Loving this book

 

A couple of months ago Sophie’s then teacher gave me a book called “Breakthrough Parenting for Children with Special Needs” by Judy Winter. I thanked her and put it in the stack of a dozen books I hope to read but never have time. But something about this book I could not put my finger on it but something kept telling me I had to read it.

When I took my 24 hour trip to FL a few weeks ago I took advantage of the quiet time and started to read it on my flight there. I read the first chapter and then fell asleep I guess my body was just too exhausted and won over my desire to read. I have been dying to finish the book always leaving it out where I can see it to remind myself but with my crazy life I don’t get more than 10-15 minutes quiet time in a day  and that’s not enough time to really enjoy it. This morning I read the second chapter but before I could start the third chapter the kids woke up and then the rest is history.

This book is truly wonderful! The author is a mother of a child with special needs, she is a survivor I should say as she lost her son suddenly at the age of 12 yrs old. She writes from her heart, her experiences and because she genuinely understands and wants to help. There are many true stories and tips from other parents of children with special needs who offer their stories and strategies that worked for their families. In only two chapters in I found myself crying and shaking my head in agreement. This book is real it’s not a how to book that will solve your problems but does offer insight into some ideas that may help as each our situations are unique. You may also find it can help you accept your new reality and embrace life. The book was written for parents, medical professionals, therapists, teachers or anyone else that is involved in the world of Special Needs. May seeing life through someone’s eyes enhance understanding, patience and overall humanity.

Here are a few passages so you can see why I’m so inclined to share:

-From the author…..

“My hope is that this book will challenge all professionals to reexamine how they interact with families. My suggestion is that they work harder to look beyond disability and focus on value, potential and abilities, while sharing valuable resources and expertise with the families they serve.”

“This guide challenges the perception that having a child with special needs is a fate worse than death. It will encourage parents to celebrate and value their children’s existence as a remarkable parenting gift.”

“My most important life decision was choosing to view my son as a child first, not as a disability. That decision freed me to raise him as a regular kid, with special challenges, instead of as a handicapped child. My attitude shifted from grieving his disability to celebrating one child’s amazing abilities. That difference was huge.”

“Having special needs can happen to anyone at any time. As a society, we need to better understand the power of this message so we can change the way in which we view and interact with people with disabilities. There is no shame in having a child with special needs, unless you put it there.”

TIPS: I am omitting the paragraphs after these titles because I just want to give you an idea.

*To become an increasingly empowered parent (IEP), read on!

*Believe in your child’s value-no matter what.

*Bond with your child as soon as possible after birth, including in the intensive care unit.

*Encourage visits from supportive family and friends.

“Throughout your child’s life you may have to grieve the loss of some big and small parenting dreams as you incorporate new dreams and expectations.”

“Don’t be fooled into thinking you can ignore grief’s impact on your life. The sense of loss that comes with special needs parenting is very real. So be sure to ask for help and reach out to other families of similarly challenged children. There’s a healing that comes from connecting with other parents.”

“Special needs parents are often asked to deal with a different kind of grief, one that often has no clear ending because it recurs as parenting dreams and predictable developmental milestones are lost or delayed. Although your grief may also involve the physical death of a child, as it has in my family, it is likely you will find yourself grieving the losses of a child who is very much alive. It just does not feel right grieving someone who’s living. Yet there will be times when that is exactly what you must do in order to let go of your former parenting expectations and embrace new parenting dreams.”

TIPS: I am omitting the paragraphs after these titles because I just want to give you an idea.

*Give yourself permission to grieve.

*Let the tears flow.

*Try to ignore people who tell you what you should be feeling.

*Stop asking Why?

*Focus on what you can change, not on what you can’t change.

This is only from the first two chapters. My book looks like I was coloring in it from highlighting what I felt was important to me. I’m excited to finish reading it.  For me it has already begun to validate so many of my feelings. I absolutely recommend this book to anyone looking for guidance or a view into the lives of special needs parents. The book has so much information to offer from schooling and advocating techniques to preserving your marriage to meeting the needs of siblings.

I will re-touch this book on a post when I am finished reading it (if I ever do). If anyone else has read it or if you do read it I would love to hear your feed back. If you agreed or disagreed, if you found it helpful or even if you did not care for it at all and why?

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