Book Review – Not My Boy by Rodney Peete

“Rodney Peete writes a compelling book that will help fathers emotionally deal with the challenge of raising a child with autism. The mental toughness of a man all but disappears when faced with this reality, but Rodney’s candid message will encourage anyone who is chosen to be on this journey.” –Alonzo Mourning, former NBA player (quote from amazon.com)

I love those words by Alonzo Mourning “chosen to be on this journey.” Sure, Rodney Peete and his wife Holly Robinson live in an entirely different world than the ‘normal person.’ Rodney played quarterback for USC and went on to play for 16 years in the NFL. You may also remember him as a broadcaster on a few different NFL shows. Rodney married Holly Robinson Peete who I remember from 21 Jump Street. However, his book is a very honest and compelling view from a dad as he copes with changing expectations of his son and their journey as a family.

Not My Boy Cover from http://www.hollyrod.org

While I don’t have the financial resources to dedicate to my twins that Rodney and his wife do, what I liked most about this book is that Rodney is a dad and he tells the story as a father would. . . . . the initial dreams and expectations every father has for his child. . . . his struggles coping with accepting his son has autism. . . . the emotional decision he made when he realized if he didn’t ‘get on board’ with his wife and change his outlook, he would lose his marriage. . . . finding the right schooling for his son. . . and the everyday experiences they share along the way. The thought that I wasn’t alone in my initial denial and feelings really stuck with me.

Rodney shares insights on a number of subjects from his relationship with Holly to maintaining relationships with their other children to coaching his son at soccer. I loved that RJ (his son) took to the water just like my kids have. . . . . maybe there is something there for autistic kids?

Boys charging into the water on Maui

The book was a quick read – I think I finished it in a day and honestly, just reading about his thoughts, ideas, and experiences was the highlight of the book. You can find the book on Amazon.com or by clicking here. The Peete’s also have a non-profit that supports autism at hollyrod.org. I noticed perusing the site that they have another book on autism by RJ’s twin sister Ryan. – My Brother Charlie. More to come on that one!

When all is said and done – I am grateful that I was chosen to be on this journey with my twins and appreciate Rodney’s willingness to share his experiences of his journey. Good to know that there are others who also, were chosen to take this journey.

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