We must do everything we can to help our children to change what is different about them, make it *undifferent*, so they can integrate, so they can be as normal as possible.... We must reprogram our children, go against their nature, go against nature itself. Constantly. It would be considered emotional abuse to do that to a "normal" child, to tell them every day in many ways they cannot be who they are. (Lisa Carver, p.x)There's no understanding us, the parents of kids with special needs children -- parents of children with special needs -- parents with special needs with children.
Lisa Carver's comment above, though, I may end up tattooing down my forearm, because those words generated the most visceral agreement I've felt with parental writing in years. Our co-parenting journey with medical professionals can often be tantamount to persistent emotional abuse, and we all know that, all of us. But I'm not sure I've ever seen it written as clearly as that before.
All things considered, My Baby Rides the Short Bus, a collection co-edited by Yantra Bertelli, Jennifer Silverman, and Sarah Talbot, is the most helpful and community-minded book I've ever read about special-needs parenting.
Me, I read about this stuff because I need to know our family isn't alone. Not every allegedly relevant book offers much in the way of help. This one, though, kept arresting me enough that I had no choice but to put it down for a little while in order just to think and feel. (And I usually put down parenting books in frustration, maybe even rage!)
I think it's a very good sign when a book makes me tear up, even when prickly tear ducts are also a reliable indicator of looming burnout, and this book caught me out several times.