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Daniel Isn't Talking    by Marti Leimbach order for
Daniel Isn't Talking
by Marti Leimbach
Order:  USA  Can
Nan A. Talese, 2006 (2006)

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* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Melanie Marsh, an American living in England, is fighting a battle alone, one she didn't instigate. Nor does she wish to win so much as to be able to raise her autistic child without so-called well-meaning people telling her she's doing it all wrong ... 'There are institutions for children like that'; 'He's best off in a school for special needs children'; 'He'll never talk nor recognize you'; 'He's mentally retarded.'

These are all statements she's heard and rejects because Melanie believes there is hope for her son Daniel. He was fine until he got his MMR shot at eighteen months. Melanie is determined to help him reach a state that is as normal as he can ever be. Just getting Daniel diagnosed is a chore in itself as is getting her husband Stephen to admit he doesn't have the perfect child he wanted his son to be. Melanie must shoulder on alone without her spouse's emotional support as he returns to his old girlfriend.

Heartwrenching while at the same time warm and uplifting, Daniel Isn't Talking is a chronicle of a brave mother. Melanie must first find herself before she can find the person buried inside her wee son's body, as well as give her daughter Emily the care and love she deserves. Daniel Isn't Talking is a gently written tale full of emotion - pain and despair, but above all, hope.

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