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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

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  2,304 Ratings  ·  318 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

Paperback, 262 pages
Published September 1st 2008 by Sourcebooks (first published July 26th 2007)
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Sep 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: autism, parenting
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
Feb 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: grade-6
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
Aug 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
This was nonfiction about a family who watches their young son pulling away into autism. I liked how this wasn't all about the parents and their trials in learning to deal with the effects that autism had on their life. While it did cover that, it was mostly about their son, Dale. And later they had a daughter, and she too was diagnosed with autism. I loved the parental voice in this. They were not perfect. They didn't try to dismiss their mistakes or make all their successes about how wonderful ...more
Aug 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jackie Lane
Dec 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
OMG, I bawled my eyes out at the end of this book. I could barely make it through it.

This is the story of a boy with autism and how through communication through a puppy/dog, he can enter mainstream society.
Mar 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nuala Gardner opens up her family to us and shares the joys and sorrows of raising children with Autism. I applaud her style of not seeking to blame a reason for her children's disability but to use their abilities to expand their worlds. As a special education teacher it can be challenging to work with families that don't carry on the education at home. Nuala Gardner shares her struggles with getting the proper education for her children and unfortunately this can still be a struggle today.
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.
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“To call him a dog hardly seems to do him justice, though in as much as he had four legs, a tail and barked, I admit he was, to all outward appearances. But to those of us who knew him well, he was a perfect gentleman.” 1 likes
“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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