Thursday 6 February 2020

Saturdays at Noon (Book Review)

Like many parents of autistic children, I have a pile of books by my bedside. My own mini library. It's been there for years, since our girl was first diagnosed with autism, and it's one of the constants in my life. Around 75% of the pile has always been made up of information and research type books covering autism and the Pathological Demand Avoidance profile, including what I call my 'bible' (Understanding Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome in Children, I highly recommend it).  

The rest of the pile consists of books I like the look of and would like to 'lose myself' in, but which I rarely get time to pick up. As most parents of children with any kind of additional needs will confirm, having time to yourself is somewhat of a luxury. I'm guessing that sleep is the number one activity chosen if the chance of a break arises.
red front cover of saturdays at noon book
(*The pictures in this post and the underlined book title are affiliate links; as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases but it won't cost you any extra!)
So when I was recently sent the new novel Saturdays At Noon, I wondered when I would find the time to pick it up, read it, and then write a review of it. Once I'd turned the first page though, I knew I would make the time, even if that did involve using a covered torch as I sat in my daughter's bedroom waiting for her to go to sleep.

Saturdays At Noon is the debut novel of Rachel Marks, a primary school teacher who also happens to be the mum of a son with Pathological Demand Avoidance. How she has managed to find the time and energy to write such a creative novel, I have no idea. But it's fabulous and I know many will relate to the detail in the story.

Told from the point of view of the three main characters, Emily, Jake and Alfie, the story is about life and love, and understanding. Emily meets five year old Alfie at her first anger management session, as he hides under a table to escape his rowing parents. Alfie's Dad then joins the session with Emily and the tale between the three of them unfolds. 

So much of the story is relatable; situations such as the struggles of having to wait for presents on Christmas Day, the pain of playing board games or needing to find batteries at an ungodly hour in the middle of the night will strike a cord with many, I'm sure. Details such as the way Alfie knew every detail of his new Lego set, down to the individual colours of certain pieces, and the way in which Jake despairs that Alfie refuses to leave the house, even when he likes the proposed destination, and how it makes him feel like becoming a recluse or leaving the house forever without him really stood out to me.

I liked the way Saturdays At Noon looks not only at the struggles of living with a child with additional needs, but the strategies that can help families to cope better and also how wonderful these children are, and how much they enrich your life. As Emily says near the end of the book, 'He'll see the world in a different way to other people, but it might just make it all the more beautiful.'

Out now, available via Amazon and all the usual booksellers. 
red cover of book with white text for title

To find out more about our experiences, please check out our 'About Us' page. If you are looking for more information on Pathological Demand Avoidance, the posts below may help.

What is PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance)?

Ten things you need to know about Pathological Demand Avoidance

Does my child have Pathological Demand Avoidance?

The difference between PDA and ODD

Strategies for PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance)

Pathological Demand Avoidance: Strategies for Schools

Challenging Behaviour and PDA

Is Pathological Demand Avoidance real?

Autism with demand avoidance or Pathological Demand Avoidance?

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