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After the Tears

Robin Simons

After the Tears : Parents Talk About Raising a Child With a Disability
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Reviewer: Allison Martin

After the Tears : Parents Talk About Raising a Child With a Disability by Robin Simons is wonderful booklet about parenting a child with special needs. Personal stories and insights accompany the thoughtful discussions of all aspects of special needs parenting. Even the illustrations are touching and insightful. Topics include: New problems, new adjustments; isolation, relatives; working with the school system; is this the best for my child; chronic sorrow; and personal growth. I highly recommend this small jewel to every parent of a special needs child and to all who wish to support a family with special needs children - teachers, professionals, friends and family. Good advice and heartfelt encouragement for parents of babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. Tested over time and still a great read.

Quote from the foreword:

In parenting a child with a disability you face a major choice. You can believe that your child's condition is a death blow to everything you've dreamed and worked toward until now. Or you can decide that you will continue to lead the life you'd planned - and incorporate your child into it. Parents who choose the latter course find they do a tremendous amount of growing. They find inner strengths they didn't know they had. They develop a greater sense of self-esteem. They develop an openness about their feelings and an ability to share those feelings with each other.

Quote from the book:

"The speech therapist says, 'Do half an hour of therapy after dinner.' The physical therapist says, 'Do 0 minutes of therapy in your spare time.' What spare time? I have two other kids and a husband! I finally said 'no' to all that therapy. I had to choose between being my child's extension therapist and being his mother. And I chose being his mother."

There are time when even an acceptable amount of therapy becomes too much - when your child needs time just to be a child, or when you need time to be with the rest of the family. It's O.K. to say "no" at those times, for a while. Your instinct will tell you when.

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