When Horse Became Saw – Anthony Macris (Penguin Group)
When Anthony Macris' son was diagnosed with autism, he and his partner Kathy had two choices – do what they were told, and could afford, or do what they thought best. When Horse Became Saw is the tragic, joyful, instructive story of how Anthony and Kathy took control of the therapy themselves. It beautifully paints the emotional world of a father who finds himself in the strange country of autism – and something of a stranger in his own country, whose government refused to fund the therapy his son so desperately needed.
Anthony Macris is an Associate Professor in creative writing at the University of Technology, Sydney. His novel Capital, Volume One (1997) was shortlisted for the Best First Book, Commonwealth Writers' Prize, South East Asian Section.
When Horse Became Saw is a powerful, skilfully layered memoir combining a rigorous investigation of current autism research with the personal and poignant experience of living with autism. When Macris was confronted with his son’s regression into autism he found the area under-funded, under-skilled and unable to meet his young son’s needs: a situation which drove him and his partner to initiate intensive, expensive, one-on-one behavioural therapy treatment. Macris acknowledges autism’s complexity and the lack of a magic cure, but his book highlights two vital imperatives which have broad community significance: the importance of early intervention and society’s obligation to meet the needs of the disabled and their carers. This searching memoir illuminates for us the difficulties of coming to terms with disability and the transformative power of parental love.