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3500: An Autistic Boy's Ten-Year Romance with Snow White

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Benjamin, a nine-year-old autistic boy with a love of Disney, was taking his first trip to Walt Disney World. The last thing his parents expected was to see him come alive. What followed was a remarkable tale of inspiration, heartbreak, dedication and joy as Benjamin's family relocated from Seattle to Orlando in order to capture that magic and put it to practical use. Amids Benjamin, a nine-year-old autistic boy with a love of Disney, was taking his first trip to Walt Disney World. The last thing his parents expected was to see him come alive. What followed was a remarkable tale of inspiration, heartbreak, dedication and joy as Benjamin's family relocated from Seattle to Orlando in order to capture that magic and put it to practical use. Amidst the daily challenges of life for an autistic child, Benjamin's passion for one particular theme park attraction would lead his family on a breathtaking journey of hope and discovery. How many rides does it take for an ending to become a new beginning?


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Benjamin, a nine-year-old autistic boy with a love of Disney, was taking his first trip to Walt Disney World. The last thing his parents expected was to see him come alive. What followed was a remarkable tale of inspiration, heartbreak, dedication and joy as Benjamin's family relocated from Seattle to Orlando in order to capture that magic and put it to practical use. Amids Benjamin, a nine-year-old autistic boy with a love of Disney, was taking his first trip to Walt Disney World. The last thing his parents expected was to see him come alive. What followed was a remarkable tale of inspiration, heartbreak, dedication and joy as Benjamin's family relocated from Seattle to Orlando in order to capture that magic and put it to practical use. Amidst the daily challenges of life for an autistic child, Benjamin's passion for one particular theme park attraction would lead his family on a breathtaking journey of hope and discovery. How many rides does it take for an ending to become a new beginning?

