Nitya's Reviews > A Slant of Sun: One Child's Courage

A Slant of Sun by Beth Kephart
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's review
Nov 29, 2011

really liked it

This is a beautifully written chronicle of a mother's realization that something is not right with her child, and her struggle to define what the problem is, and how to best help her son. Beth Kephart is a writer, who stays home with her first child, and who gradually begins to notice that Jeremy is not like other children.He seldom speaks, and when he does it is never in sentences. He is not interested in other kids, or in most toys. Except for cars, he is obsessed with toy cars, and spends hours building elaborate patterns of various cars. Sounds harmless, right? But he also is terrified of having people come over to the house, and he is increasingly absorbed in his own world as he withdraws from the world around him.
His mother describes coming out of her denial that there's a problem, and then the frustration of finding the right path, the right therapy, the right school. The official diagnosis, at age 2 1/2, is Pervasive Developmental Disorder.
How the author, and her husband, and Jeremy, work tirelessly and bravely to ensure Jeremy a place in the world where he will not be isolated and alone. that is the story here. These parents are so present and involved and engaged with their son that he does, eventually, pull through, and get assimilated into regular school.
One day, around age seven, after Jeremy,alone in his room, practices having a conversation with a friend from school, he yells down to his mother, "See Mom, I AM like other kids." That part made me want to cry. For each milestone he makes, I could feel his mother's joy and I, too, celebrated. Love and caring attention doesn't always heal everything, but it goes a long way.
This is a great book for anyone with a kid in their life who is having problems, especially anywhere on the autism spectrum.

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