Reviews and readers' comments
In 'Through the Net' Madeleine Slade describes a life dominated by panic attacks and phobias. Part memoir, part medical investigation, this well-written and thought-provoking account evokes a state of mere survival rather than full engagement with life. Unable to hold a job and live like other people, Madeleine Slade spent time in a psychiatric unit and a fortune on all kinds of therapies before finally stumbling across something called Neuro-development Delay Therapy and at at last began to understand that her problems were in fact organic in nature.
She describes a set of conditions which amount to a syndrome - childhood car-sickness, out of body sensations, light-sensitivity and very poor balance, among others, and recounts how she responded to exercise-based treatment. This is a sometimes harrowing account of a common yet little understood condition but it is also a success story that offers hope. This moving and intelligent account provides yet one more example of one of those invisible conditions (such as M.E. and fibromyalgia) that far too many medical practitioners refuse to recognise. I feel sure that many readers will recognise their own symptoms here and realise they are not alone.
Carol Birch. Novelist, winner of the David Higham Award and the Geoffrey Faber
Memorial Award, and reviewer for the Times Literary Supplement and The Independent.
I found this book the most interesting and useful read. Madeleine Slade, as well as quoting important scientific data and clinics offering help, has described from a personal point of view the extreme distress and bewilderment caused by the symptoms of Neuro-developmental Delay. This is now recognised as a neurological disorder but throughout her life until the age of 46, she was treated as if she had a psychological problem, which only made matters worse. For anyone who can't tell left from right or suffers from agoraphobia or dyslexia, or anyone working with these people, this book should be on their shelf for continual reference.
Rebecca Michell. MSc Psychology
"Once I picked this book up I couldn't stop reading it. I found it a very enlightening and courageous book."
Jan Green. Therapeutic Art Teacher of children with autism, asperger's syndrome & behavioural problems.
"A shocking story, humorously told, which finds its way to an unexpected conclusion.
Jenny Allardyce. Writer and researcher.
Through the Net is an honest and brave account which does not make for easy reading ..... It moved me hugely and made me rethink the health system and its many limitations. It's fascinating.
Rebecca Lenkiewicz. Playwright, actor and poet. Author of 'The Naked Skin' at the National Theatre in July 2008 - the first play to performed on the Olivier Stage by a living female playwright.