30 review for 3500: An Autistic Boy's Ten-Year Romance with Snow White

  1. 4 out of 5

    Will Byrnes

    Benjamin Mills was born in December 1993. His body seemed to be developing normally over the next year, but all was not right. Soon after his first birthday, he was diagnosed with autism. Ron Mills and his wife, Sara, had been handed a parenting burden far in excess of that which most of us must contend with, and far greater than most could handle. Their marriage, strained further by Ron’s depression at the death of his father, and no doubt by chronic sleep deprivation and financial woes, failed Benjamin Mills was born in December 1993. His body seemed to be developing normally over the next year, but all was not right. Soon after his first birthday, he was diagnosed with autism. Ron Mills and his wife, Sara, had been handed a parenting burden far in excess of that which most of us must contend with, and far greater than most could handle. Their marriage, strained further by Ron’s depression at the death of his father, and no doubt by chronic sleep deprivation and financial woes, failed. But one thing that did not fail was the love Ron and Sara had for their son, and their dedication to do whatever they could to help him. Author Ron Mills - from his web siteWhen Ben was five, he developed a particular affection for a Sorcerer Mickey Mouse doll and a corresponding fondness for Disney films, well, parts of them anyway. It was the beginning of what would become a lifelong relationship for Ben. He even managed to learn how to use the VCR in order to play his favorite parts, over and over and over and over. His first sort-of words were neither “Mama”, “Dada”, “More”, or even “No”. They were fill-ins to omitted words in the song The Bare Necessities that Ron would sing to him. Later, Ben listened to Disney music through his headphones as a way to drown out the overwhelmingness of his surroundings. Given his love for things Disney, Ron and Sara wondered how he might fare with a trip to Disneyworld. It turned out to be, for Ben, the happiest place on earth. Not all black and white. There were a few bumps. But, Ben came alive there as he had nowhere else. Months later, after enduring all sorts of disruption from Ben:I would think about his maddening behaviors, and then think about the Ben that I had seen skipping his way through the Magic Kingdom, and I began to wonder if he actually belonged there. Ron and Sara considered a drastic measure. Kinda tough to give your kid the Disney experience if you are living in Seattle and the park is located diagonally across the continent. It may be a small world, but it’s not that small. Despite being divorced, despite the strains of having to find two new places to live, and two new jobs, and despite there being no guarantee that the magic of his Disney experience would not vanish in a puff of theatrical smoke, Ron and Sara decided to take one more trip, just to make certain, and after that worked out, they moved to Orlando. I have my issues with the Disney corporation. All is not magical in the Magic Kingdom. But there is a place and a time, and this will not be the place or time where I discuss some of the more maleficent leanings of the Monstro-size Disney corporation. For today, and for the gaze we cast on 3500 we will put that aside and go all hakuna matata. Don’t worry. I haven’t gone entirely soft. But for now we will accentuate the positive. Ben became a regular at Walt Disney World, with a particular attachment to Snow White’s Scary Adventure ride. Not an attachment like you or I might indulge in, but a serious, and repetitive attachment. He rode the ride several times every time he went to the park, and his parents took him there very often. Bring Ben to WDW was a form of immersive therapy for Ben, and his behavior took a definite turn for the better. The WDW staff came to recognize him and supported him in diverse ways. There are some particularly moving episodes Mills relates in which the “cast member” employees and management go out of their way to make Ben’s experience a magical one. Snow White held a special place in his heart and when the “cast member” in the role engaged him in person, he was agog. Ben as a teen, with Snow - - form the author’s site Ron Mills’ story is a straight ahead narrative, this, then that, and then the other. He has a fluid style and is very easy to read. You will zip-a-dee-doo-dah through 3500 quickly. Telling the story was the goal here, and it has been accomplished. I enjoyed the book. It is a moving chronicle. If I have a gripe about 3500 (you knew there had to be at least one, right?) it is that the volume of information offered on autism, per se, and not just Ben’s experience, is about as thin as Cruella Deville. I do understand that Mills is writing as a caring parent and not as a scientist, but one would think that Ben’s story would have offered an excellent opportunity to teach the rest of us something more about this challenging condition. I wondered, for example, about what the latest theories might be as to causation, what treatment modalities were considered. Are there any research projects afoot that might hold a key to understanding cases and treatment? While Walt Disney World, the Disney corporation and many of the exceptionally kind and caring people who work in the Disney organization went out of their way to help Benjamin Mills, it shines through that the real Magic Kingdom here was the one constructed by Ben’s parents and caregivers. Really, would you move across the country, alongside your ex, on such an enterprise? Love continues long after the theme park rides end, and the gates close. Love and patience, in Jumbo-sized quantities, are what it takes to help an autistic child cope in a world that is not nearly understanding enough. Have some tissues at the ready, particularly when Ben is the last rider on Snow White’s Scary Adventure, before the ride is closed forever. You will most definitely be moved by this magical tale. I received this book via GR’s First Reads program Review posted – January 7, 2014 It has been cross-posted on Cootsreviews.com =============================EXTRA STUFF You can find more information on Ron’s experience with Ben on the web site that he and his wife run, the unfortunately named Shmoolok.com Definitely check out the Good Day Sacramento video interview on the media page there.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Monica Davis

    A deeply moving account of life with an autistic child; told from a father's perspective. A story of love, compassion, and perseverance; where the magic of Disney weaves its charming spell over life's ups and downs. (Suggest keeping a box of tissues close by because, as we know, the tear ducts are connected to the heart strings, and Ben's story will surely tug at yours...at least a time or two. ) A deeply moving account of life with an autistic child; told from a father's perspective. A story of love, compassion, and perseverance; where the magic of Disney weaves its charming spell over life's ups and downs. (Suggest keeping a box of tissues close by because, as we know, the tear ducts are connected to the heart strings, and Ben's story will surely tug at yours...at least a time or two. )

