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Let Me Hear Your Voice: A Family's Triumph over Autism [Paperback]

Catherine Maurice
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
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Book Description

July 19 1994
She was a beautiful doelike child, with an intense, graceful fragility. In her first year, she picked up words, smiled and laughed, and learned to walk. But then Anne-Marie began to turn inward. And when her little girl lost some of the words she had acquired, cried inconsolably, and showed no interest in anyone around her, Catherine Maurice took her to doctors who gave her a devastating diagnosis: autism.
In their desperate struggle to save their daughter, the Maurices plunged into a medical nightmare of false hopes, "miracle cures," and infuriating suggestions that Anne-Marie's autism was somehow their fault. Finally, Anne-Marie was saved by an intensive behavioral therapy.
Let Me Hear Your Voice is a mother's illuminating account of how one family triumphed over autism. It is an absolutely unforgettable book, as beautifully written as it is informative.
"A vivid and uplifting story . . . Offers new strength to parents who refuse to give up on their autistic children." -- Kirkus Reviews
"Outstanding . . . Heartfelt . . . A lifeline to families in similar circumstances." -- Library Journal

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Let Me Hear Your Voice: A Family's Triumph over Autism + Beyond the Autism Diagnosis: A Professional's Guide to Helping Families + You and Others: Reflective Practice for Group Effectiveness in Human Services
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From Kirkus Reviews

