A Different Kind of Perfect: Writings by Parents on Raising a Child with Special Needs [NOOK Book]

Overview

Every parent dreams of having a happy, healthy child. What happens when these dreams are shattered by a physical or cognitive disability? A Different Kind of Perfect offers comfort, consolation, and wisdom from parents who have been there—and are finding their way through.

The writings collected here are grouped into chapters reflecting the progressive stages of many parents' emotional journeys, starting with grief, denial, and anger and moving towards acceptance, empowerment, ...

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A Different Kind of Perfect: Writings by Parents on Raising a Child with Special Needs

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Overview

Every parent dreams of having a happy, healthy child. What happens when these dreams are shattered by a physical or cognitive disability? A Different Kind of Perfect offers comfort, consolation, and wisdom from parents who have been there—and are finding their way through.

The writings collected here are grouped into chapters reflecting the progressive stages of many parents' emotional journeys, starting with grief, denial, and anger and moving towards acceptance, empowerment, laughter, and even joy. Each chapter opens with an introduction by Neil Nicoll, a child and family psychologist who specializes in development disorders.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Compiled by a psychologist and two parents of special needs children, this work collects writings about the experiences and challenges by parents of physically and mentally disabled children. There are four to six essays on each theme (e.g., grief, denial, or anger); the conditions discussed include those apparent at birth (Down syndrome and cerebral palsy), at an early age (vision or hearing impairment), and at a later age (autism and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder). The essays reveal deeply personal issues, such as the loss of the ideal or "perfect child," marital stress, the need to advocate constantly for services, and the nagging fear that the parents could have caused the child's disability. Through these sincere accounts, we see both the strain on the parents and the potential of the children, best demonstrated by a mother's realization that Down syndrome will not prevent her dream of watching her daughter at a dance recital. Strongly recommended for all public libraries and academic libraries with parenting or disabilities collections.-Corey Seeman, Kresge Business Administration Lib., Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
“Compiled by a psychologist and two parents of special-needs children, the essays in this book reveal deeply personal issues.  Through these sincere accounts we see both the strain on the parents and the potential of the children.” —Library Journal (starred review)

“The honesty in this book took my breath away. There are so many different, compelling voices to listen to. The book embraces the entire family experience, as well as the whole grieving cycle.—Susan Senator, author of Making Peace with Autism

“This riveting book brings us the much needed voices of parents of children with disabilities, who speak with breathtaking honesty about their grief and gratitude, anger and exaltation, despair and laughter. It offers a wisdom that speaks not only to parents and families of children with special needs but to anyone who wants to learn how to live gracefully with disappointment and to transform life’s challenges into blessings.”—Miriam Greenspan, psychotherapist and author of Healing through the Dark Emotions

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780834826106
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/29/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 1,302,929
  • File size: 441 KB

Meet the Author

Cindy Dowling is a freelance journalist in Australia and the mother of an autistic child.

Bernadette Thomas is a book publisher and has a son with Down syndrome.

Neil Nicoll is a child and family psychologist in private practice in Sydney specializing in developmental disorders.

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Table of Contents

Preface • Cindy Dowling xi

GRIEF
Introduction • Neil Nicoll 3
Everything and Nothing at All • Cindy Dowling 7
Witnessing • Anna Stewart 10
Shattered Dreams • Annie Hedberg 14
Disappointment • Jennifer Beitz 18
A Blessing or a Nightmare? • Sindoor Desai 20
Group • Colleen Kunkel 24

DENIAL
Introduction • Neil Nicoll 29
Butt Out of Our Business • Paddy Ryan 33
Grandma Knows Best • Paula Ickes 37
To Sleep, Perchance to Sleep • Doreen Bonnett 40

ANGER
Introduction • Neil Nicoll 45
Why Should It Matter? • Sherrie Ball 50
Willing to Learn • Kathy Winters 54
The Why of It • Michelle Portman 57
A "Perfect" Family • Nancy Archer 61
Why Me? • Raylene Smith 65
Difficult Journeys • Michelle Markle 67

DEPRESSION
Introduction • Neil Nicoll 73
Don't Always Trust the "Experts" • Margaret Henc 77
Not Enough Time • Sally Long 81
A Line Drawn in the Sand • Dede Dankelson 84
The Kaleidoscope of Our Life • Faith Sandles 87

ACCEPTANCE
Introduction • Neil Nicoll 93
Dance Recitals Are Still Possible • Becky Whidden Huff 97
I Believe in Miracles • Dawn Proudlove 100
Making the Right Choices • Don Ward 102
Four Boys, No Waiting • Sandra Miller 105
Blessed • Donna Tack 108
A Baby No Different, So Different • Shona Parekh 111

EMPOWERMENT
Introduction • Neil Nicoll 117
Evolution of a Soul • Rebecca Riggs 112
Just Ashlyn and Me . . . Always Has Been • Jessica Bridges 125
Learn to Be Still • Pam Gross 128
Discovering Our Potential • Tara Demers 131
Never Staying Quiet • Tina Rivenbark 134

MARRIAGE, FAMILY, AND FRIENDS
Introduction • Neil Nicoll 141
We Take Nothing for Granted • Carolyn Fennell 146
What People Say . . . • Sharon Perera 149
Pride, Love, and a Whole Lot to Be Learned • Lisa Depperman 153
Much to Be Thankful For • Barbara Bucknam 156
OPOs - Other People's Opinions • Gracie Mackay 159
On Becoming a Parent • Andrea Connell 162

LOVE AND JOY
Introduction • Neil Nicoll 169
The Woman in the Mirror • Cheryl Veenstra 172
He Makes Me Feel Very Proud • Maria Letizia 175
Holding Back the Tears • Judy Ashberg 178
When There Are No Words • Zan L. Liccione 181
Happiness Wears a Cheesy Grin • Rose-Mary Gower 184
Outside of the Norm • Rich Tepper 187
A Gift of Lessons • Katherine Krishnan 189

SPIRITUALITY
Introduction • Neil Nicoll 195
Something Much Bigger Than All of Us • Claudia Enright 199
The Making of an Honest Woman • Natalie Hale 203
Butterfly Wings • Michelle Chrzczonowicz 206
She's Worthy of a Dream Come True • Tony Philips 211
To Love and Be Loved • Kimberly Nava 214


LAUGHTER
Introduction • Neil Nicoll 221
I'm in the Army Now • Ellen Forrest 224
Dealing with the Tragedy of HB Syndrome • Rick Hodges 228
What's Your Name? • Bernadette Thomas 231

Acknowledgments 235
Appendix: How Some Parents Unwind 237
Author's Notes 247
Bibliography 249
Recommended Reading 251
Resources 253
Index 255


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