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dave Schaafsma

    This is the story of a kid with autism whose divorced parents moved to Orlando from Seattle so that their kid could be close to the ride at Disneyworld he loved most and which seemed to get the mostly nonverbal boy to say a few words and give him joy. The story is about kids with autism who are obsessive about what gives them comfort, often things that they see or read or visit again and again. These parents brought him to ride the Snow White exhibit 3,500 times, the last two riding it alone.. a This is the story of a kid with autism whose divorced parents moved to Orlando from Seattle so that their kid could be close to the ride at Disneyworld he loved most and which seemed to get the mostly nonverbal boy to say a few words and give him joy. The story is about kids with autism who are obsessive about what gives them comfort, often things that they see or read or visit again and again. These parents brought him to ride the Snow White exhibit 3,500 times, the last two riding it alone.. and then the ride was closed forever. You don't learn very much about autism or healing from this book, but I suppose you learn about loving a disabled kid. It's a quest, a family quest, written by the Dad, and seems to have inspired a lot of people. I thought it was okay. I think for some reason because I have a kid with severe autism, I seem to be harder on these books on autistic kids than others might be. I don't know why, exactly. Maybe I just want more from them, some breakthrough, or something I get from the best novels. But he even says that your shouldn't read the book if you are hoping for some huge miracle, as the kid, at 19, is still profoundly autistic, very damaged by the disorder, as my own nearly eighteen year old kid is. I read it because my own son has an obsession with Disney, too,only it's the films he saw when he first regressed that he continues to obsess over now at 17, Jungle book, Bambi, 101 Dalmations, Pooh's Grand Adventure. Also Arthur. Well, I'm glad Miles wrote it if others get any sympathy for kids and families with autism. It's not written by a professional writer, but a loving father. It's nice! It's not all that well written, but it's written with love, and that does through loud and clear.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Pamela(AllHoney)

    A father of an autistic boy tells of his son's fascination with Snow White. When Ron Miles took his son and ex-wife to Florida, he noticed his son's reaction to Disney World. While there were other rides that Ben liked it was Snow White's Scary Adventures that appeared to be his favorite. Eventually, they decided to move from Seattle to Florida so they could give their son joy by going back to the park numerous times through the years. The focus was on Ben and so it should since this was about B A father of an autistic boy tells of his son's fascination with Snow White. When Ron Miles took his son and ex-wife to Florida, he noticed his son's reaction to Disney World. While there were other rides that Ben liked it was Snow White's Scary Adventures that appeared to be his favorite. Eventually, they decided to move from Seattle to Florida so they could give their son joy by going back to the park numerous times through the years. The focus was on Ben and so it should since this was about Ben. I have not raised an autistic child so I have no true idea about what is involved. But I do have an autistic cousin and know other people who have autistic children so I am not totally clueless. But most people would not move across the country just for their child. I applaud Mr. Miles and his ex-wife for doing just that. The story was written in a simple, easy to understand style that I enjoyed.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    I read this based on the fact that a colleague at school read it. And I wondered how Snow White fit into this boy's education. He is a 12 year-old on the spectrum with an obsession about Snow White. His parents (divorced), take him to the Magic Kingdom for a vacation and he is spell-bound. They report that he has more language and better behavior there. So what do they do? They move to Orlando, of course, where they can go the park several times a week! Not much is said about how they afford to d I read this based on the fact that a colleague at school read it. And I wondered how Snow White fit into this boy's education. He is a 12 year-old on the spectrum with an obsession about Snow White. His parents (divorced), take him to the Magic Kingdom for a vacation and he is spell-bound. They report that he has more language and better behavior there. So what do they do? They move to Orlando, of course, where they can go the park several times a week! Not much is said about how they afford to do this. And Ben, the boy, rides Snow White's Scary Adventure 3,500 times before it closes down. He learns to ask for Snow White, to talk to Snow White, to wait for Snow White, and he learns to go on other rides as well. This book is more about how wonderful the Disney company was to this boy, arranging for Snow White to ride on the ride with him after his 2,000th ride ( I think). Ben is happy. The parents are happy. That said, he also goes to a new school, where the teachers toilet-train him in two weeks. It sounds like the Seattle schools did not try to do this. So in Florida he also gets a better education. The book does not comment much on whether his language improved outside the park, or to other people, which are common objectives for kids on the spectrum. They can often use language in specific situations but not in situations that are different. As an autism educator, I found this to be an interesting story, but it is by far not the best way to learn about autism!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Janet C-B

