Following Ezra: What One Father Learned about Gumby, Otters, Autism, and Love From His Extraordinary Son

Following Ezra: What One Father Learned about Gumby, Otters, Autism, and Love From His Extraordinary Son

by Tom Fields-Meyer


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A heartwarming, intimate and amusing memoir of a father's experience raising his autistic son.

When Tom Fields-Meyer's son Ezra was three and showing early signs of autism, a therapist suggested that the father needed to grieve.
"For what?" he asked.
The answer: "For the child he didn't turn out to be."
That moment helped strengthen the author's resolve to do just the opposite: to love the child Ezra was, a quirky boy with a fascinating and complex mind. Full of tender moments and unexpected humor, Following Ezra is the story of a father and son on a ten-year journey from Ezra's diagnosis to the dawn of his adolescence. It celebrates his growth from a remote toddler to an extraordinary young man, connected in his own remarkable ways to the world around him.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780451234636
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/06/2011
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 711,635
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Tom Fields-Meyer is an author and journalist. A former senior writer for People, he has written for dozens of publications, including The New York Times Magazine and The Wall Street Journal. A native of Portland, Oregon and a graduate of Harvard, he lives in Los Angeles with his wife and their three sons.

Table of Contents

Prologue: Following Ezra 1

Chapter 1 He's Gone 5

Chapter 2 A Different Mind 24

Chapter 3 Lots of Little Fears 39

Chapter 4 The Boy Who Shouted 56

Chapter 5 Finding My Son at the Zoo 69

Chapter 6 The Reader 81

Chapter 7 Gumby, Cheerios, and Red T-shirts 95

Chapter 8 Typing Lessons 114

Chapter 9 I Just Know 126

Chapter 10 Chasing Elmo 145

Chapter 11 Is Your Dog Friendly? 162

Chapter 12 Right and Wrong, Death and God 175

Chapter 13 Three Questions 190

Chapter 14 Remembering the Future 207

Epilogue: Back in My Brain 236

What People are Saying About This

James Patterson

"Anyone who is raising a child with special needs should read Following Ezra. It shows how warmth and humor—yes, humor—can help not just the child, but the family, more than most of us could ever imagine."

Rabbi David J. Wolpe

"Following Ezra is an unsentimental, beautifully written memoir about a boy whose limitations and gifts are as extraordinary as his impact on the reader's life. Like Ezra himself, this book is by turns funny, painful, poignant and scrupulously honest."

From the Publisher

"When Tom Fields-Meyer's son Ezra was diagnosed with autism, the author decided to forego mourning for the child who might have been, and concentrate instead on the delightful kid he had. Following Ezra is at once a meticulous description of what it is to parent a child who has autism, and a salute to the kid whose mind takes both of them to mysterious, profound, and silly places we so-called typical adults can scarcely imagine."—Carolyn See, author of Making a Literary Life, and grandmother of a child with autism

Beth Kephart

"I trust the parent who yields to wonder and celebrates the unexpected. Love is the river that runs through this book. Dignity and grace light each page."

Customer Reviews