Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Elephant in the Playroom

The Elephant in the Playroom: Ordinary Parents Write Intimately and Honestly About the Extraordinary Highs and Heartbreaking Lows of Raising Kids with Special NeedsThe Elephant in the Playroom: Ordinary Parents Write Intimately and Honestly About the Extraordinary Highs and Heartbreaking Lows of Raising Kids with Special Needs by Denise Brodey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a remarkable collection of essays written by the parents of special needs children. What surprised me the most was the quality of the writing - neither too professional nor too unpracticed - everything was well paced. I enjoyed the variety of the essays and the topics covered.

As the parent of a child with high-functioning Aspergers, I found the autism stories more meaningful - and also a reminder of how much worse things could be for my son.

Synopsis: Candid, passionate, personal, and heartbreakingly funny, a view from within the whirlwind of parenting a child with special needs

Three years ago, magazine editor Denise Brodey's precocious four-year-old son, Toby, was diagnosed with a combination of sensory integration dysfunction and childhood depression. As she struggled to make sense of her new, often chaotic, often lonely world, what she found comforted her most was talking with other harried, hopeful, and insightful parents of kids with special needs, learning how they coped with the feelings they encountered throughout the day.

In The Elephant in the Playroom, moms and dads from across the country write intimately and honestly about the joyful highs and disordered lows of raising children who are 'not quite normal.' Laying bare the emotional, medical, and social challenges they face, their stories address issues ranging from if and when to medicate a child, to how to get a child who is overly sensitive to the texture of food to eat lunch. Eloquent and honest, the voices in this collection will provide solace and support for the millions of parents whose kids struggle with ADD, ADHD, sensory disorders, childhood depression, Asperger's syndrome, and autism, as well as the many kids who fall between diagnoses.

Offering readers comfort, community, and much-needed perspective, The Elephant in the Playroom is sure to become essential reading for parents of special needs kids.


Recommended Reading:
Love You to Pieces by Suzanne Kamata
Road Map to Holland by Jennifer Graf Groneberg
Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid by Gina Gallagher
Being the Other One by Kate Strohm
Miles from the Sideline by Maura Weis

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