    I downloaded this book less than 24 hours ago and got totally immersed in the account from start to finish. This book is a memoir written by a dad of an autistic boy who logged many hours at Disney World and witnessed his son grow through the experience of repeatedly visiting the theme park. The author dad did not gloss over the challenges of parenting a child with severe autism. It rang true, as did his description of his son's educational experience, medical problems, and other unique challeng I downloaded this book less than 24 hours ago and got totally immersed in the account from start to finish. This book is a memoir written by a dad of an autistic boy who logged many hours at Disney World and witnessed his son grow through the experience of repeatedly visiting the theme park. The author dad did not gloss over the challenges of parenting a child with severe autism. It rang true, as did his description of his son's educational experience, medical problems, and other unique challenges in family life, relationships, and work. While the dad is honest about the unique challenges, he tells the story in a way that the reader can see his son progressing with lifeskills. As a reader, I found myself becoming an armchair cheerleader. I just wanted to cheer the boy and his entire family on. I found the dad's account uplifting. I am rating the book 4 stars. The author is not a professioal writer, but he is very skillled in telling his story. The author is a man and a dad, who faced an incredible challenge and dedicated his life to helping his son be the best he could be. I think the author successfully helps the reader see his son as a much-loved family member who also is autistic. This is a big accomplishment, because as a society we often first notice the disability, and it is sometimes harder to come to know the person with the disability who has likes and dislikes, just everyone else.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Danni

    I read a fair amount of blogs written by parents of children with special needs. I am interested in their struggles and triumphs and how they survive in a society that is not always accepting. Being a parent is tough, being a special needs parent is tougher. So I was interested in the topic of this book: Ben is a child with autism, not adjusting well as he grows up, but he is wowed by the magic of Disney World - and especially the ride Snow White's Scary Adventures. (Spoiler alert: by the end of I read a fair amount of blogs written by parents of children with special needs. I am interested in their struggles and triumphs and how they survive in a society that is not always accepting. Being a parent is tough, being a special needs parent is tougher. So I was interested in the topic of this book: Ben is a child with autism, not adjusting well as he grows up, but he is wowed by the magic of Disney World - and especially the ride Snow White's Scary Adventures. (Spoiler alert: by the end of the book, Ben goes on this ride 3500 times.) This story seems like it would do great in blog format, but it honestly does not work as a book. When I got to the end of the book, I realized the author did in fact have a blog. His stories should stay there. The story gets bogged down in unimportant details, including a full list of every ride they go on every time they go to the park. Do not recommend. Go read the blog, not the book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Joni

    As the mother of an autistic child, I was sympathetic to this guy's story of parenting his autistic son. However, this book was written more as the father's personal memoirs rather than just telling the story of how Disney positively impacted his son's development, which is what I expected based on the title. Therefore, there was a lot of unnecessary information that to me just slowed down the telling of what is really a great story. This family's experience is very powerful, and their testimony As the mother of an autistic child, I was sympathetic to this guy's story of parenting his autistic son. However, this book was written more as the father's personal memoirs rather than just telling the story of how Disney positively impacted his son's development, which is what I expected based on the title. Therefore, there was a lot of unnecessary information that to me just slowed down the telling of what is really a great story. This family's experience is very powerful, and their testimony of Disney's contribution and support is staggering. However, there wasn't much for me to take away from it regarding encouragement or information about parenting a special needs child. The path this family chose is completely inaccessible to most of us, who can't afford to move to Disney World and visit the parks daily or enroll in special schools. So in one sense, it's good to read the story of how one family found a way to reach their autistic child, but it's not very encouraging to the rest of us who can't do anything they did.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia

    A very sweet memoir written by the father of an almost completely nonverbal autistic son. Turns out the son loves Snow White and rides the SW ride 3500 times before it closes for good. I enjoyed the story (although an editor might have improved this book some), but I wanted to learn more about the son's school and other non-Disney experiences. And to be brutally honest, I am not a big Disney fan, which I readily admit might have had a negative effect on my response to the book. A very sweet memoir written by the father of an almost completely nonverbal autistic son. Turns out the son loves Snow White and rides the SW ride 3500 times before it closes for good. I enjoyed the story (although an editor might have improved this book some), but I wanted to learn more about the son's school and other non-Disney experiences. And to be brutally honest, I am not a big Disney fan, which I readily admit might have had a negative effect on my response to the book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    BCMUnlimited

