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Childhood Mental Disorders and Illnesses

by Alexandra Day
FSG, 2004
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Apr 18th 2005

The Flight of a Dove

The Flight of a Dove is a short illustrated child's book about a young child, Betsy, who has autism.  It shows how she starts to become different from other infants in her second year and how eventually she goes to a special school that helps her to overcome some of the problems associated with her condition.  The pictures are lovely, sympathetically depicting Betsy's isolation, frustration, and odd behavior.  The story is hopeful, showing how the right treatment works so well for Betsy, and it is apparently based on a true story.  The only problem is that it is not clear who might want to read the book.  Obviously parents don't need to read a children's book, and most autistic young children won't be able to read it.  So it will probably mostly be siblings and friends of children with autism who will benefit from the story.  Translated from the French, the prose is a little awkward.  For example: "Mrs. Bouvier's one-year-old daughter cheerfully babbled to her by the hour, but Betsy ignored her unless she tried to get too close.   Then she hissed and clicked until someone removed the baby."  Nevertheless, this is an unusual book and some parents might find it useful as an educational tool.


© 2005 Christian Perring. All rights reserved. 


Christian Perring, Ph.D., is Academic Chair of the Arts & Humanities Division and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Dowling College, Long Island. He is also editor of Metapsychology Online Review.  His main research is on philosophical issues in medicine, psychiatry and psychology.


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