You will Dream New Dreams

February 7, 2012

 

This lovely collection of essays by parents of children with special needs is similar to Gifts, but is not exclusively about children with Down syndrome.  The book contains many chapters about DS, but as a parent I actually found it interesting to read about children with other conditions.  These days we often meet  people who are living with CP, autism, etc., and each story highlights the unique reality of each medical condition.  The essays provide a lot of helpful advice from those who have walked the path ahead of us. Many of the children were born 30-40 years ago, and some have passed away, so the parents are looking back with a lifetime of perspective.

 A wonderful quote from this collection was written by mother Trena Tremblay: “We all come in different packages.  Some of us carry our beauty on the outside, some on the inside. We may find ourselves in a society that values the wrappings much more than the contents of the package. For in our busy and fast-paced society, it takes less time and much less effort to create a beautiful and appealing package. True beauty requires much more effort, time, and commitment, but as you will come to understand, such things are the treasures of the heart.”  (Chapter 58, Mission of Love, page 213)  These words will surely resonate with many families. 

As parents of children with special needs, we do philosophize about the role of our children in society and our changed values, and this book captures the feelings of people who have handled a diagnosis in very different ways.  Certainly all of us could relate to at least some of the parents and situations in this collection.  It also wouldn’t hurt health care professionals to read this type of resource, I believe, as the parents find that the manner in which a diagnosis is given remains with them for a lifetime.  Fortunately, attitudes are slowly changing so perhaps those of us going through this currently or in the future will be treated with more sensitivity than some of the families here.

Suggested for:  those seeking understanding of parents who have children with special needs, including friends, family members, health care professionals, teachers, etc.  as well as parents who wish to share in the experiences of others who have walked the same path.

The Particulars: You will Dream New Dreams: inspiring stories by parents of children with disabilities: Edited by Stanley D. Klein and Kim Schive.  Published by Kensington Books, 2001. 

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Gail McCracken February 8, 2012 at 7:57 am

I have read this book and found all the stories interesting as you said not just the DS ones. Time does give perspective. It is so true that you never forget ‘how’ you were told. For those of us with a negative experience in how we were told hopefully overtime this can be overcome, not forgotten perhaps. As we live and grow with our child we know them better than anyone and as we love them and enjoy them I think, for me anyway, the negative experiences with other people (health professionals, coworkers etc) fades a bit. I am really enjoying your Resources Heather!!!

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Heather February 8, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Thanks Gail – and thanks for your comment. I agree, it gets easier over time. And I find the people in the healthcare professions who begin to work with your child–the OTs, PTs, SLPs– are so wonderful as they are used to working with kids who have special needs and have chosen that career. I remember thinking that if these were the people we’d be hanging out with, life would not be so bad!

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