A vivid and uplifting story of how a family pulled not one but two children out of the torments of autism--and into a normal life. Maurice is the pseudonym for a mother of three whose courage and determination overrode the pessimistic prognosis that ``autism is incurable.'' She was already pregnant with her third child when her one-year-old daughter, Anne-Marie, was diagnosed as autistic. Maurice and her husband cast about to find not merely a relief from symptoms but a cure, finally adopting the form of behavior modification found successful in carefully controlled studies by O. Ivar Lovaas, a California-based researcher. The program involved a daily regimen of repetitious training, the resetting of patterns of behavior that had gone awry, and the replacement of sympathy by discipline, interrupting the child's repetitive motions and self- withdrawal no matter how she resisted or cried. The family hired a teacher skilled in behavior modification who worked with Anne-Marie every day, as well as a speech therapist who visited three times a week. To counter what she at first felt were the mechanistic techniques of behavior modification, Maurice also took up ``holding therapy,'' which calls for holding the child tightly for at least an hour a day. It was the behavioral techniques that succeeded, and, in less than two years, the girl was pronounced ``normal''--as was Maurice's younger son, also autistic. Unlike other recent books about children who've recovered from autism (e.g., Donna Williams's Nobody Nowhere, 1992), this offers not only hope but a road map, with names, addresses, and phone numbers for Lovaas and others. (Caveat: Behavioral therapy, Maurice says, benefits measureably only about 50% of autistic kids.) Powerful in her detailing and in her intelligent, honest observations, Maurice offers new strength to parents who refuse to give up on their autistic children. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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may have been signs, but we didn't know what they indicated, not then. Indeed, for every crying incident, there were as many scenes of charm and joy. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A frightening and unrealistic book. April 12 1999
By A Customer
I was very offended and concerned with the nature of this book. The author seemed to be on a mission to "drag" her children from autism, as she said. Autism is no picnic, as I know...I have a 4-year-old son with autism, and I work with him every day. I am so worried that others will read this book and it will continue to perpetuate the belief that autism can be cured. As a mother and a physician, I know that it CAN be managed. A family, and the world can learn so much from an autistic child. My son has beautiful gifts and talents, and we embrace him for who he is. We work in earnest on his behalf. Finally, readers should be warned that this book strongly advocates, even pushes, the Lovaas method. Lovaas is not a method for most people to consider, because of it's requirements. Lovaas greatly disrupts a family, and a marriage. There are SO many wonderful options for autistic children, and if you are looking for an honest discussion of autism, and living with autism, and managing it while retaining your own identity, your marriage and a healthy family life, I suggest you search for additional books.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Although the book was based in the 80's, the ... July 3 2014
Although the book was based in the 80's, the emotions and journey that Catherine went through is still relevant for parents today. It also includes an exploration of intervention systems.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Seminal Work on ABA method, family style March 31 2000
When my fourth child was diagnosed with "PDD", I was happy. That was how ignorant I was--I thought it meant he wasn't autistic! Six years and one more autistic child later, I still credit this book with giving me a foothold and a way of grasping how to deal with the educational interventions that I feel continue to remain most viable for so many autistic children. I had nothing but my own gut feelings, one other book called "Children with Autism", and this book to guide me in the beginning stages of what would prove to be the longest, most incredible journey I have ever made in my life. It's still evolving, and so are we, in my family.
Because of this book, I garnered the strength to look into educational intervention for my first autistic son in the way of a "home program". I didn't know anything about what a "home program" entailed until I read this book. I didn't know that the optimal time you must devote to a program such as this has been set at 40 hours a week! I didn't know that there wouldn't be any trained therapists available--I had to be trained myself, in fact! I found babysitters, one high school girl, you name it--at one point I was so desparate I dissolved in tears and said, "I CAN'T DO THIS! " But you have to. YOU JUST HAVE TO. And you will, too, because you must.
As my supervisor said to me when she "okayed" us for the program, "Look at it this way--two years of your life will make such a difference." And it did. Not the sucess story the author had, but at least a sense of control over things and an awareness of my son's potential.
This book gave me something to hang on to.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A word from one of the "lucky" ones. July 26 2002
By Julia
As the mother of a daughter who was diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder just after her second birthday, I felt especially raw when I read this book.
If I hadn't read this book, I may have delayed ABA therapy for my own daughter. My home-based, daycare-based program has shown better results than any other therapy that we had tried before I found out about ABA. Although I have not had heard the words "recovered" or "cured", I have seen a marked improvement in my child's language, behavior and social skills. Her pediatrician remarked that the outstanding progress that we've seen is typical in about 5% of children who are diagnosed with ASD.
Thank goodness for this book. It gave me hope and set me in motion. It showed me that I could use ABA in combination with other ongoing therapies. I didn't need to choose a single path.
I don't have the funds nor the lifestyle of the author. What I do have is a drive to find a way to bring my daughter back into the world of human contact.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful, touching and positively inspiring June 4 2011
For any parent who is struggling with concerns about (or a recent diagnosis of) a spectrum disorder, this book is like meeting a wise friend who has been through it, experienced the pain, worry and stress, and put it on paper in a way that not only makes you feel less alone, but also gives you hope. The book is about 15 years old, and therefore was written at a time when there was less awareness of autism and the options for treatment, but that doesn't make it any less valuable. Through her writing, Maurice gave me hope, inspiration to take action, and meaningful advice and tools to get me started. I highly, highly recommend for anyone who is feeling lost in the world of autism and who is struggling with the sense that nothing can be done.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Every Voice Counts Feb. 24 2006
By A Customer
This was a very interesting account of how one woman traveled down a very bumpy Long & Winding Road with two children on the autism spectrum. Her children made great strides with ABA, Applied Behavioral Analysis. It was through the diligent efforts of the ABA therapist that the children were able to learn to identify words; identify sensory perceptions and verbalize the experience.
One thing that bothered me was the heavy handed use of the word "perseverate." That is a truly harmful and judgmental word that has hurt many; helped none and is best avoided. The terms "special interest," "repetitive verbalizations/behaviors" are far preferable and much more accurate. The overusage of this damning, negative and destructive word cost this book one star. It is a word best avoided. The deleterious affect this word has is addressed in Annabel Stehli's book, "The Sound of Falling Snow: Stories of Recovery From Autism & Related Conditions."
One thing that I tip my hat to Catherine Maurice for was exposing the fraudulent claims made in re holding therapy. The very name of this quack nostrum makes me want to run for cover! Maurice actually met with Margaret G. Welch, the founder of this nostrum and was initially a Welchian follower. Over time, she saw that holding therapy was questionable and harmful. Welch's book "Holding Time," as well as Bettelheim's "Empty Fortress" and Elisabeth & Nikolaas Tinbergen's atrocious works on autism are the worst books I have EVER read!
Welch had her view films of "holdings," wherein the children filmed were either a) not autistic or b) displaying the adverse response to being restrained. I also didn't like the way Dr. Welch would tell parents to yell at their children; level accusations at them and then follow up with hugs.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars One Voice
This book makes me think of the Billy Gilman song, "One Voice." And every voice counts.
This was a very interesting account of how one woman traveled down a very bumpy Long... Read more
Published on Jan. 1 2006
3.0 out of 5 stars One Voice
This book makes me think of the Billy Gilman song, "One Voice." And every voice counts.
This was a very interesting account of how one woman traveled down a very bumpy Long... Read more
Published on Jan. 1 2006
3.0 out of 5 stars Offers hope
I found this book gave me much hope for what would otherwise have been a very devastating diagnosis for my 3 yr old son. Read more
Published on April 10 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Emotional and Intellectual Introduction to Life with Autism
I found this book heart-rending, inspiring and informative. Maurice describes vividly the pain, terror, hope and confusion that a diagnosis of autism precipitates. Read more
Published on Jan. 4 2004
2.0 out of 5 stars Positive plot, negative attitude
I have never lived with an autistic child. I can not speak for those parents who have to somehow cope with their child's disability. Read more
Published on Dec 1 2003 by John
5.0 out of 5 stars I felt like I wasn't alone
I am a mother of an autistic daughter who was diagnosed a few months ago. This book really inspired me not to give up hope! Read more
Published on Nov. 2 2003 by "molsmom6701"
5.0 out of 5 stars With great appreciation to Catherine Maurice
I can not begin to express the amount of appreciation I have towards Catherine Maurice. Many people who have autistic children may read her book and wonder why this woman was... Read more
Published on Sept. 24 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars great portrayel of autism and its treatment
I am entereing a Masters of Occupational Therapy program this fall. I read this book over the summer in hopes of having a better picture of Autism and of ABA therapy. Read more
Published on Sept. 11 2003 by L. Welch
5.0 out of 5 stars I want to hear his voice
I have just finished reading this book and it moved me to tears so many times. My nephew has autistic tendencies and I want to learn how to hear his voice as is often difficult to... Read more
Published on Sept. 4 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't ignore a book written in 1994!
If you are a parent of an autistic child - you need a few books on your journey. This is one of them. READ THIS ONE FIRST! Read more
Published on April 4 2003 by Lisa Ackerman
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