Book review

The Spark

Image from penguin books

Kristine Barnetts son is extremely intelligent, with a stunning gift for Maths and Physics, he is also autistic. This book is about a family and their determination to follow their sons ‘spark’ and his passions, against expert advice. It is about love, potential and persistence. The lessons learnt in this book are applicable to all, what would we do if we could reach our full potential? What could we do?

I rarely read non-fiction books, preferring escapism in my chosen sources of literature. However, occasionally a book will come along that needs reading, such as this. Having worked with children with special educational needs (and loved it), this is always a topic I’m interested in (and fiercely protective of). I do however, tend to avoid reading books like this, as they can often make sweeping statements collating the autistic spectrum in to one child, or one experience. Or worse treat autism as a passing disease or ill health.

The Spark does none of these things, it stresses how important it is to see the potential of all children and the daily struggles and rewards of being a parent of a child with autism. He paints Jacob (her son) in a beautiful light as a wonderful child, without ever sugar coating the difficulties he (and themselves) can have.

It is such a positive book and one I greatly enjoyed. This completely strengthened my complete awe and respect for all good parents! I look forward to hearing more about Jacob in the future and watching when he collects his Noble Prize in astrophysics.

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