A Special Mother: Getting Through the Early Days of a Child's Diagnosis of Learning Disabilities and Related Disorders

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Overview

All mothers experience worries and fears about their children, but none can compare with the early days when a mother feels something's not quite right. Anne Ford knows the feeling. She's had it herself, having raised a daughter with severe learning disabilities, and has gone on to share experiences with others during her many years as a volunteer with the National Center for Learning Disabilities.

To bring comfort, support, and hard information to mothers-and fathers, too-in ...

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A Special Mother: Getting Through the Early Days of a Child's Diagnosis of Learning Disabilities and Related Disorders

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Overview

All mothers experience worries and fears about their children, but none can compare with the early days when a mother feels something's not quite right. Anne Ford knows the feeling. She's had it herself, having raised a daughter with severe learning disabilities, and has gone on to share experiences with others during her many years as a volunteer with the National Center for Learning Disabilities.

To bring comfort, support, and hard information to mothers-and fathers, too-in the early period surrounding the diagnosis, here is the book that Anne wishes she'd had years ago when she first received the news about her daughter and didn't know where to turn for the practical and emotional help she desperately needed.

Filled with essential advice and the voices of other mothers whose children have LD and related disorders such as Asperger's and ADHD, A Special Mother lets parents know they are not alone and that they can help their child to thrive. This invaluable book addresses such matters as:

Understanding Learning Disabilities and Related Disorders

What Should You Do First?

Interpreting Evaluation Results

Resolving Disputes

Special Fathers: They Are Out There

The Social Side of LD

Advocacy vs. Obsession

How Are You Doing?: Taking Care of Yourself

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781557048523
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/2/2010
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 1,319,120
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Anne Ford's previous books are the acclaimed memoir Laughing Allegra, about raising her severely learning-disabled daughter, and On Their Own: Creating an Independent Future for Your Adult Child with Learning Disabilities and ADHD. She served as Chairman of the Board of the National Center for Learning Disabilities from 1989 to 2001. The daughter of Henry Ford II, she lives in New York City and lectures widely on LD and ADHD issues.

John Richard-Thompson, an award-winning playwright and novelist, collaborates with Anne Ford on her books.

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Table of Contents

Foreword Judy Woodruff vii

Introduction: Special Mothers xi

Part I Before the Diagnosis

Chapter 1 "Something's Not Quite Right": The Role of Mother's Intuition 3

Chapter 2 "Why Can't She Get It?": Understanding Learning Disabilities 13

Chapter 3 "He's Fine-He'll Grow Out of It": Delay vs. Learning Disability 21

Chapter 4 Am I Alone in This? 33

Chapter 5 "Just Let Him Be Three": Forms of Denial 36

Chapter 6 What Should You Do First? 48

Part II The Diagnosis

Chapter 7 One Last Step Before the Diagnosis: Pre-Referral Services 55

Chapter 8 "Should I Have Him Tested?": Requesting a Formal Evaluation 60

Chapter 9 Records and Rights: Organizing Knowledge 67

Chapter 10 "Does My Child Need Special Ed?": The Evaluation 75

Chapter 11 Interpreting the Hieroglyphics: Evaluation Results 85

Chapter 12 "Was It Something I Did?": Causes of Learning Disabilities 91

Part III After the Diagnosis

Chapter 13 Meetings, Meetings, and More Meetings!: Eligibility Determination 99

Chapter 14 IEP: The Individualized Education Program 107

Chapter 15 A Mother's Frustrations, a Mother's Solutions 120

Chapter 16 Advocacy: Advice from an Expert 132

Chapter 17 Resolving Disputes 143

Chapter 18 Special Fathers: They Are Out There 150

Chapter 19 Friendship Is So Hard: The Social Side of LD 162

Chapter 20 "Don't Forget About Me": Brothers and Sisters 170

Chapter 21 How Are You Doing?: Taking Care of Yourself 183

Epilogue: Role of a Lifetime: Becoming Your Child's Advocate 192

Acknowledgments 196

Resources for Children with Learning Disabilities 198

Index 201

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Customer Reviews

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  • Posted April 24, 2010

    EXCELLENT for parents new to the Special Ed system and/or children newly diagnosed with any type of learning disability (Autism, aspergers, AD/HD, OCD, etc)

    This book is an excellent source for parents going thru the initial stages of the Special Education system - it will let you know what to expect (in a generalized way, because SpEd depts vary district to district) and gives important advice in how you should deal with the IEP process. This book is also an advocate for YOU as a parent, & will give you insight to help you take care of YOU.
    This book stresses the importance of your role of the advocate for your child. If you don't fight for what your child needs, who will?
    The author focus's on the parents feelings of "the diagnosis" and what it means to you, your family, and your hopes and dreams for your child. Whether a we admit it or not, from the time our child is born we have a "vision" of what they can become. The realization that our child no longer fits into that particular vision is profound on a parents psyche. The author discusses how the parent needs to go thru their own internal process to deal with the feelings of guilt, hopelessness, depression and anger that surface when realizing that your child is not going to be able to fit that vision. She gives direction on what you can do to get through those feelings. You have to get through your own inner turmoil before you can really be able to help you child. It really takes a SPECIAL PARENT to champion a special needs child.
    What I hope readers eventually realize - and this will come years into dealing with both the Special Ed environment and the medical professionals who are all part of THE TEAM to champion your child - is that you can be at peace with what GOD has given you in this challenge. You CAN find incredible joy and inspiration in seeing what your child can accomplish regardless of the obstacle of hers/his disability. Your child will help you see the world in a whole new light.... and this book is perfect to help guide you through those first steps, and thru the first few years. Take the advice, be informed, be a champion for your child; and most of all - love them for who they are.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 9, 2010

    Not just for mothers who have children with learning disabilities but for all mothers

    Anne Fords latest book A SPECIAL MOTHER deals with the emotional side not just the technical side of finding out what to do when your child "seems different". She was confronted with her mothers intuition that her daughter was just not doing what other children were doing at the same age. But like every mother interviewed she overrode that intuition because she wanted to believe she was being silly and seeing things that weren't there. She knew deep inside there was a problem but didnt want to face it and made excuses so she wouldn't have to face the truth. When she finally could no longer hide from Allegras disability, the pain really began. This book is a bible to carry with you all the time, a companion to help guide as you find your way to help your child who has a learning disability. A mother is lost and has no idea where to go or who to turn to. But with A SPECIAL MOTHER all the help is there to find a path. It is there to give hope to mothers just starting out and it is there for mothers who have been dealing with the needs of their children but forgetting their own psychological and emotional needs. It is a generous gift of experience and help. It is so wonderful to know someone else "gets it" and Anne Ford does "get it". She has been there and gotten through it as have so many mothers she interviewed for the book. It is special as she is and special as her daughter Allegra is and as every mother is and it is a great help to all of us.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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