A Different Life: Growing Up Learning Disabled and Other Adventures

Overview

Born With a Hole in His Heart, Quinn Bradlee suffered from a battery of illnesses-seizures, migraines, fevers-from an early age. But it wasn't until he was fourteen that Bradlee was correctly diagnosed with Velo-Cardio-Facial Syndrome (VCFS), a wide-spread, little-understood disorder that causes a range of physical ailments and learning disabilities.

In this funny, moving, and often irreverent book, Bradlee tells his own inspirational story of growing up as a learning disabled ...

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A Different Life: Growing Up Learning Disabled and Other Adventures

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Overview

Born With a Hole in His Heart, Quinn Bradlee suffered from a battery of illnesses-seizures, migraines, fevers-from an early age. But it wasn't until he was fourteen that Bradlee was correctly diagnosed with Velo-Cardio-Facial Syndrome (VCFS), a wide-spread, little-understood disorder that causes a range of physical ailments and learning disabilities.

In this funny, moving, and often irreverent book, Bradlee tells his own inspirational story of growing up as a learning disabled (LD) kid-and of doing so as the child of high-achieving, famous parents.

From his difficulties reading social cues, to his cringe-worthy loss of sexual innocence, to developing an interactive website for the LD community, to finding true love, Bradlee describes the challenges and triumphs of living "a different life" with refreshing honesty and humor.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
In the first entry of his first blog, the author of this memoir introduced himself: "My name is Quinn C. Bradlee and I have been diagnosed with dyslexia, ADD/ADHD, and VDFS." That unpretentious candor is evident on every page of this memoir. Quinn is the son of former Washington Post executive editor and journalist Sally Quinn, but the worth of A Different Life doesn't reside in its affectionate portrayal of his parents. (The book's title and subtitle, however, are clever plays on his father's memoir A Good Life: Newspapering and Other Adventures.) Quinn's winning honesty, buoyancy, and zest for life make this book a fine choice for readers of other first-person books about disabilities.
From the Publisher

Vanity Fair, July 2010
“[H]onest, heartbreaking, and inspiring.”
Kate Tuttle
Bradlee's book brings a bracing honesty to the tough stuff he's faced, and a sweet enthusiasm toward the things that make him happy, from surfing to his childhood dog. He doesn't sugarcoat how difficult difference can be, but there's no pity here, and no complaint.
—The Washington Post
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781586488079
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs
  • Publication date: 3/2/2010
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 354,306
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author


Quinn Bradlee attended Landmark College, American University, and the New York Film Academy. He has made a series of documentary films about children with learning disabilities and rare genetic syndromes, and recently launched friendsofquinn.com, an online community for LD kids and their families. He lives in Washington, D.C.

Jeff Himmelman worked on Bob Woodard’s Maestro and Tim Russert’s Big Russ and Me, and has contributed to a host of other book projects. His work with Woodward and a team of other reporters helped The Washington Post win the Pulitzer Prize for its post-9/11 coverage. He lives in Washington, DC.

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Table of Contents

How It Feels, Take One xii

How It Feels, Take Two 1

The Story 3

My Ancestry 7

Mr. Mellow 17

Porto Bello 29

The Saga of Sparky Crowninshield Bradlee 37

The Discovery 45

Dr. Shprintzen and VCFS 49

After the Diagnosis 57

Transition into High School 61

The Hard Parts 67

Roommates 71

St. Martin 77

End on a Positive Note 85

Testing 87

Shprintzen: What Works 91

Surfing and Snowboarding 95

Transition to College 101

Animal House 105

Film 109

No Cure 113

Learning Outside of School 119

After Landmark 129

Film School 135

Isolation 143

Medication 149

The Documentary 153

Independence 157

Girls 165

How It Feels, Take Three 171

Advocacy 177

Web Site and Book 185

The Future 191

The End 201

The Next Chapter 207

Acknowledgments 217

Appendix A Dr. Shprintzen: The Foundation, and Success Stories 219

Appendix B A Little More about FriendsofQuinn.com from the folks at HealthCentral.com 225

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