Read the elephant in the playroom ordinary parents write intimately and honestly about raising kids with special needs by Denise Brodey Online

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A view from within the whirlwind of parenting a child with special needs Four years ago, Denise Brodey’s young son was diagnosed with a combination of special needs. As she struggled to make sense of her new, chaotic world, what she found comforted her most was talking with other parents of kids with special needs, learning how they coped with the emotional, medical, andA view from within the whirlwind of parenting a child with special needs Four years ago, Denise Brodey’s young son was diagnosed with a combination of special needs. As she struggled to make sense of her new, chaotic world, what she found comforted her most was talking with other parents of kids with special needs, learning how they coped with the emotional, medical, and social challenges they faced. In The Elephant in the Playroom, Brodey introduces us to a community of intrepid moms and dads who eloquently share the extraordinary highs and heartbreaking lows of parenting a child with ADD/ADHD, sensory disorders, childhood depression, autism, and physical and learning disabilities, as well as kids who fall between diagnoses. Hailing from Florida to Alaska, with kids ages three to thirty-three, the parents in this collection address everything from deciding to medicate a child to how they’ve learned to take care of themselves, offering readers comfort, kinship, and much- needed perspective. ...

Title : the elephant in the playroom ordinary parents write intimately and honestly about raising kids with special needs
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ISBN : 6631649
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 256 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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the elephant in the playroom ordinary parents write intimately and honestly about raising kids with special needs Reviews

  • Aerin
    2019-03-14 08:47

    I hated reviews of this book, a collection of essays I think everyone should read. Elephant came about because Denise Brodey, editor of Fitness mag, wanted to hear the stories of other parents of special needs children when her son was diagnosed with Sensory Integration Disorder and childhood depression in 2003. Using her professional background, Brodey asked these parents to share their stories – the ups and downs, joys and pains, laughter and tears – in short essays. These are the experience of parents and siblings whose lives are affected by special needs children.I took immense comfort in these stories even as I seethed at the reviewers. I went through with a pen (not even a pencil), starring and underlining and drawing smiley faces and exclamation points . Everyone spoke the truth of my existence, even if the diagnoses of our children differed. “[T:]he whiplash of being a special-needs mom seemed permanent,” writes Brodey (p 83). A mother of a son with autism echoes my fatigue: “I could never, ever, let my guard down, and by the end of the day, the strain of always trying to stay one step ahead of his overactive mind exhausted me physically and mentally.” (p 64)The contributors have experiences that range from simply tiring and/or training, to heartbreaking. There’s one mother who recounts what a teacher friend overheard in the teachers lounge, when another teacher came in and complained she “had that damn autistic kid.” Or the woman who had two boys, both in need of medication for their ADHD, and kept a blog of her personal challenges. A national group singled out her experience as an example of their cause – mandatory sterilization. An experience universal to the parents of special needs children is the dearth of services – therapy, school, social. Still, one glaring absence in this collection was the experience of low-income families. The families in this book had the resources to push and advocate for their children with government agencies, schools, etc. Families in which there is only one parent, or in which both parents have to work, have no recourse available.All of the reviewers of this book praised it, recommending it to any parent of a special-needs child. And, well, sure, community is great. But how many people, who are childless, or who have neurotypical and physiotypical kids, are going to crack this book? In the end, that seems to me to be the point. So many of us have endured the comments from strangers about how to raise our “disobedient kids,” or the teachers who ignore our children because “they don’t get it anyway.” We know these people are not cruel, only ignorant. Why isn’t this book recommended to them?Feed it to the media, shout it to the masses: READ THIS BOOK. It’s quick, it’s well-written, it’s humorous and hopeful. Everyone needs its message, because any time someone in cruelty or thoughtlessness belittles someone with special needs, the fabric of humanity frays, and we are all the shabbier for it.

  • Jessica McCann
    2019-03-21 02:44

    Inspiring and surprisingly funny, heartbreaking and painfully comforting... this book is a collection of essays by parents about raising kids with special needs. My husband and I picked it up at the bookstore during one of our many quests for answers. Then the book sat in a pile waiting to be read for months. My husband finally picked it up and finished reading it in about three days. He let out a huge sigh, of relief, "Wow, we're not alone." It took me weeks to get through it, and perhaps an entire box of Kleenex. I let out many heavy sighs, of despair, "Wow, we're not alone." While my husband took comfort in knowing other parents share similar struggles, I found that fact to be somewhat depressing. Many times I set the book aside, vowing not to read one page more. A few days later, I would pick it up again, read just one more essay. I'm glad I finally finished the book; it comes full circle through a wide range of emotions, and it ends with acceptance and hope. The book covers topics such as medication, schools, going public, the constant ups and downs, taking time for yourself. Anyone who is raising a special needs child should take a look. Many of the stories will make you cry - some tears of sorrow, some tears of joy. A few stories will make you angry. Nearly all will make you either nod your head in agreement as you read ("yes, that's so true") or shake your head in disgust ("ugh, that's so true"). If you know someone raising a child with special needs, this book provides insight and perspective that's hard to come by without walking in their shoes.

