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Seeing Ezra: A Mother's Story of Autism, Unconditional Love, and the Meaning of Normal

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  155 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Seeing Ezra is the soulful, beautifully written memoir of a mother’s fierce love for her autistic son, and a poignant examination of what it means to be “normal.” When Kerry Cohen’s son Ezra turns one, a babysitter suggests he may be “different,” setting her family on a path in which autism dominates their world. As he becomes a toddler and they navigate the often rigid an ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published August 30th 2011 by Seal Press (first published January 1st 2011)
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3.96  · 
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 ·  155 ratings  ·  25 reviews

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Aug 12, 2011 rated it it was ok
I won this book on a goodreads giveaway. There were things i loved about this book and things i didnt like. What i loved about this book was that you could really tell that she loved her children. I also like that she was willing to accept her child how he was. What i didnt like about this book was how down she was about almost everyone who came into her life. It seemed like even when people were trying to help her she was angry with them. I have worked with people with special needs and have ha ...more
Feb 17, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
For everyone who has ever misunderstood me and/or judged me as an autistic, I want to throw this book at them. Whilst Cohen is, indeed, whiny in many instances throughout this book, the never-ending battle she faces in trying to convince strangers—and even friends—nothing is wrong with her child caused me to see myself in her. When I say, "I'm autistic," I'm always handed back some lecture on how I need not use identity-first language, or how I don't "seem" autistic.

It's really hard to be an aut
Sep 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A few weeks ago I was contacted via my blog by a publicist for Seal Press. She wanted to know if I was interested in reading Seeing Ezra by Kerry Cohen, which is a book about a mom and her son with autism. I was hesitant at first. Is this legit? Why me? No one except Rainbowmummy has ever really contacted me via my blog email address. I've gotten a few other random emails and a request for an interview, but that's it. I decided to ignore the interview request when the interviewer's questions had ...more
Jen Troester
Oct 24, 2011 rated it did not like it
I'm not going to lie...even though this is an easy read, it took me a long time to actually finish it. The whole book I just did not get. The author basically just goes on and on denying her son services bc she can't seem to accept that he has autism. It's basically just one big excuse for a parent failing her child repeatedly, bc I guess if you don't face your problems they go away? I found reading it a huge waste of time and still have no clue what her point was in writing it.
Pam Camel
Sep 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
When I was asked if I would like an advance galley copy of this book to read of course I said yes. We don't turn down books in this house. I was prepared to read yet another book from a mom that was from the martyr standpoint. We all know the poor me feel bad for me autism books. This book is not that type of book. The first quote that stood out to me was " Tonight, autism comes into my house and settles into the cusions of my couch. As of tonight, autism is here to stay. It will not be leaving, ...more
Tiffany Bell
Aug 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
When receiving the chance to read this memoir I was incredibly excited but now upon completing it i feel also privileged. This story of a mothers love and intelligent pursuit of knowledge and whats best for her children is an inspiring tale which I would recommend to readers of all ages for it gives some insight to the way simple actions, regardless of the intent, can affect the people around you. As a future nurse this loving story of a family's struggle will definitely help me make better choi ...more
Aug 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, memoir-bio
This book is an amazing look into a woman's life as she struggles to understand society's need to "fix" her autistic son. I admire Cohen for telling us that she was angry at those that pointed out that there might be something wrong with her son, asking only that those around her allow her to discover her son for who he is. As a educator, I found this memoir to be a must read for any in the field. Society asks Cohen to mold her son with various radical therapies into something more "normal", but ...more
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As the mother of a toddler who has recently been diagnosed on the autism spectrum I would give this book 10 stars if I could. This book spoke straight to my heart. It was completely amazing how the things she was saying was dead on. I will be sending a note to the author of this book as well. wow absolutely moving and informational as well as empowering. I cannot say enough good about this one.
Mar 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
having read her other books all I can say is WOW THIS CHICK HAS BEEN THROUGH SHT AND SURVIVED
This book is thoroughly gratifying no matter what background you come from or what age you are. You don't have to know anything about autism nor are you required to be a mother yourself to celebrate, along with Kerry Cohen, the love she has for her younger son, Griffin and her autistic son, Ezra.

When faced with important decisions regarding Ezra's schooling, Kerry Cohen and her husband, Michael, must make a tough decision- continue in a school that is not meeting Ezra's needs, or find a place t
Sep 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I happened to come across the book on Amazon when I was looking for the similarly titled "Following Ezra . . ." by Tom Fields-Meyer, a high school classmate of mine who published a memoir about his autistic son right around the same time this one came out. I decided to read this one first as I heard Tom's was more positive and optimistic in tone, whereas Kerry's was more raw and perhaps less upbeat.

