Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Elephant in the Playroom

From the Amazon product description: 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.

This compilation of stories written by parents of special needs children has spots of humor and lots of heartwrenching sob fests too. I particularly loved the essay by Leigh Ann Wilson , who searched high and low for treatment for her son and said , "Three years, dozens of occupational therapy sessions, parenting classes, allergy tests, new diet regimes, mercury testing, eye examinations, and every last dime of our money, we ended up before a group of psychiatrists at Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago. They handed us a prescription for Ritalin." ! That was an affirming statement to read. We weren't the only parents who were so resistant to a diagnosis of ADD that we tried probably way too many things, and let Tween fail at school way too long, before we gave medicine a chance. This was a quick read, the writing flows from one story to the next and I just couldn’t put it down. Working in the world of special needs children - these were my stories, I loved these families. The love and emotion in this book just carried me away.

While this book doesn't focus solely on families of children with autism, they do have a lot of space and voice here! So I think it is a good fit for the Autism Awareness Month reading challenge that was hosted by tokemise at By Hook or By Book. Unfortunately I am so late posting for this APRIL challenge, that the blog is on hiatus and I can't direct you there to check out other autism related books. I've read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime and in my TBR pile I have Daniel Isn't Talking.

No comments: