Book Review for Sound Sound of Falling Snow: Children's Stories of Recovery from Autism and Related Disorders:
Historically, when a child is diagnosed with a disability, it is a diagnosis for life. Though they will grow and learn, the disability will impact them forever. People donít recover from cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, or blindness. According to this book, some do recover from autism spectrum disorders (ASD), attention deficit disorders, learning disabilities, and pervasive developmental delays.
They often recover through a method called
Auditory Integration Training, based on the concept that some of
these kids suffer from hypersensitive hearingóthey cannot filter or
modulate incoming sounds and so they experience life as an assault
of noise. They react with inappropriate behavior, and are often
diagnosed, like the editorís daughter, as functionally retarded.
Auditory Integration Training was developed by Dr. Guy Berard, a retired otolarnygoloist from France.
In 1977, he cured Stehliís daughter, Georgiana Thomas, catapulting Annabel Stehli into her lifeís work. Exempt from scrutiny by the FDA and occasionally covered by health insurance, Auditory Integration Training is available because of Stehliís dedication to making it available. The training consists basically of the child listening to a specially modulated music tape twice a day to re-teach the brain how to process sounds.
Annabel Stehli has written several previous books about raising children with special needs, including The Sound of a Miracle: A Childís Triumph Over Autism. In this new collection, she has a light editing touch, and the stories read like conversations rather than polished pieces. James, whose mother wrote about him in Stehliís Dancing in the Rain: Stories of Exceptional Progress by Parents of Children with Special Needs, writes his own version of how his life changed after Auditory Integration Training. He feels that his autism is a gift, as it gives him a different way of seeing and being in the world. Other stories introduce other alternative forms of treatment such as Nicholasís special diet or Brianís success with Applied Behavior Analysis.
Whenever there is a new treatment that works for some but not all kids, critics are quick to dismiss it. Annabel Stehli does not claim that Auditory Integration Training is a panacea for all kids on the autism spectrum, but she does fervently believe that it works for kids with hyper-acute hearing. As an anecdotal presentation, rather than medical fact, this book changes the way disabilities are defined and treated. It offers hope to all those living with differences.
Reviews of Sound of Falling Snow: Children's Stories of Recovery from Autism and Related Disorders
"This is one of the most inspiring and uplifting
books about autism that I have ever read. Hats off to the people who shared
their stories and for the Rays of Hope they have beamed each reader's way.
We need this book!"
Amazon 5 Star Book Review
"This book is filled with stories that wrench any parent's heart - and then fill it up again page after page - with new hope and inspiration! These amazing recovery stories are a wonderful testimony to the devotion and unconditional love of unrelenting parents who will stop at nothing to recover their special needs child."
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