by Howard Buten
Review by Dana Vigilante on Jun 13th 2006
The author, Howard Buten, is a
psychotherapist who not only specializes in the study of autism but acts as a
performance artist in Paris, a clown-mime in his spare time and is a successful
novelist, with seven extremely well published, titles to his name. He has devoted the last twenty years to
researching both the causes and the effects of autism, and the search for an
effective treatment, so desperately needed, for this disease is the focus of
candor, compassion and empathy, Buten spares no expense in order to educate the
reader on the severity of autism, the growing number of cases in the United
States as well as Europe, and the need for further research to be able to put
an end to this disease.
With the seemingly unreachable and
impenetrable barrier that surrounds children with autism, Buten shares with the
reader his most severe case studies over the course of the last several
years. Cases that other physicians and
health professionals assured him were hopeless, but cases that Buten chose to
take on with faith.
Buten educates the reader on the
typical behavior of an autistic child: from banging their heads, biting and
chewing at their skin, to manic strangeness such as tapping on a window or wall
for a calculated number of seconds.
Buten has handled many severe cases of autism with an insurmountable
level of faith, dedication and an overriding hope that treatment is possible.
Although many of the cases, with
which the reader becomes familiar, are devastating we are also rewarded by
learning the exceptional, almost miraculous, outcome of several of these
patients. As a matter of fact, Buten
named his autism center in Paris after one such patient, who went on to do
exceptionally well in life.
Because we are hearing more and
more about autism today, this book is a must-read for health professionals, as
well as anyone who knows someone with autism.
This book is informative, sympathetic and an excellent educational
© 2006 Dana Vigilante
Dana Vigilante is a hospice
educator as well as an advocate for proper end-of-life care and a certified
bereavement group facilitator. Currently writing a book based on interviews
with terminally ill hospice patients, she divides her time between New Jersey
and San Francisco.