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Publisher's Summary

The true story of a single mother's love and perseverance, her son's autism diagnosis with its challenges and gifts, and their triumph together over life's toughest obstacles. Journey with Emily Colson - daughter of Chuck Colson - as she takes you from her darkest days of pain to her adventure through life. With candor and wit, she shares about her personal battles and heartbreak when, as a suddenly single mother, she discovered her only child has autism. Emily illuminates the page with imagery - making you laugh, making you cry, inspiring you to face your own challenges. 

Along the way, we discover that Max's disability does not so much define who he is, but reveals who we are. Dancing with Max is not a fairy tale with a magical ending. It's a real-life story of grace and second chances and fresh starts in spite of life's hardest problems. And Max? Max will make you fall in love with life all over again, leaving you dancing with joy. 

This is the story that will inspire you to "get up and live", to break free of the barriers that threaten to constrict your life. And this is the young man who will capture, even change, your heart. 

Includes contributions from Chuck Colson, in his most personal writing since Born Again, as he details how Max's resilient spirit unraveled his thinking and brought out his tender side as a grandfather. 

©2010 Emily Colson (P)2010 Zondervan

Critic Reviews

"In sharing her discovery of God's gift to Max seeing the world with a different but uncluttered view, Colson will bring hope and encouragement to those who have a child with autism. The book includes a prologue and epilogue by author - and Max's grandfather - Charles Colson." (Christian Retailing)

What listeners say about Dancing with Max

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Such a spectacular book

Wow this is such a spectacular book about max Colson and his mother Emily Colson I feel like everyone should read this book. Wish there was more books like this.

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A wonderful book!

A truly inspiring story about facing life's challenges with joy, determination and love! Congrats Emily and Max!

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Inspiring and loving story

Dancing with Max is an inspiring and loving story about a child with autism and his mother and family. It is such a wonderful story. It shows the ups and downs as well as wonderful impact Max has on other people. And the Ingenious way Emily, his mother, manages to pull information from him with her art. I could go on and on, but then I would be providing a summary of the book. Sophist to say this is the most inspiring an awesome story I have “read.”.

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Loved it!

A great book for a special needs family. My young children 8,7,5 listened and enjoyed.

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Beautiful Story!

Another great tool in learning to understand autism and the families that are impacted by it! Thank you for sharing your story, Emily!

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Wonderful True Life Story

Would you consider the audio edition of Dancing with Max to be better than the print version?

No, I used Whispersync and was able to read and listen at the same time. But the narration gave the story a little more life.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Dancing with Max?

One of the most memorable moments when Max decided he wanted to be baptized.

What does Emily Colson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Since it was her story and she was actually the person who is telling it. You can hear all the emotions in her voice that she felt when the events where happening.

Any additional comments?

I have a son with autism. This is a great book to read/listen if you are a parent of special needs child and also a Christian.

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Encouraging Story

What does Emily Colson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I really enjoyed hearing Charles Colson and his daughter, Emily, share Max's story. Also, at the very end, Max and Emily sing a little together, which was a nice surprise.

Any additional comments?

Emily Colson reminded me that we all interact with people, and that despite our troubles we need to look beyond ourselves to help and love others. Maybe someone doesn't have an obvious disability that they are struggling with, but are struggling with their marriage or finances, etc. If Max is able to reach out to the people in his community, why can't I?

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Helpful, hopeful & sad

Having a son with some similar issues to Max, I found lots of stories to relate to and appreciated Emily's determination and dedication to Max. She described the hard times and the good times with the same cheery disposition which grated on me a little bit.

What I didnt appreciate was her father's comments along the lines that the only good people who can care for kids like Max are the evangelical Christians like himself.

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Touching and Joyful View of Autism

This book, written by Emily Colson, daughter of Chuck Colson, is an honest and inspiring look into a life consumed with raising an autistic son (Max) as a single parent. Emily shares the struggles candidly but you never lose the sense that she considers her autistic son and her life raising him as a gift from God. She writes in easy to read, enjoyable word pictures of snapshot moments that carry you along her life raising Max. I honestly both laughed and cried reading this book. As a parent of a child with Asperger's myself, many of the struggles were familiar and it caused me to seize each day with my child and remember to laugh and dance and find joy in each day.

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family

an enjoyable easy read. we who have autism in a family member will relate. I gave it one less star for being whiney at times.

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  • Allison S
  • 08-31-21

Inspiring Story

Absolutely loved this book. It made me cry and laugh. Wonderful story of love and perseverance.