Seeing Ezra by Kerry Cohen
A Mother's Story of Autism, Unconditional Love, and the Meaning of Normal

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Synopsis

Seeing Ezra is the soulful, beautifully written memoir of a mother’s fierce love for her autistic son, and a poignant examination of what it means to be “normal.” When Kerry Cohen’s son Ezra turns one, a babysitter suggests he may be “different,” setting her family on a path in which autism dominates their world. As he becomes a toddler and they navigate the often rigid and prescriptive world of therapy, Cohen is unsettled by the evaluations they undergo: At home, Ezra is playfully expressive, sharing profound, touching moments of connection and intimacy with his mother and other family members, but in therapy he is pathologized, prodded to behave in ways that undermine his unique expression of autism.

It soon becomes clear that more is at stake than just Ezra’s well-being; Cohen and her marriage are suffering as well. Ezra’s differentness, and the strain of pursuing varied therapies, takes a toll on the family—Cohen’s husband grows depressed and she pursues an affair—all as she tries to help others recognize and embrace Ezra’s uniqueness rather than force him to behave outside his comfort level. It isn’t until they abandon the expected, prescriptive notions about love, marriage, and individuality that they are able to come back together as two parents who fiercely love their little boy.

Powerful and eye-opening, Seeing Ezra is an inspirational chronicle of a mother’s struggle to protect her son from a system that seeks to compartmentalize and “fix” him, and of her journey toward accepting and valuing him for who he is—just as he is.
 

About Kerry Cohen

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Kerry Cohen grew up in northern New Jersey, right across the George Washington Bridge from Manhattan. She has two master's degrees, one in writing from the University of Oregon, and one in counseling psychology from Pacific University. After publishing her first memoir, Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity, Cohen received thousands of messages from girls and women who felt that in telling her story, she had told their own shameful, unspoken story as well. Following that experience, her work as a counselor has primarily concerned adolescent girls and sexuality, relationship issues, and addictions. Her next book on the "loose" issue, Dirty Little Secrets: Breaking the Silence on Teenage Girls and Promiscuity, is forthcoming in September 2011. Cohen's writing has been featured in The New York Times' "Modern Love" series and the Washington Post, as well as numerous anthologies, literary journals, and periodicals. She has appeared on Dr. Phil, Secret Lives of Women, The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet, and the BBC, as well as in Marie Claire, the UK's Daily Mail, South African People Magazine. She currently maintains a blog for Psychology Today.
 
Published August 30, 2011 by Seal Press. 290 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Parenting & Relationships. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Seeing Ezra

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Cohen (Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity, 2008, etc.) wants her readers to understand the process of raising an autistic child.

| Read Full Review of Seeing Ezra: A Mother's Story...

Open Salon

Kathleen and I have been blogging buddies for over two years now, working on various projects together, struggling to figure out our places in the online autism community as we work in the real world to find our place there, as well, to find the best ways to help both our own children, and other ...

Sep 22 2011 | Read Full Review of Seeing Ezra: A Mother's Story...

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