Sunday, September 2, 2012

Sunday Review: Easy to Love but Hard to Raise

Easy to Love but Hard to Raise: Real Parents, Challenging Kids, True Stories
Edited by Kay Marner and Adrienne Ehlert Bashista 

DRT Press
340 pages

There are so many books written about autism and other invisible disabilities. Books written by attorneys, celebrities and doctors. While some are helpful, they can often be unrelatable.

And when a parent has a child with a disability, they want a book that will speak to them.   

Easy to Love but Hard to Raise is a collection of essays written by 32 parent-writers of children with ADD, ADHD, OCD, PDD, ASDs, SPD, PBD and other "invisible" disabilities
...written by parents of toddlers, young children, teens, and adult children; those who are in the parenting trenches now, and those looking back on their parenting experiences. Topics include : how children came to be diagnosed, the experience of dealing with problem behaviors in various contexts and settings, experiences with/feelings about treatment (therapies, medications, alternative treatments), school (and other advocacy) experiences, children’s social interactions/friends, and the effect of parenting a difficult child on a parent’s emotional and physical health, marriage, and other relationships.  
Brutally honest and beautifully inspiring, Easy to Love but Hard to Raise are the stories of real parents raising challenging kids - their worries, fears and triumphant moments. These are the stories, so many parents need to read to realize they are not alone. 

As I am struggling with should I or shouldn't I medicate, the "Searching for Solutions" section has been especially helpful for me. I'm still uncertain on whether its the right decision for us, but I appreciate the perspectives and thought process of the parents. And I am certain I will return to the stories again.  

Also included in this book, are Q&As with experts regarding home-schooling, medication and much more. My favorite Q&A is the one on the importance of social media and special needs parents by Jean "Stimey" Winegardner of Stimeyland.

No matter if you have a son or a daughter, regardless of age or disability - there is something in Easy to Love but Hard to Raise for you. This will be the book that speaks to you.   

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AutismWonderland - written by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez - is a personal blog chronicling a NYC family's journey with autism, while also sharing local resources for children/families with special needs.