Cover image for The boy who loved windows : opening the heart and mind of a child threatened with autism
The boy who loved windows : opening the heart and mind of a child threatened with autism
Stacey, Patricia.
Personal Author:
First Da Capo Press edition.
Publication Information:
Cambridge, MA : Da Capo Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
xi, 300 pages ; 24 cm
General Note:
"A Merloyd Lawrence book."
Sirens -- You'll have to wait -- Grasping -- What's in a face -- The world is too much -- Reciprocity -- The brain doesn't wait -- The game -- The body is a map -- The questions that haunted us -- More clues -- A walk around the driveway -- The epidemic -- Through a door in the wall -- A challenge, a game, a vocation, a sentence -- Begin with desire -- Tyranny of attention -- Partly heard song -- Words -- The specter of loss -- Ways to make a salad -- The ladder -- To paradise pond -- Exotic poisons, unusual connections -- Through another door in the wall -- Imagining the world -- A close call -- Companions -- A search light -- The senses revisited -- I have a prob'em -- Epiphany -- What wrecks this world -- A car turning off the road -- Eyes of a stranger -- The fate of babies and pirates.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
RJ506.A9 S72 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



In 1997, writer Patricia Stacey and her husband Cliff learned that their six-month-old son Walker might never walk or talk, or even hear or see. Unwilling to accept this grim prediction, they embarked on a five-year odyssey that took them into alternative medicine, the newest brain research, and toward a new and innovative understanding of autism. Finally their search led them to pioneering developmental psychiatrist Stanley Greenspan who helped them save their son and bring him into full contact with the world. This enthralling memoir, at once heart wrenching and hopeful, takes the reader into the life of one remarkable family willing to do anything to give their son a rich and emotionally full life. We stand witness as they struggle to elicit the first sign that Walker is connecting with them, and share in their fears, struggles, tiny victories, and eventual triumphs. The Boy Who Loved Windows is compelling and inspiring reading for parents and professionals who care for children with autism and other special needs. The book is also a stunning literary debut, of interest to anyone who cares about the lives of children and the passion of families who, against huge odds, put these children first.

Author Notes

Patricia Stacey, a writer, college teacher, and former editorial staff member of the Atlantic Monthly, lives with her husband, Cliff, and their children, Elizabeth and Walker, in western Massachusetts

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Former Atlantic Monthly staffer Stacey makes her debut with a sharply observed, deeply personal account of her son Walker's metamorphosis from a worryingly unresponsive infant to an intelligent, normally functioning child. Living in the leafy college town of Northampton, Mass., Stacey documents her harrowing experiences as a mother, as she and her husband, Cliff, quickly realize that Walker is not a normal, happy baby. Walker fails to respond to his parents, eats very little, is unable to express emotion and spends much of his time staring at windows. Stacey works night and day to try to reverse Walker's diagnosis of possible autism, trying every conceivable treatment and specialist and obsessively educating herself about new trends in the neuroscience behind the disorder. She realizes that Walker blankly stares out of windows not because his senses are dulled but because they are overwhelmed; Walker is hypersensitive to the world and cannot cope with the constant rush of stimuli. Child psychiatrist Stanley Greenspan recommends his controversial "floor time" strategy for Walker: several hours of rigorous playtime between parent and child per day, emphasizing interaction. The time, money and stress involved in maintaining an intensive schedule of treatments for Walker from his eighth to 20th month soon show their toll on the Stacey family, as funds run dry, the parents grow further apart, and less time is available for Walker's older sister, Elizabeth. Stacey in particular becomes increasingly nervous, obsessive and exhausted from her constant battle to improve her son's life, but the result is stage-by-stage breakthroughs. Some readers will want less personal and medico-historical detail and fewer in-depth treatments of the various therapies and sessions, but Stacey keeps the focus on her own understanding, which ultimately sustains the book. (Sept. 15) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Personal narratives about autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) can be tremendous resources for parents, educators, and therapists if they document successes and failures. In The Gift of Autism, Sharp, a family physician, writes about her autistic son, Nic, now 12. Like Kelly Harland in A Will of His Own, Sharp discusses ASD's effect on her as a parent rather than on her child. While sharing some valuable observations about issues like the failure of others to understand one's situation and the difficulty of obtaining services, she leaves out age benchmarks in anecdotes of Nic's behavior, making it difficult to gauge either the severity of his condition or the status of his progress. And in describing a tantrum, for instance. she explains how horrible she felt but not how she calmed Nic down-information the reader really needs. In The Boy Who Loved Windows, Stacey, a writer and college instructor, recounts the intense therapies undertaken by her son, Walker, now six, when he showed signs of severe sensory integration issues before one and possible autism at a very early age. Providing constant benchmarks and vivid descriptions of Walker's progress, Stacey talks about the family stress caused by a child with special needs, sibling issues, dealing with public early-intervention services, and therapies. Of note is a description of meetings with Stanley Greenspan, a noted child psychiatrist, and the implementation of his "floor time" method of therapy, one now greatly in use with ASD children. The far stronger of the two books, Stacey's is recommended for all public libraries and for academic libraries with education and social work collections. Sharp's is recommended only for libraries with comprehensive autism collections.-Corey Seeman, Univ. of Toledo Libs., OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Part 1 Sirensp. 3
You'll Have to Waitp. 13
Graspingp. 19
Part 2 What's in a Facep. 27
The World Is Too Muchp. 35
Reciprocityp. 44
The Brain Doesn't Waitp. 51
The Gamep. 58
The Body Is a Mapp. 67
Part 3 The Questions That Haunted Usp. 83
New Cluesp. 93
A Walk Around the Drivewayp. 102
The Epidemicp. 108
Part 4 Through a Door in the Wallp. 123
A Challenge, a Game, a Vocation, a Sentencep. 133
Begin with Desirep. 144
Tyranny of Attentionp. 150
Partly Heard Songp. 163
Wordsp. 169
The Specter of Lossp. 182
Ways to Make a Saladp. 186
The Ladderp. 194
To Paradise Pondp. 199
Exotic Poisons, Unusual Connectionsp. 205
Through Another Door in the Wallp. 208
Part 5 Imagining the Worldp. 221
A Close Callp. 227
Companionsp. 238
A Searchlightp. 240
The Senses Revisitedp. 244
Part 6 I Have a Prob'emp. 263
Epiphanyp. 270
What Wrecks This Worldp. 275
A Car Turning Off the Roadp. 281
Eyes of a Strangerp. 285
The Fate of Babies and Piratesp. 289
Epiloguep. 297
About the Authorp. 300