Solomon, Andrew

Far from the tree : parents, children, and the search for identity - New York, NY Scribner 2012 - ix, 962 p. ; 24 cm.

Son|Deaf|Dwarfs|Down syndrome|Schizophrenia|Disability|Prodigies|Rape|Crime|Transgender|Father|Acknowledgments|Notes|Bibliography|Index

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"In this book the author tells the stories of parents who not only learn to deal with their exceptional children but also find profound meaning in doing so. His proposition is that diversity is what unites us all. He writes about families coping with deafness, dwarfism, Down syndrome, autism, schizophrenia, multiple severe disabilities, with children who are prodigies, who are conceived in rape, who become criminals, who are transgender. While each of these characteristics is potentially isolating, the experience of difference within families is universal, as are the triumphs of love he documents in every chapter. All parenting turns on a crucial question: to what extent parents should accept their children for who they are, and to what extent they should help them become their best selves. Drawing on 40,000 pages of interview transcripts with more than three hundred families, the author mines the eloquence of ordinary people facing extreme challenges. Whether considering prenatal screening for genetic disorders, cochlear implants for the deaf, or gender reassignment surgery for transgender people, he narrates a universal struggle toward compassion. Many families grow closer through caring for a challenging child; most discover supportive communities of others similarly affected; some are inspired to become advocates and activists, celebrating the very conditions they once feared." - BOOK JACKET Before I tell you what a wonderful book this is, I should warn you that it has 962 pages. However, never fear, you need only read the first 702 as the rest is acknowledgements, notes, bibliography and index.
The author interviewed some 300 families in the course of researching this book and took ten years to complete, but what a fascinating read, as gripping as a top notch novel. He writes about families coping with deafness, dwarfism, Down syndrome, autism, schizophrenia, multiple severe disabilities, with children who are prodigies, who are conceived in rape, who become criminals, who are transgender. “While each of these characteristics is potentially isolating, the experience of difference within families is universal, as are the triumphs of love documented in each chapter.”
Elegantly written, erudite, witty and moving, I’m certainly getting my own copy.

9780743236713


FAMILIES
NEURODIVERSITY
DIFFERENCE
PARENTING
CHILD PARENT RELATIONSHIPS
CHALLENGES
INTERVIEWS
CHILDREN

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