Gifts: Mothers Reflect on How Children with Down Syndrome Enrich Their Lives

Gifts: Mothers Reflect on How Children with Down Syndrome Enrich Their Lives

4.7 8
by Kathryn Lynard Soper

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A poignant collection of personal stories by mothers describing the gifts that Down syndrome has brought into their lives.


A poignant collection of personal stories by mothers describing the gifts that Down syndrome has brought into their lives.

Editorial Reviews

Reviewer:Carolyn H Richardson, EdD(University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center)
Description:This is a collection of stories by mothers who have at least one child with Down syndrome.
Purpose:The editor states she wishes she could have had a book like this during the first year of her child's life. Her hope is that it will provide something new for parents beyond the scientific information so readily available on the Internet.
Audience:The intended audience includes parents of a child with Down syndrome as well as those who know they will be delivering a child with Down syndrome. However, this book could have a far broader audience. Anyone providing or studying to provide healthcare or educational services to these children should find a wealth of valuable information to assist them in working with the families.
Features:This wonderful array of stories by mothers points out both how their children and families are unique and how they are similar to all children and families. The book allows readers to understand that although Down syndrome is a unique experience for each family, it is indeed a human experience and that the child should always precede the diagnosis. The families differ in size and family makeup, in the ages of the children, race/ethnicity, and parent educational levels; reside throughout North America in urban and rural settings; and include natural/adoptive parents. There is even a story of a mother who lost her child to cancer, a rarer complication for children with Down syndrome. The theme remains the same -- all parents process the diagnosis and have happiness as well as sadness, hopes anddreams, and challenges. All parents have the same experiences and this lesson, while not often expressed in the book, should not be lost for healthcare and educational providers. Although the book emphasizes the humanity of the families, readers will find some scientific information as the parents note the information they were provided as well as the various medical issues many of the children had to face. These situations all provide insights for both parents and professionals. Each story provides a picture as well as a brief description of the family. This allows readers to understand the variety of family makeup and residential settings. The cover picture is a wonderful reminder that parents of all children want to share their family experiences.
Assessment:I would highly recommend this book be used in healthcare and education training programs and settings. It will allow for great discussions of family challenges as well as comparisons of the similarities of all families. It would be a wonderful offer to all parents at the time of diagnosis, whether that occurs prenatal or after birth. A brief search for similar books led to several written for parents by professionals which offer insight into the scientific discoveries as well as information about the most common concurrent health issues of these children, but most of them were published in the 1990s or early 2000s. (Parents and students may find more current scientific data on the Internet.) One book, Babies with Down Syndrome: A New Parents' Guide, by Stray-Gundersen (Woodbine House, 1995), includes a foreword by an adult self advocate that can provide parents a perspective that is not usually found in the literature. The remainder of this book is based upon scientific information, but does provide parent statements at the end of each chapter. Expecting Adam: A True Story of Birth, Rebirth, and Everyday Magic, by Beck (Berkley Books, 1999), provides one parent's account of her experience with diagnosis and parenting a child with Down syndrome. However, of all of the potential comparable books, none provides the same format and variety of parental experiences as Gifts.

Product Details

Woodbine House
Publication date:
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Barnes & Noble
File size:
7 MB

Meet the Author

Kathryn Lynard Soper is the mother of seven children. Her youngest, Thomas, born in 2005, was diagnosed with Down syndrome at birth. She's the author of a memoir, The Year My Son and I Were Born, and the editor of the anthology, The Mother in Me. She is president of The Segullah Group, Inc., a non-profit organization that produces personal writings, and editor-in-chief of Segullah, a literary journal by and for Latter-day Saint (Mormon) women. Kathryn lives with her husband, Reed, and their children in the mountain west.

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Gifts : Mothers Reflect on How Children With Down Syndrome Enrich Their Lives 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
MomsChoiceAwards More than 1 year ago
Gifts is a recipient of the prestigious Mom's Choice Award. The Mom’s Choice Awards honors excellence in family-friendly media, products and services. An esteemed panel of judges includes education, media and other experts as well as parents, children, librarians, performing artists, producers, medical and business professionals, authors, scientists and others. A sampling of the panel members includes: Dr. Twila C. Liggett, ten-time Emmy-winner, professor and founder of PBS’s Reading Rainbow; Julie Aigner-Clark, Creator of Baby Einstein and The Safe Side Project; Jodee Blanco, New York Times best-selling Author and; LeAnn Thieman, motivational speaker and coauthor of seven Chicken Soup For The Soul books. Parents and educators look for the Mom’s Choice Awards seal in selecting quality materials and products for children and families.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ater delivering our precious daughther who was then diagnosed with DS, I stumbled across this book. I could not put it down. I have loaned it to family members and recommended it to someone currently awaiting the delivery of her son with DS. My sister-in-law said that reading this book will make you wish you had a DS baby of your own. If you or a friend or a family member is or might be having a baby with DS, read this book first!
Guest More than 1 year ago
A gift really describes this book and I think every person who reads this book will tell everyone they know about it. The stories told in this book touch a persons heart and truely depict what a Gift each and every life is.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As the mother of an 8 month old son with Down syndrome, I highly recommend this book to anyone who has (or is a expecting) a child with Down syndrome in his/her life -- from parents to family members to teachers to social workers to OB/GYNs. Parents who are also considering termination of a pregnancy should be given this opportunity to glimpse into real-life experiences with our children -- to counter the antiquated beliefs and prejudices about them. I wish someone had given me this book when I first gave birth. The stories are honest, forthright, raw, sad, happy, heartwarming, uplifting, inspiring -- In reading them I felt such a connection to each mom because we've all walked the same road...albeit with its challenges, but the most rewarding and significant measure of being human. Hats off to these loving, brave moms! I only hope there are other volumes to come!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is brimming with beautiful stories of Mothers of children with Down syndrome. It truly shows the light that shines in the lives of people who are blessed to know these children.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am the father of an 18 year old daughter with DS and am physician in chief of Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. GIFTS is one of the most inspiring books I have read. And I am not noted for being a warm, fuzzing, sensitive guy in fact, recently my wife said that I scored quite low on the 'sensitivity scale.' I have given copies of GIFTS to about 50 new parents of babies with DS at our IDSF (Indiana Down Syndrome) and DADS (Dads Appreciating Down Syndrome) functions and when babies with DS have been admitted to Riley Hospital, usually for open heart surgery. The response from these parents has been one of the most amazing things I have observed. One mother told me that this book is exactly what she needed when she was having such emotional difficulties shortly after the birth of their new baby. I bought another 100 copies of GIFTS and will give a copy to any parent of a baby with DS or who is pregnant with a baby with DS. Rich Schreiner, Indianapolis IN Rich Schreiner | 06.14.07 ¿ 10:00 am |
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the book any parent who finds out about the diagnosis of Down Syndrome needs to read. The medical information is important but doesn't give your perspective of how life is after the child is born. This is not only a much needed book but should be required reading for anyone who deals with pregnancy and special needs.