    See the official review: http://www.bookscompletemeunlimited.c... This is a book about a young boy, Benjamin, who has autism and his love for the Disney character Snow White. Benjamin has a pretty bad case of autism. He only eats French fries, he still wears diapers at the age of 12, and he has very limited vocabulary. He has a infectious smile. Benjamin always has his music via a headset and CD and of course, the music he listens to is Disney songs. His parents are divorced but this does not sto See the official review: http://www.bookscompletemeunlimited.c... This is a book about a young boy, Benjamin, who has autism and his love for the Disney character Snow White. Benjamin has a pretty bad case of autism. He only eats French fries, he still wears diapers at the age of 12, and he has very limited vocabulary. He has a infectious smile. Benjamin always has his music via a headset and CD and of course, the music he listens to is Disney songs. His parents are divorced but this does not stop them from taking Ben on vacation in Florida to visit Disney. The family lives in Seattle, Washington. They fly to Florida so that Ben can visit the Disney characters he knows so well from the music he constantly listens to and the movies he watches. Autistic kids are sensitive to lots of stimulus. Noise and crowds are part of the things that sometimes bother people with autism. Ben is no exception. As they visit Disney, Ben has some minor issues with the crowds and the noise level. He falls in love with a Snow White ride and would ride it all the time had his parents insisted that he try something new. Ben ends up riding this same ride for years and eventually clocks in 3500 times before the ride is closed forever. Ben loves Disney so the family makes the decision to uproot their family from Washington and move to Florida so that Ben can enjoy Disney. Disney was great to help celebrate Ben’s milestone rides with the family. Disney even gets Snow White to talk to Ben during several events and Ben just gushes with enthusiasm for Snow White.I really liked this book. Mr. Miles tells about his son in an honest way. It is a heartwarming story.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Krista

    Ok- I left this book not blown away by it's writing style or anything, but blown away by two surprising things. One, was a dedicated father who literally gave his ALL to love and care for his severely autistic boy. He readily admits (sometimes with great humor) the hardships of dealing with a "special needs" child, but in the end, exudes an amazing, dedicated, boundless love for his son. It makes me blush for all of the times that I lost my cool for my child simply leaving her clothes on the bat Ok- I left this book not blown away by it's writing style or anything, but blown away by two surprising things. One, was a dedicated father who literally gave his ALL to love and care for his severely autistic boy. He readily admits (sometimes with great humor) the hardships of dealing with a "special needs" child, but in the end, exudes an amazing, dedicated, boundless love for his son. It makes me blush for all of the times that I lost my cool for my child simply leaving her clothes on the bathroom floor- or something trivial like that. Second, I was so touched by the genuine care and support that Disney showered on this boy. I won't give it away, but I was greatly impressed by the strides that the "Happiest place on Earth" put forth for Ben and his family. Touching, simple and inspiring.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Matt Fitz

    A feel good story. As a parent of an autistic child, I tend to avoid this genre, but gave this book a chance just to read about what a parent will do to find a connection for his son and the world he lives in. Having watched Finding Nemo nearly every night for the last decade in our house, I can fathom how a parent can move from Seattle to Orlando and in the course of a childhoold take 3500 trips through one particular Disney attraction (the now decommissioned Snow White's Scary Adventure). Whol A feel good story. As a parent of an autistic child, I tend to avoid this genre, but gave this book a chance just to read about what a parent will do to find a connection for his son and the world he lives in. Having watched Finding Nemo nearly every night for the last decade in our house, I can fathom how a parent can move from Seattle to Orlando and in the course of a childhoold take 3500 trips through one particular Disney attraction (the now decommissioned Snow White's Scary Adventure). Whole memoir reads like a long blog post or magazine article, but for what he was conveying, well worth the read for other Autie parents who may see similarities with their own child. Yes...I know that if you've met one autistic child you've met one autistic child, but there are similarities to my own son nonetheless).

