When Horse Became Saw: A Family's Journey Through Autism

When Horse Became Saw: A Family's Journey Through Autism

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Anthony Macris and his wife were, for an all-too-brief period, the happiest of parents when their son Alex was born.

Until autism descended, in a swift and brutal wave, sweeping away the child they knew and leaving them to watch helplessly as his mind disintegrated. Their vibrant, healthy boy, who up to the age of 18 months had appeared perfectly normal, was struck mute and barely recognised his own mother and father.

When Horse Became Saw is an extraordinary account of Alex's regression, which was at the severe end of the autism spectrum, and of his parents' response to it: their initial bewilderment at what was happening, the search for answers, the long wait for a diagnosis, the even longer road to obtaining adequate treatment.

Determined to ensure the best possible future for his son, Macris waded through a mountain of technical information on autism and its management, and his distillation of that material here is invaluable, enlivened by his own warm, insightful observations.

His novelist's attention to detail and storyline results in a powerful evocation of the world of autism, a world that can be terrifying and isolated, for both sufferer and carer.

It took a long time for the radiance to return to Alex's face, and it had to be fought for doggedly, with blind faith, often when there seemed to be no hope. When finally it did return, Alex was a completely different person. And so were his parents.