Sunday, October 23, 2011

Book Review: Following Ezra, by Tom Fields-Meyer

When Tom Fields-Meyer’s son is diagnosed as autistic, he is advised by a therapist to “grieve for the child he didn’t turn out to be.” Although Fields-Meyer is naturally dismayed by his son’s diagnosis, he feels no instinct to grieve. In fact, he realizes, he never had any preconceived notions about what his children’s future would be. Instead, his instinct is simply “to pour love on my son, to celebrate him, to understand, to support him, and to follow his lead.”

Following Ezra: What One Father Learned About Gumby, Otters, Autism, and Love From His Extraordinary Son is Fields-Meyer’s celebration of his son’s differences. Although he doesn’t sugarcoat the difficulties of parenting an autistic child (the tantrums, the obsessions, the repetitive speech, the no-holds-barred comments), he always attempts to see these behaviors through Ezra’s unique view of the world. As Fields-Meyer learns, it’s as if Ezra has all of the individual frames of a movie in his head, but they never quite come together to form the same movie that the rest of us see. And it’s obvious that Ezra is highly intelligent with an amazing memory. His parents’ job is to help Ezra find the tools to navigate in the “real” world -- but through the way that he perceives it.

Following Ezra is a remarkable and inspirational story about parenting, autism, learning, family, and more. This book follows Ezra up through his bar mitzvah at age 13, where readers share in celebrating the amazing journey that Ezra and his family have taken since Ezra’s birth. Parents of autistic children will be inspired to embrace their unique offspring, while others will gain greater understanding of what it means to be autistic. This book -- and Ezra -- will touch your heart.



  1. Susan,
    Just happened to see your review of "Following Ezra." I enjoyed it. I did a combination reveiw/interview on the book Tom Lichtenheld co-authored with Ezra a few days ago. Had brief contact with Ezra's father. I am so impressed with his father's philosophy on children with special needs. After reading your review, I really look forward receiving my copy. Thanks!Great review!

  2. Thank you, Patricia. Both Ezra and his father are truly inspirational. I'll also be doing a review of Ezra's children's book, "E-Mergency," in the near future. From reading your review, it sounds like a wonderful book.


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