Saving Ben: A Father’s Story of Autism

By Dan E. Burns, Read by William Coon Length:  5 hours, 13 min[Unabridged]


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Each year thousands of children are diagnosed with autism, a devastating neurological disorder that profoundly affects a person’s language and social development. Saving Ben is the story of one family coping with autism, told from the viewpoint of a father struggling to understand his son’s strange behavior and rescue him from a downward spiral.

“Take him home, love him, and save your money for his institutionalization when he turns 21.” That was the best advice his doctor could offer in 1990 when three-year-old Ben was diagnosed with autism. Saving Ben tells the story of Ben’s regression as an infant into the world of autism and his journey toward recovery as a young adult. His father, Dan Burns, puts the reader in the passenger’s seat as he struggles with medical service providers, the school system, extended family, and his own limitations in his efforts to pull Ben out of his darkening world.

Ben, now 21 years old, is a work in progress. The full force and fury of the autism storm have passed. Using new biomedical treatments, repair work is underway. Saving Ben is a story of Ben’s journey toward recovery, and a family’s story of loss, grief, and healing.

“Keep the faith, never give up.” These are the lessons of the author’s miraculous journey, saving Ben.


Saving Ben is a haunting tale, so powerfully told that readers will find it practically crawls under their skin as they flip the pages. — George Getschow, Writer-in-Residence, Mayborn Graduate School of Journalism at the University of North Texas

This is a significant work to help inform parents of autistic children. Dan Burns is a pioneer in his struggle to recover his son. — Dr. Constantine Kotsanis, Wellness Metabolic Institute

Saving Ben is deeply touching and is another example that shows that only we as parents determine how far our kids with autism can go in their development. — Rebecca, founder of Parents Defeating Autism