The Bottom Line
By Amy Baskin and Heather Fawcett; 487 pages. Subtitle: Living a Full and Balanced Life When Your Child Has Special Needs
Hurray for a book that makes special-needs parenting sound like something you can survive, even thrive with! Informed by a survey of over 500 moms who shared their worries, joys, tips and tricks, this book offers practical advice on topics as far-thinking as securing your child's financial future and as right-now as finding a good babysitter.
- Focuses on the everyday basics - family, work, child care, finances
- Shares the experiences of moms dealing with a range of disabilities
- Offers practical ideas for handling challenges big and small
- Can-do spirit a nice change from more downbeat books on parenting special needs
- Shows how parenting a special child can transform you for the better
- At nearly 500 pages, it's a pretty hefty read for a busy mom
- More space devoted to work than some moms may need
- Some suggestions may seem a little trivial or silly
- When do dads get their book?
- Part I: Welcome to Our World - Parenting With a Difference
- Part II: Taking Care of Yourself
- Part III: Daily Life - Reality Check
- Part IV: Family Ties
- Part V: Overcoming Barriers to Quality Care - Childhood through Adulthood
- Part VI: Career and Home - The Ultimate Juggling Act
- Part VII: Redefining Your Work Life
- Part VIII: Transformations - From Struggle to Strength
- Research References
Guide Review - Book Review: More Than a Mom
With so many books on parenting children with special needs focusing on grief and loss, tragedy and recovery, struggle and strife, what a relief to pick up a book that says, "Alright, enough moping. Let's get you a good daycare, a rocking fitness routine, and a great job!" However you feel about your child's special needs, life goes on, day after day, with all sorts of immediate concerns demanding your attention. There's not much going on here about battling doctors and hospitals and therapists and diseases and delays; it's all about taking care of yourself and your marriage and your child and your family and your finances and your career.
Authors Baskin and Fawcett, special-needs moms themselves, surveyed more than 500 mothers in the U.S. and Canada and found that many of them are doing just fine, thanks. The range of strategies and solutions quoted here speaks nicely to the empowerment of parents forced to act as caseworkers and advocates and financial managers. I particularly love the idea that the skills you use to plan educational programs or administer medical care or assemble research for your child can be applied as job experience on a resume. Dealing with your child's challenges can not only make you more resilient and resourceful, it can apparently make you more marketable as well.
With short chapters and plenty of boxes, charts and checklists, this is an easy book to dip into for what you need right now -- even if it's just a little ego boost.