  • Emily
    2019-03-06 08:31

    I wish that more people would read stories like the ones included in this book. If you don't have children with special needs (and even if you do) it's easy to assume that a child's poor behavior is a direct reflection of the parenting (and therefore parents) they have. I appreciated the chance to read stories of parents doing all they can as they fight the good fight. Sometimes that leads to happy moments and sometimes, despite our best efforts, it doesn't. A great walk in other people's shoes.

  • Erin
    2019-03-04 01:35

    When you're a parent, you often feel like you're the only person in the world dealing with the challenges of raising kids. (I think that's why Supernanny is so popular -- it makes us feel like other people have kids worse than our own!) When you're raising a child with special needs, though, these problems can be even more obvious, and more alienating. The Elephant in the Playroom is a collection of essays written by average parents with not-so-average kids. Ranging from preschoolers with ADHD to adult children living with autism, these personal, naked stories had me in tears over and over again. In one way, it gave me perspective: I don't have it too bad. My son "only" has ADHD, a learning disability and communication disorder. It could be worse. On the other hand, it was also comforting to hear from other parents with ADHD kids that also struggle with well-meaning family advice, parenting criticisms and struggles with school systems. It's hard to read a book like this, but it makes me feel more prepared to be my son's biggest advocate. When I read about the struggles of the parents who have come before me -- and the successes of their "special" kids, I really feel connected and inspired and ready to face the next round of challenges.

  • Lisa
    2019-03-19 03:52

    I loved that these were parents and not experts talking about their own children. Each story is unique and each one taught me something. Some stories are really heart-wrenching, like the mom who had a sweet autistic son. The first day of Kindergarten the teacher announces to the staff, Shoot, they stuck me with that autistic kid this year. Nice. Needless to say, they had a horrible year with an unbending teacher who refused to honor even the simplest request to help this child. But there was a very happy ending: a new school that helped and honored the special needs of this child at every turn. The child thrived. So did the mom :)

  • Sherry
    2019-03-14 05:01

    This was a remarkable collection of essays written by the parents of special needs children. What surprised me the most was the quality of the writing - neither too professional nor too unpracticed - everything was well paced. I enjoyed the variety of the essays and the topics covered.As the parent of a child with high-functioning Aspergers, I found the autism stories more meaningful - and also a reminder of how much worse things could be for my son.

  • Beth
    2019-03-09 06:31

    This book rings true on many levels. Some of the parents who share their stories were overwhelmed, desperate, and panicky at some points. Yet they were also thrilled by so many of their children's accomplishments. Many felt the desire or need to connect with other families with similar challenges. It was especially nice to read about a young man with a significant learning disability moving into his own condo and maintaining a job for over10 years.

  • Angela
    2019-03-10 01:38

    I recommend this book especially for any parent of a special needs child. While there were no children in this book with Down syndrome, the life experiences of these parents are universal. We are fiercely protective of our children, want to be understood and not stared at. I loved the brutal honestly of these parents and I shared in their heartache and triumphs.

  • Ellyn
    2019-02-27 03:36

    When you do the work that I do, no amount of attempting to understand how parents with special needs kids feel is too much. This book is a great one because it honestly and candidly takes you into the lives of parents through their own words. It's a quick read and one that I would recommend to any parent, special needs child or not!

  • Lori Gertz
    2019-02-27 04:52

    This book helped me realize that my new normal is a lot of parents' new normal. Can't think of a better title for a book about that which most parents don't want to discuss but which is as clear as the nose on our faces when our kids are differently-abled. Denise Brodey created a book that will forever sit in my library as one of my most doggie-eared resources.

  • Ashleigh Rivers
    2019-03-22 04:50

    a really great collection of encouraging and inspiring stories

  • Megan
    2019-03-22 02:34

    Love this book. I call it my "pseudo support group". It has helped give me hope and feel like I'm not alone in my struggles.

  • Anastasia Ramsey
    2019-03-21 01:35

    When a special needs mom in the trenches needs a break from reading diagnostic and treatment books, she can read this book, and not feel so alone, and laugh and cry along with the parents in the book. Like a bowl of soup - it is not exciting or life changing, but rather comforting and, in a small way, necessary once in a while.

