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I have, for no particular reason, long been interested in autism and have read a number of books by and/or about people with autism. I am also a dog lover so when I saw A friend like Henry: the remarkable true story of an autistic boy and the dog that unlocked his world sitting on the shelf at the library, I had to get it out despite already having a few books waiting to be read. I started it at 6am this morning and was very reluctant to put it down and go to work. I read it during my breaks and then sat down and finished it when I got home. This is a fantastic story that regularly had me in tears as well as rejoicing with Nuala and her family. Henry, a Golden Retriever, doesn’t make his appearance till halfway through the book, but the first section is important to set the scene and show how bad things were before his advent. Although the family encountered some helpful professionals, on the whole they didn’t get the support they needed, to the extent that on one occasion Nuala almost committed suicide. Henry made an enormous difference to Dale but it was really Nuala and Jamie’s use of Henry that enabled Dale to improve to the extent that he can live a nearly normal live. Very inspirational.

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