My friend Mardra asked me to read and review her new book, and for the record, she provided me with a free copy. In return, I get to offer my readers a chance to win a fantastic Grand Prize package including a copy of the book, The Parent’s Guide to Down Syndrome, copies of other books that are excellent resources for parents, a few fun stickers and bookmarks, an “I love someone with Down syndrome” tote, and a registration to this years 321 eConference! I don’t usually do reviews, but in this case, I’m glad I did! Here’s why:
As I started to read The Parent’s Guide to Down Syndrome my first reaction was, “Boy I wish I had this book when my son was born!” Twenty-nine years ago few resources were available for new parents and those that were available were mostly clinical and often depressing. This new book feels like having a conversation with friends over a cup of coffee.
Authors Jenn Jacob and Mardra Sikora combine professional expertise and parental advice in a way that flows easily. The great thing about this is that the reader gets a variety of different perspectives in one book. They reinforce this multiple perspective advantage throughout the book by emphasizing the importance of personal choice.
“No two families have ever chosen, or will ever choose, the exact same path.” P. 21
Two aspects of the book strike me as unique and, in my opinion, make it a “must have” in any parent’s library:
- The extensive use and power of personal narrative
- The diverse list of online resources
Not only do we get notes from both authors on their personal experience with different subjects, each section includes powerful quotes from a variety of parents who have been there. No matter how old your child with Down syndrome is, there’s an indescribable feeling you get when you hear someone else who “gets it.” That feeling of community is very important at all stages of caregiving for someone with Ds.
Of course, as the founder of The Road We’ve Shared, my very favorite aspect of the book is inclusion of self-advocates telling their own story.
35-year-old Jenny Koley’s advice to new parents:
“Love your kids. And, let your children make their own decisions.” P. 204
Can’t put it any better than that!
Since my son was born “pre-internet,” I had limited options for obtaining information. Today, the pendulum has swung in the completely opposite direction. Parents have access to an overwhelming amount of information. It can be hard to sort through it all. Jenn and Mardra include resources broken down in convenient “chunks” based on age and topic of interest.
Information is always changing, and in most respects, change is good. I don’t mind admitting that this “old mom” learned a few things reading this book. The Parent’s Guide to Down Syndrome meets the immediate needs of new parents with detailed, current information and provides links to communities that will help parents stay connected and informed as their children grow.
Thanks Jenn and Mardra for this great “Road” map to caring for a child with Down syndrome!
Now, for the giveaway – to enter, click the link below. Good luck!