Howard Buten

Through the Glass Wall Journeys Into the Closed-Off Worlds of the Autistic Publication date : January 1, 2003

“I’m especially interested in difficult cases. I always have. It was a difficult case that first initiated me in the world of autism.
“His name was Adam S. He was the most troublesome child in his school, because he was so aggressive and violent. Later I found out that Adam S. was always biting, pinching, slapping and striking blows on the head of everyone around him — including himself — regardless of age. But there, in the waiting room, I found him so original that, instinctively, I sat down next to him on the floor and started behaving like him... I think I wanted to show him that I admired him,” writes Howard Buten.
This extract is characteristic of Buten’s highly original approach and signature style. He is reputed for his distinctive tone, individual thinking, authentic writing mingling case studies with personal anecdotes, and theoretical considerations.
In this book, readers will find out more about violent Adam. They will also meet Martin, the great imitator before Eternity; Ginette who never stops smiling; Guy who insists that all doors be closed, that all electronic devices be either connected or disconnected, and that all lights be either on or off. Buten describes what he has seen and understood of the world that each one of these seriously autistic or psychotic children is locked into. He also shows how he tried, and often succeeded, in making contact with them.
Finally, what little is known about autism is reviewed here. Readers will learn about a psychotherapist who has totally committed himself to these children who are so different, and they will find out how he has, sometimes, been able to work miracles, as in the case of young Adam.

Howard Buten works as a clown and psychotherapist and specialises in autism. He is the author of many best-selling books, including the highly acclaimed Quand j’avais cinq ans, je m’ai tué.