There are some advantages to having a child who is profoundly, multiply disabled. One of those advantages is being able to ignore most of what is written on any one of his disabilities.
Last month Sarah wrote asking if I had read the book, Finding Your Child on the Autism Spectrum by Dr Laura Hendrickson. I had not heard of this book, and haven’t even had the opportunity to ask Sarah about her recommendation.
But it made me realize that I have not read a disability-specific book in several years. When Paul was first born I was reading all about blindness and accommodations for blind children. When autism entered the picture, I started consuming information on autism.
And I soon discovered that most books about blindness and childhood development dealt with typically-developing children who are blind. Most books on autism did not deal with blindness. Throw in cognitive disabilities and the choices become even more limited.
So, Dianne and I live in mostly-uncharted territory with a few other parents. That’s not a complaint or even a lament; it is simply our situation.
And it also means we get to stay out of some really contentious areas of debate, like the impact of diet on autism, or particular forms of therapy for autism. I just get to hang out with other parents of disabled kids rather than compare notes, or get into discussions about what therapy might be better or worse than another.
So, for the books I read on disability, I mostly focus on disability, the Bible and theology. Then I focus on disability and culture in the blogs, magazines or news articles that show up in my news alerts or RSS feed.
Next week we will be on vacation and I hope to get through a big chunk of Receiving the Gift of Friendship: Profound Disability, Theological Anthropology, and Ethics by Hans Reinders. I’d like to provide a review when I’m done, but I’m not exactly sure what would be most helpful for those who read this blog.
- So I’m hoping you might comment on how you choose the resources you read or watch on the disability(s) your family is dealing with. How do you choose what books to read on disability? What makes for a ‘good’ book on disability that is worth reading and considering?
- If you take recommendations or read book reviews, what do you look for that encourages or discourages you from choosing a resource on disability? What makes for a ‘good’ review that is helpful in making a decision about a resource?
I’m not looking for recommendations for books, but in the how and why you make decisions about books.
Part of my reason for asking is that I’ve been asked to review a book for the Bethlehem bookstore. If it is worthwhile for Bethlehem to stock that book, I would like to provide a review that might encourage people to buy it.
I look forward to your comments and observations!