  13. 5 out of 5

    Molly

    Really enjoyable read about some very likeable people. It's nice to read a memoir about raising a "special" child that isn't steeped in self-pity or martyrdom; rather, it's written by a father who truly loves his son for who he is, even if he doesn't fully understand him and the going isn't always easy. And it's a lovely tribute to loving family, dedicated teachers and the magic of Disney. Just a really nice book to read. Really enjoyable read about some very likeable people. It's nice to read a memoir about raising a "special" child that isn't steeped in self-pity or martyrdom; rather, it's written by a father who truly loves his son for who he is, even if he doesn't fully understand him and the going isn't always easy. And it's a lovely tribute to loving family, dedicated teachers and the magic of Disney. Just a really nice book to read.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rich Gairing

    Im having a hard time reviewing this, because I think I got what I was expecting, but hoping for more. I have heard about this family before, and amazed at what the parents had done for Ben... I just never felt like the emotion or insight was there. For example: How did the parents survive 3500 rides?

  15. 4 out of 5

    Megan S Spark

    As parent of an autistic child, I found this a very hopeful and moving work. I'm so impressed and thankful to find a book that shares the reality-- the joys, heartache and utter exhaustion. There's a good lesson in this-- times do change, and things end... but wonderful memories will stay with us. And many more are waiting to be made. Best wishes to the author and his son! As parent of an autistic child, I found this a very hopeful and moving work. I'm so impressed and thankful to find a book that shares the reality-- the joys, heartache and utter exhaustion. There's a good lesson in this-- times do change, and things end... but wonderful memories will stay with us. And many more are waiting to be made. Best wishes to the author and his son!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    This was the perfect book for the sentimental Disney theme park fan in me. Sure, there were some parts that reminded me of the tedious trip reports that I tend to skip when I come across them online, but those were a minor aspect. I loved seeing the Florida parks through this family's eyes, and sobbed my way through the last chapter because it was Disney magic at its best. This was the perfect book for the sentimental Disney theme park fan in me. Sure, there were some parts that reminded me of the tedious trip reports that I tend to skip when I come across them online, but those were a minor aspect. I loved seeing the Florida parks through this family's eyes, and sobbed my way through the last chapter because it was Disney magic at its best.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Fiona (Titch) Hunt

    I would like to thank the author for writing a book about his autistic son and his love for Snow White. It was a very interesting and lovely read. The way he wrote about the adventures he took with his son at the Disneyland ride. Anyone who's got a child (who's special needs) will totally get where this author/father is coming from. I would like to thank the author for writing a book about his autistic son and his love for Snow White. It was a very interesting and lovely read. The way he wrote about the adventures he took with his son at the Disneyland ride. Anyone who's got a child (who's special needs) will totally get where this author/father is coming from.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kristin Bateman

    As both a WDW-junkie, and educator, I found this book incredibly touching, nostalgic, and well-done. If you are either of the above, please read this. Well done, Mr. Miles. Well done.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Katherine Hayward Pérez

    Benjamin was 9 years old when his passion for Disney started. Diagnosed with autism, Disney was one of the things that Ben adores. His family take some holidays to the theme parks of Florida and are amazed to see the change in their son as he enters the magical worlds within the theme park. They are so touched by this that they decide to move all the way across the USA to Orlando so they can permanently be near the theme parks. The story has drama, happiness and sadness and is very honestly told Benjamin was 9 years old when his passion for Disney started. Diagnosed with autism, Disney was one of the things that Ben adores. His family take some holidays to the theme parks of Florida and are amazed to see the change in their son as he enters the magical worlds within the theme park. They are so touched by this that they decide to move all the way across the USA to Orlando so they can permanently be near the theme parks. The story has drama, happiness and sadness and is very honestly told. It's very personal too and I was so engrossed that I finished it in a few hours. The book will enchant anyone who has ever been to Disneyworld and Orlando. I'm an adult who has never been to either place and the book was truly magical for me. It was made all the more personal and poignant because of having been written by Ben's father. As a person who has disabilites myself, I feel it is a good aid to autism awareness, both for me and other people who read or listen to it. It was good to get to know Ben and his family through the book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

