By COURTNEY WEBB
Parenting isn’t easy. Children don’t come with instruction manuals and being an informed and responsible parent in our modern world is becoming more and more of a challenge as parents are faced with situations and outcomes we’d never have imagined for ourselves or for our children. Whether the focus be on making sure your child has appropriate educational opportunities, proper medical care or even fighting for your child’s life and rights: we’ve got you covered with these three parent oriented book selections. Each is “straight from the horse’s mouth” in that the writers write not from the outside looking in but from within from their own personal life experience.
Square Peg: My Story and What it Means for Raising Innovators, Visionaries and Out-of-the Box Thinkers by L. Todd Rose with Katherine Ellison
Todd Rose was that square peg as a child. He was the “rebel” that just didn’t fit into the traditional educational system mold. Labeled, judged and thought to lack the intelligence to master conventional schooling methods he later went on to Harvard. Now he is currently a faculty member at Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he focuses his studies and teaching on educational neuroscience and the utilization of complex systems in application to educational models. In Square Peg he gives parents and educators not only an innovative new take on the methods of the education of our children but his personal experience of being that child who slipped through the cracks. The book is part memoir, part fascinating scientific exploration of just how children learn and part reminder that just maybe sometimes we shouldn’t make our kids adapt to society’s expectations but make society adapt to our kids.
Immortal Bird: A Family Memoir by Doron Weber
Doron Weber is a phenomenal writer and an extremely intelligent man but someday he will not be remembered most for these things, he will be remembered most for being a true father. In his emotionally connective memoir Immortal Bird, Weber relays the experience of his family’s fight to save their son Damon from heart failure caused by an extremely rare condition called Protein Losing Enteropathy. A condition not well understood by the medical community, Weber takes readers through their fight exposing not only the flaws of the modern medical system when faced with a condition that is little understood but also the responsibility of the parent to be the ultimate voice in their child’s medical rights. Weber’s parental voice is heart-wrenching, evocative in a way that only a parent could truly understand and it gripes one’s heart to the point of the readers becoming a witness to the events in a mien that most writers can only dream of. It is a book that will stay with you forever and in that manner his devoted father has truly made Damon Weber and his enduring legacy immortal.
The Thinking Mom’s Revolution: Autism Beyond the Spectrum by Helen Conroy and Lisa Joyce Goes
Twenty-three parents from around the globe find each other through social media, their one connective link: the desperate search for the means to bring their children back from the debilitating grip of autism or other developmental disabilities. What started as a small group of friends turned into a revolution throughout both social media and the World Wide Web. Now for the first time these founding parents each impart their personal stories of hope, fear, helplessness and the fight for recovery. They say if you meet one child with autism, you’ve met one child with autism but luckily this collection gives voice to multiple families and their stories of living life with the almost invisible enemy of autism and in some cases life after. It also gives voice to each parent’s views on causes, treatments and the ultimate search for recovery for so many children who are truly medically ill. With a recent study confirming at least 1 in 50 school age children are on the autism spectrum, a book like this has never been more needed and able to be understood and relatable. Parents, grandparents, neighbors and educators would do well to step into these shoes whether or not they personally are affected by autism, it can only make them possibly understand a tiny drop of the epidemic surrounding us. All they ask is that you THINK. This book is the one that makes it crystal clear that the real soldiers in the trenches on the battlefield of autism are not the doctors and scientists but the parents who will never give up on their children and their search for the truth.