Spelling Love with an X: A Mother, A Son, and the Gene That Binds Them

Spelling Love with an X: A Mother, A Son, and the Gene That Binds Them

3.5 6
by Clare Dunsford
     
 

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When her son, J.P., was first diagnosed with fragile X syndrome, the most common inherited form of mental retardation, Clare Dunsford discovered that she and three of her four siblings carried the fragile X premutation and had therefore passed on the full mutation to J.P. and several of his cousins. An English professor by training, Dunsford draws on poetry to explore…  See more details below

Overview

When her son, J.P., was first diagnosed with fragile X syndrome, the most common inherited form of mental retardation, Clare Dunsford discovered that she and three of her four siblings carried the fragile X premutation and had therefore passed on the full mutation to J.P. and several of his cousins. An English professor by training, Dunsford draws on poetry to explore her new identity as a "mutant" and reflect on her life with J.P., a colorful young man with great verbal dexterity and a lovable cheeky streak. Brimming with warmth, Spelling Love with an X shares the disarming insights of a compassionate scholar on motherhood, disability, and genetic inheritance.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Through vivid descriptions of her relationship with J.P., readers can glimpse the parental highs and lows of life with a child who has developmental delays. —Lisa M. Jordan, Library Journal

"Clare Dunsford navigates the X that has mapped her own and her son's paths with humor, honesty, and clear-sighted intelligence-and in prose that sings."—Elizabeth Graver, author of The Honey Thief and Awake

"Dunsford does much more than inform us concerning a disorder we know too little about. Through a prose both lucid and beautiful, she is able to communicate the strangeness, even the poetry, of fragile X." —Clara Claiborne Park, author of The Siege and Exiting Nirvana

"Spelling Love with an X is one woman's beautifully written journey toward understanding herself, her son, and the twists of fate and DNA that bind them and all of us. Clare Dunsford's powerful and moving memoir is rich with humor, poetry and, most of all, love." —Mitchell Zuckoff, author of Choosing Naia: A Family's Journey

"Dunsford uses poetry and candor to document a condition the world knows little about by inviting the reader into snapshots of the disability that has been woven throughout the fabric of her life-from coming to terms with her role as a carrier to the poetic retelling of the roller coaster that is life with her son." —Boston Globe

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807072806
Publisher:
Beacon
Publication date:
10/01/2008
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
216
Sales rank:
770,892
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Clare Dunsford is an associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences at Boston College and has been a contributing writer for Boston College Magazine. She was previously an adjunct lecturer in English at Boston College and Harvard University.

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Spelling Love with an X: A Mother, A Son, and the Gene That Binds Them 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a parent of a son with Fragile X who is a couple of years younger than Ms. Dunsford's son, J.P., I can tell you we've experienced all the lows and the highs she writes of. Her story is beautifully written and shines with the love we have and hope we need for the future for our adult children. She is able to describe the charming, witty character of her son in a way that rings true for parents of children with Fragile X. It's her own story as well. Life as a carrier of Fragile X has its own challenges ¿ ones you might believe are your own character faults until you find out, at whatever age, that you are a carrier ¿ and that the battles you've fought during your life are the result of a genetic defect you were born with. Parents, carriers, friends should read this book to get a good look at life with Fragile X.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was given to me for Christmas and I read it from cover to cover in two days. That is no small feat when you are the parent of an adorable, though, ever-so-slightly hyperactive, 4 year old boy with Fragile X. Most days I barely have time to think much less sit and read! It's now being passed around amongst family and friends. In our lives we talk a great deal about the mechanics of living with a special needs child. We talk about what types of therapy and how much therapy. We talk about the 'tricks' we use to help him get through the day as smoothly as possible. We even talk about planning for the day when we won't be around. What we don't talk about is the grief and the guilt and the feeling that the future seems to be made of shifting sands and not the granite we had always thought. This book brought the emotions to the surface and gave us, as a family, a chance to really dig deeper and talk about the things we'd been keeping buried. What an amazing gift!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Raising a child with disabilities is a unique experience for each family, however as a parent of a young man with fragile x, I could certainly relate to the stories relayed in this book. The author allows us to share the experiences with her son as they both travel this journey, which can be both difficult and uplifting. I recommend this not just to those with fragile x syndrome in their families, but to anyone dealing with the issues the world of disabilities exposes us to.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading Clare's journey through time before and after the birth of her son, P.J. Her words were written with true honesty,emotion,love and sorrow. It opens a door to the difficult tasks of caring for a child with disabilities but also tells a story of the importance of gratitude that we all can practice in daily life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was sooooo depressing and gives little to no hope to parents of kids with fx. Spend your money on thrapy for your child instead! yes, genetic disorders suck, but give some hope to the families there are plenty of wonderful moments too!