    This is the story of parents who work together (although they are divorced) to help their autistic son build his capacity to communicate with the world. Noticing his focus and attention when they took him to Disney World, they uprooted their lives in Seattle to move to Florida. The story concerns Benjamin's gradual but increasing capacity during the ten years that they visited the park and interacted with Snow White's ride 3,500 times before it closed in 2012. The story is told skillfully and wi This is the story of parents who work together (although they are divorced) to help their autistic son build his capacity to communicate with the world. Noticing his focus and attention when they took him to Disney World, they uprooted their lives in Seattle to move to Florida. The story concerns Benjamin's gradual but increasing capacity during the ten years that they visited the park and interacted with Snow White's ride 3,500 times before it closed in 2012. The story is told skillfully and with compassion. Other problems of working with autistic children are mentioned but are not a major part of the story. Instead, how the family interacts with Benjamin and helps him to develop life skills is the focus. In return, Benjamin shows them and us how to increase their capacity for kindness, for creative thinking, and for seeing the image of God in every person we meet.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Victoria

    This book is amazing, and shows how difficult it is not only to be a parent to a child who has autism living in the "normal" world, but a child who just wants to be able to communitcate, and just can't make those around him understand. The stuggle Ben has and the growth that he has once he has "his thing" is amazing. My heart laughed and cried with Ben as he grew up and went on his wild ride with Snow White. This book is amazing, and shows how difficult it is not only to be a parent to a child who has autism living in the "normal" world, but a child who just wants to be able to communitcate, and just can't make those around him understand. The stuggle Ben has and the growth that he has once he has "his thing" is amazing. My heart laughed and cried with Ben as he grew up and went on his wild ride with Snow White.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Holly

    Feel good story I cannot remember exactly, but I believe the author said this story is only about Snow White, so other episodes and daily life of an autistic child was included. But, it wasn't needed. Snow White really did lead him out of a tunnel. To me, Disneyworld is expensive, and I can't imagine what it costs to go there 4x a month. But, parents do anything y and everything for their child. Disney was amazing for him. Feel good story I cannot remember exactly, but I believe the author said this story is only about Snow White, so other episodes and daily life of an autistic child was included. But, it wasn't needed. Snow White really did lead him out of a tunnel. To me, Disneyworld is expensive, and I can't imagine what it costs to go there 4x a month. But, parents do anything y and everything for their child. Disney was amazing for him.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Joy Rayle

    Enlightening and enthralling. The subject matter is swallowed up by the way this family unite. Granted Disney's magic plays a role but the selflessness of Dad and Mom enabled the magic to take effect. This book, taking us inside their world, should be required reading at some stage of schooling. There are functioning self sufficient Autistic individuals among us who are mocked and avoided because there's a lack of understanding. Well done Ron and RIDE ON, Benjamin! Enlightening and enthralling. The subject matter is swallowed up by the way this family unite. Granted Disney's magic plays a role but the selflessness of Dad and Mom enabled the magic to take effect. This book, taking us inside their world, should be required reading at some stage of schooling. There are functioning self sufficient Autistic individuals among us who are mocked and avoided because there's a lack of understanding. Well done Ron and RIDE ON, Benjamin!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Tracey A. Stark

    And they lived happily ever after!! I gave it a five for several reasons. The writing was good but more importantly you really felt like part of the story. I'm not going to give away the story but it shows a Parent's true love. It was an honest and and refreshing. I recommend it to all. It's not really a tearjerker. But your heart will swell just from all the love. And they lived happily ever after!! I gave it a five for several reasons. The writing was good but more importantly you really felt like part of the story. I'm not going to give away the story but it shows a Parent's true love. It was an honest and and refreshing. I recommend it to all. It's not really a tearjerker. But your heart will swell just from all the love.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Anna Dolan

    Beautiful Story This is a wonderful example of how parents should work together! Especially for a child who is as unique as Ben!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Margaret Rosen

    I have boundless admiration for the author, his ex-wife, current wife, their families and the Disney family but I never really got engrossed by the story.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

    Very cute story. Short and not super detailed but it’s a nice story about Disney magic being made for a Snow White’s biggest fan.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mari the Illustrious

    I cried reading this book. I read it during my junior year of college.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    A moving account of a family's experience with an autistic son. The things Disney did for him were just incredible! Well written and quick and easy to read A moving account of a family's experience with an autistic son. The things Disney did for him were just incredible! Well written and quick and easy to read

  30. 4 out of 5

    Marie van Uden

    Very good It was interesting to get a glimpse of what autism is like from people who live with it . This book was great.

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