THE SOUND OF A MIRACLE: A Child's Triumph Over Autism by Annabel Stehli

THE SOUND OF A MIRACLE: A Child's Triumph Over Autism

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An extraordinary story of a child cured of autism, thanks to her mother's stubborn insistence that more was possible. Stehli is a woman who has had more than her share of pain. Her oldest daughter died of childhood leukemia, while her middle daughter, troubled from birth, was finally diagnosed as autistic; and in the middle of this, her husband left her for another woman. Stehli was also a victim of Bruno Bettelheim's theory that unfeeling mothers are the cause of autism. Giving into none of it, she persisted in building a life with a new husband and children that included autistic Georgiana as part of the family. A move to Switzerland put them in touch with a doctor who believed that autistic children were exceptionally sensitive to some noises, causing extreme withdrawal. He had devised a system that desensitized the hearing After three days, Georgie was essentially cured of autism, although it took years to make up for the schooling and the learning she had missed. She's now in graduate school, completing her studies in art. An afterword by Dr. Bernard Rimland, a specialist on autism who overturned Bettleheim's theory and emphasizes the biological basis of autism, confirms Georgie's remarkable recovery, but warns that other children who worked with the Swiss doctor were helped only partially or not at all. A book that is moving because it is not heroic, but a recounting by a mother who struggled day by day with courage and love.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1990
Publisher: Doubleday