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Dads of Disability

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Dads Of Disability: Stories for, by, and about fathers of children who experience disability (and the women who love them!)Dads of Disability
By Gary Dietz
Gary Dietz Publishing
Retail Price $9.99
Amazon Kindle Price: $9.99
Barnes & Noble Nook Price: $9.99

Book Description:  Dads of Disability is a collection of 41 essays and poems rich in context and imagery that illustrate a father’s perception of and reaction to being a father of a child that experiences disability. From before and through birth, to diagnosis, to the workplace, to serious medical or behavioral issues, to father’s support circles, and much more—including aging and death—many inflection points are explored by the fathers themselves as well as the mothers and children in their lives. Each entry focuses on male and fatherhood themes.

This is not a ‘how-to’ book or a book of ‘5-ways to do this’ or ’10-ways to do that.’ Rather, this collection uses a storytelling approach to illuminate the emotional lives of these fathers. Dads of Disability will begin or extend the conversation between and amongst fathers, mothers, extended families, care circles, and individuals with disabilities themselves.

This book is for fathers and mothers. For friends and support circles. For care professionals. For teachers. For friends trying to understand their neighbor’s challenges. For anyone interested in the variety of the emotional lives of fathers whose children experience a disability.

Regardless of the age of the father, the child’s challenge, or even the gender of the essayist (remember, they are not all men!), Dads of Disability strives to paint pictures of a variety of different men who have one thing in common-they deeply love a child who experiences a disability.

Topics of essays and poems include:
– A woman who chooses to live with her ex-husband to enable her children’s father to continue to be in their life on a regular basis.
– On his way back from an airplane lavatory, a man gets into an interesting discussion with a flight attendant about fatherhood.
– A husband rising in the middle of the night is finally understood and accepted by his dedicated and supportive wife.
– A father considers running away, but he visualizes his own, now-deceased father teaching him why he needs to stay with his daughter.
– A senior citizen reflects on his family’s care of his late brother.
– Over time, labels come to have different meanings to a father.
– A father accepting and helping with his child’s sensory challenges helps him accept that he has the exact same issue.
– A poem where hoodlums can’t stop a man from enjoying his iPod.
– A life filled with adaptations is explored in a reminiscence of the same event by a mother, her husband, and their adult child.
– A 3 year-old teaches us all a universal lesson in fewer than 60 words.

And many more…

Review

This book made realize that most books on parenting a disabled child are geared toward women, who are usually the main caretakers. Fathers of disabled children are often overlooked when the focus of much parenting support is aimed at mothers.  This book is a collection of personal stories that pertain to fathers and their experiences raising their disabled child.  Each essay is different and unique in it’s own right and they offer a broad spectrum of experiences. Contributors are drawn from a wide range of cultures and situations.  What they all have in common are the challenges that face them and their families in raising a child with a disability. Areas explored include the reactions of family, friends and colleagues, how to deal with the organizations and professionals that support families with a disabled child and the difficulty of being open about feelings in a culture that doesn’t always expect men to have a sensitive or nurturing role. Dads of Disability is direct and insightful and a valuable resource, not only for fathers, but for mothers, extended family, and health care professionals alike.

~Reviewed by Ronnie C.

Giveaway

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