – and it gives hope. I didn’t like the way the author dismisses all the established methods for dealing with Autism – but she did teach that you never give up getting the best treatment you can.


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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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Alexis I agree with your point regarding Emily. I read another book about an autistic character, actually Asperger's syndrome, recently where the mother was so focused on Jacob that her other son, Theo, got away with so much crap. Theo himself made comments about how he doesn't feel like he doesn't belong in the family. I applaud the author for not showing Melanie as an overly obsessed mother with her disabled son.

Sally906 I guess people react differently - just finished Kathy Lette's book based on the same theme - Autistic child - father leaves - mum raises child. Is very good.

Alexis What's the title of that particular book? I have an interest in autism/Asperger's and like to read fiction and nonfiction titles on the topic. Thanks!

Sally906 sorry i missed your reply - the book isThe Boy Who Fell to Earthby Kathy Lette there is a YA book I can recommend where the main character has Autism/Aspergers The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd

Alexis Thanks! I'll have to see if these books are available in alternative format.

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