Not My Boy by Rodney Peete

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Dani
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 5:55 am

Not My Boy by Rodney Peete

Postby Dani » Mon Jun 07, 2010 2:03 am

Not My Boy! is a really great, candid book written by a father of a boy with autism. For those who don't follow professional (American) football, Rodney Peete is a well-known athlete. His son was diagnosed with autism back in the early 1990s. The Peetes were told many things that their son "would never do." Flash forward to today, eight years later, their son is in 5th grade and thriving. He still has some social challenges, but he is mainstreamed with an aide, he reads, writes, does math, speaks really well, asks questions, plays the piano, goes on long airplane trips and vacations with his family without any problems, can be trusted to go to the store across the street to buy things on his own and get the correct change back, and most importantly he is on several sports teams with typical peers.

What I really liked about the book is how open Rodney is about the anger and denial he had. It was very hard for him to come to terms with his son's diagnosis and to find his role in the relationship with his wife and their son. Once their son was diagnosed, his wife (actress Holly Robinson Peete) went into that familiar mode of research, networking, therapies, biomedical treatments, doctor visits, and he didn't know what he could contribute. Rodney is very open about the various therapies they tried from ABA, Floortime, art therapy, swimming, sports, specialized video games, etc. They left no stone unturned. He talks in great detail about his son progress in school and what it took to get him to that point (full-time aide, lots of support from teachers, lots of repetition and structure, being open with the peers and asking for their help, getting typical siblings of the ASD child involved, etc.) He could have said more about the various biomedical treatments, but I got the impression that biomed was his wife's forte so he left that to her although he does mention they tried various biomedical treatments from chelation to a gluten free diet.

I am giving this book to my husband to read. It's a great book for dads. Rodney speaks honestly about the stress that an autism diagnosis can bring to even the strongest of marriages. But at its core, this book is not a woe-is-me-my-life-is-now-over kind of book. His message is - autism is treatable and you don't have to abandon your dreams for your child.

At the back of the book, there's an appendix with various resources. Guess what? This website and this internet support group on AutismWeb is mentioned. I found that to be so cool. We're famous now! :lol:

autismgal
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2007 6:13 pm

Re: Not My Boy by Rodney Peete

Postby autismgal » Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:54 pm

Dani wrote:At the back of the book, there's an appendix with various resources. Guess what? This website and this internet support group on AutismWeb is mentioned. I found that to be so cool. We're famous now! :lol:


Cool! I wonder if he or his wife are members here? Has anyone read the children's book Holly Robinson Peete wrote about autism?

Kari
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Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2009 3:37 pm

Re: Not My Boy by Rodney Peete

Postby Kari » Thu Aug 26, 2010 5:14 pm

The best part of the book IMO was the part where he and Holly went to their son's (mainstream) school and spoke to the kids about their son. I am definitely going to use their approach as model when talking to my son's cousins and potential friends. I haven't read the kids book yet, but is probably great. My six year old daughter has been more curious about her brother lately. It's a resource I have my eye on.

On the negative side, a lot of what they did is out of reach for most of us. He says they spend $160,000 a year on therapies. I did feel sort of frustrated at that, but overall a worthy read.

Dani
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 5:55 am

Re: Not My Boy by Rodney Peete

Postby Dani » Thu Aug 26, 2010 7:07 pm

Kari - I agree. When my child is older, I might go and talk to her class or read a children's book about autism to them.

I was surprised the Peetes spent $160k a year, but I think a lot of it had to do with the private school and private aide. Some private schools cost as much as $45k a year! I'm lucky that no private school in my state costs that much. It also sounds like they really went all out on private therapies and that can add up fast.
I didn't know how strong I could be until I had to be.

Hyacinth
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Re: Not My Boy by Rodney Peete

Postby Hyacinth » Wed Oct 13, 2010 2:49 pm

I just finished reading it. He does mention gf/cf several times, but doesn't go into detail about it. It's a good book. He's very honest about how he went into denial and left the burden (for a while) on his wife.

Kari wrote:The best part of the book IMO was the part where he and Holly went to their son's (mainstream) school and spoke to the kids about their son.


See, that's the part that bothered me. Why did he and his wife have to go to the school and explain what autism is and not to pick on his kid? Why couldn't the school do that?

I hurt to read that part about when his son was in the middle of a group of kids who were laughing at him and his aid got closer and heard the kids saying stupid or disgusting things just to get RJ to repeat those things. Effin bullies.

Kari
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Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2009 3:37 pm

Re: Not My Boy by Rodney Peete

Postby Kari » Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:28 pm

I see your point about that Hyacinth. It would be a great help for our kids if more schools would do that. Maybe it was because it was a private school that maybe didn't have a lot of resources for autism? I just thought the way they explained to the kids was a good model I could use with neighborhood kids, cousins, potential friends, etc.

Hyacinth
Posts: 284
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:50 pm

Re: Not My Boy by Rodney Peete

Postby Hyacinth » Thu Oct 14, 2010 6:39 pm

Kari wrote:I see your point about that Hyacinth. It would be a great help for our kids if more schools would do that. Maybe it was because it was a private school that maybe didn't have a lot of resources for autism? I just thought the way they explained to the kids was a good model I could use with neighborhood kids, cousins, potential friends, etc.


I agree. If your school isn't going to educate the students about your kid's autism, you have to do it and I liked the way she did it.


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