Let me start this post by saying that this is NOT the typical book I will review. Yes, there is an athlete who is a co-author of the book and yes, he does talk a little about his career in football. But that is about it for any sports connection. However, the story shared here by Curt Warner and his wife Ana is a must read - a powerful story about their lives raising twin boys with autism. Here is my review of "The Warner Boys"
“The Warner Boys: Our Family’s Story of Autism and Hope” by Ana and Curt Warner with Dave Boling
Family, Autism, Memoir, Football (American), Seahawks
December 1, 2018
5 of 5 stars (outstanding)
Curt Warner was an All-Pro running back for the Seattle Seahawks after enjoying an outstanding college football career at Penn State. He met and married a striking woman from Brazil, Ana and after their first son, Jonathan, was born, it seemed like they would be able to live a comfortable life as Curt was smart with his money while he was a professional athlete.
However, all that changed when their twin sons, Austin and Christian, were born. Early in their lives, it was apparent that something was different about the twins and they were diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder. Of course, this profoundly changed the dynamic of the Warner family and their story is told in this unforgettable memoir co-written by Curt and Ana.
The book covers so many different aspects and topics. Not only about the Warner’s life trying to raise two boys with autism and all of the challenges that encompasses, but they also talk about their own feelings, their own actions and there is even a chapter in which Jonathan talks about his struggles, especially when he was a teenager and he would not have friends come over to his house for fear of not only embarrassment, but also for the protection of his brothers.
There are many different events that run the gamut of emotions for the Warners. The hopes and disappointments when treatment options don’t work. The never-ending vigilance they exhibit to ensure that neither boy harms himself or others when they express themselves in ways such as biting or hitting their heads against objects. The fear and subsequent relief when their house was destroyed by a fire set by Austin trying to reenact a scene from a Disney movie. The adoption of a little girl, Isabella, in the middle of all this and her immediate taking to her older brothers (all three of them). The pride of seeing Austin and Christian graduate from high school. This is only a small sample of the events that are described by the Warners that had to be difficult for them to say, but felt that they had to share.
Words in a review cannot do justice to describe the feelings one will have when reading this book. It is both sad and happy. It is both hard to read and very uplifting. The best description of what this book is truly about was written by Curt – “When we tell them about the things that have given us strength, some say that ours isn’t an autism story – it’s a love story.” That sums up what I took away from this book – it is truly a story of love. Anyone who has family members who are autistic, or anyone who wants to learn more about what it is like to live with loved ones suffering from this disease needs to read this book.
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