Although neither of my children have autism (excuse me if I'm not politically correct in my termin
Sep 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I'm learning that the more personal a book is to me, the harder it is to review it. Seems like it should make it easier, but it doesn't. I don't totally agree with Ms. Cohen on some things, but that doesn't make the book any less impactful. I finished this book four days ago, but I couldn't find the words to write a review.

At first, I found it hard to relate to her because when she first started seeking help for her son, she didn't want anyone to think badly of him, so she didn't tell the doctor
Aug 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Seeing Ezra by Kerry Cohen is a very powerful book in which the author tells the story of her son Ezra who has autism spectrum disorder. Although she paints a picture of her son in his unique behaviors, the book seems to be more about her own feelings, emotions, and thoughts in coping both with his behaviors and reacting to the professionals she must deal with to obtain help for Ezra. It was difficult reading at times due to the intensity of her feelings especially toward teachers and other prof ...more
Dec 01, 2013 rated it it was ok
It feels difficult to critique this very personal story about Cohen's relationship with her young son. I didn't pick this book up because of its discussion of autism; I sought it out because I read the author's earlier memoir and was curious what happened next - particularly to her marriage. Considering that, it held my attention and opened my eyes a little to a world with which I'm not terribly familiar. My biggest complaint is that she relies too frequently on repeating words for dramatic emph ...more
Sep 01, 2011 rated it did not like it
I read this a few years ago and I thought I already reviewed it. I really didn't enjoy reading it. Part of me wonders if I should be a little more patient with the author, because I understand that navigating the world of autism on behalf of your child, and receiving so many different messages and feedback and advice about how to help your thrive has got to be the most frustrating, discouraging experience. But I'd like to think that the process of writing this book would have helped the author g ...more
Lisa M. Guerrero
Oct 22, 2013 rated it liked it
What I take away most from my reading of Seeing Ezra, is that the simple act of validating a family or a child does so much to build a meaningful connection. Cohen (2011) introduced us to a wide cast of caregivers and professionals that attempted to meet her family’s needs, and the few that succeeded did so because they sent positive messages – affirmations that encouraged Ezra to be who he was. As an early childhood educator, I am reminded that focusing on a family's strengths encourages growth ...more
Aug 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Honest, real, tenacious. I feel the raw emotion, worry and frustration plucked straight out of my soul, my heart and onto the pages. Autism's rippling effect of disability dis-ables every aspect of family life. Motherhood: protect, serve, anticipate, support, love, research, counsel EVERYONE surrounding the child. Right now, right now, right NOW. Feel guilty for needing, frustrated for wanting, desperate for hope.
Cohen's story, her writing resonates to my core.
Aug 11, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I graciously won a free copy through first reads giveaway.

I commend the author for putting all of her feelings out for everyone to read. I have seen some other reviews commenting on her parenting skills, and all I have to say is don't judge unless you have been in those exact shoes. No one is perfect, and when being a parent the best teacher is experience.
Dena Guzman
May 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
an important piece of work to add to any library regarding not only parenting autistics, but also about being that parent. It's a cliche to say this, but unless you pull down that oxygen mask for yourself first, no one is going to be in very good shape in the end.
Catherine Sandy
Aug 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Parents and those who work with special needs children
I think that every parent of a special needs child and every educator or therapist who works with special needs children should read this book. Each child is different and a cookie cutter approach just doesn't work. This is a candid memoir of her struggle with a system that wants to "fix" him.
Michon Ball
Apr 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I could relate to this book on so many levels. It was hard to read because I felt like it was my story but also strangely comforting to have someone else experience what I've felt and experienced.
Kristin R
Oct 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This was a great memoir of one family's experience with autism. It doesn't promise any solutions or cures, and it's very honest in its portrayal of everyday life.
Aug 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a great book on a mom's road with a child with Autism.
Kristen Luppino
Mar 23, 2014 rated it it was ok
Not among my favorite parental accounts of having a child with autism. At times it is repetitive and somewhat whiny and repeats the same information.
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Aug 12, 2011
Kiersten M.
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Molly Major
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May 30, 2012
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Sep 08, 2016
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Aug 27, 2012
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Kerry Cohen is the author of Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity; Seeing Ezra: A Mother’s Story of Autism, Unconditional Love, and The Meaning of Normal; Dirty Little Secrets: Breaking the Silence on Teenage Girls and Promiscuity; as well as three young adult novels – Easy; The Good Girl; and It’s Not You, It’s Me. Her essays have been featured in The New York Times' "Modern Love" series, The Wash ...more