  • Chrisy Chance
    2019-02-22 01:42

    It took me forever to read this book, because I took it one chapter at a time. This is a compilation of parents of special needs children telling their tales--struggles, victories, heartbreaks. At times I found this book uplifting, other times I felt like crying (and did cry!). There is something about hearing directly from parents who have been in the same trenches you have slogged through. Sometimes you just need to know you aren't the only parent experiencing these struggles. I highly recommend this to any special needs parent or teacher.

  • Lisa Nelson
    2019-02-22 08:41

    Book ReviewThe Elephant in the PlayroomDenise BrodeyOrdinary Parents Write Intimately and Honestly About the Extraordinary Highs and Heartbreaking Lows of Raising Kids with Special Needs The author's descriptive title fits the book perfectly. Through irreverancy and poignancy, bared-soul, raw-edged prose and digified tribute, Denise and her special group of parents have laid it all out for us to see: the Extraordinary Highs and Heartbreaking Lows of Raising Kids with Special Needs, as they've each lived and breathed them.My belief in how blessed I am to have been given the gift of each one of my children has been re-confirmed. I am the mother of one child born with complete unilateral clefting of the lip and palate, one child with late-onset ASD, and one child born with ASD. (At least, that's what we know at this point in time.) This book holds a host of kindred spirits; people I could turn to for comfort or solidarity when I'm feeling alone in my efforts to raise my children well. I would recommend it for the bookshelf of anyone who cares about someone with special needs. Whether you are the caregiver, or are on the other side of the globe, the insight you will gain could be invaluable.

  • Lisa Nelson
    2019-03-20 08:55

    Book ReviewThe Elephant in the PlayroomDenise BrodeyOrdinary Parents Write Intimately and Honestly About the Extraordinary Highs and Heartbreaking Lows of Raising Kids with Special Needs The author's descriptive title fits the book perfectly. Through irreverancy and poignancy, bared-soul, raw-edged prose and digified tribute, Denise and her special group of parents have laid it all out for us to see: the Extraordinary Highs and Heartbreaking Lows of Raising Kids with Special Needs, as they've each lived and breathed them.My belief in how blessed I am to have been given the gift of each one of my children has been re-confirmed. I am the mother of one child born with complete unilateral clefting of the lip and palate, one child with late-onset ASD, and one child born with ASD. (At least, that's what we know at this point in time.) This book holds a host of kindred spirits; people I could turn to for comfort or solidarity when I'm feeling alone in my efforts to raise my children well. I would recommend it for the bookshelf of anyone who cares about someone with special needs. Whether you are the caregiver, or are on the other side of the globe, the insight you will gain could be invaluable.

  • Eshusdaughter
    2019-03-22 03:57

    This is a collection of non-fiction accounts from parents of children with Special Needs. There are various topic sections such as "deciding to medicate," "going public" and others on just dealing in general. The book slants heavily toward children with mental disabilities, such as Autism & ADHD, rather than kids with straight medical conditions such as cancer or what not. That probably has a lot to do with the fact that the author has a child with Autism. Many of the stories that were shared rang true and really spoke to me. A few felt out of place and as thought they lacked a real point. Several had be grabbing for some tissues - such as the account of a family who's youngest son is dying and how their school-age child is dealing with that reality. What this book does more than anything is remind parents of kids with special needs (whatever those needs may be) that they aren't alone, no matter how much it feels that way. I'd recommend this book to non-special needs parents and readers as well however - it might change the way you feel next time you see some overwhelmed parent in a supermarket with their child screaming out of control. The world could do with more understanding and less judgment.

  • Tracy O
    2019-03-20 01:33

    Thank God for this book - it's very comforting to read. It will not help you address your child's issues per se. It is a book of essays by parents with kids with special needs and it gives each parent's perspective on particular issues (such as what it's like to try to find the right school for your child and how great it can be when you finally do, the things that help their children, and how it feels to watch your child (or yourself) struggle with different types of situations). Even though my son's issues are no where near the situations described in the book, this helped me through a very difficult time. If your child's issues are not the issues specifically described that isn't the point - this is meant to give you a window into what other folks might be going through to give you more perspective into your own experience - and, again, that's invaluable if the people around you can only support you from the stand-point of having "typical" children.

  • Tiffany
    2019-03-13 06:34

    Every pediatric therapist, every parent that has a child with special needs, and every OT, PT, or Speech student, has to read this book. And what the heck -- every teacher should read it, too, in order to gain a different perspective on the "bad" kids in their classrooms.Elephant in the Playroom is a compilation of stories shared by parents who are raising children with Sensory Processing Disorder, Sensory Integration Dysfunction, and Pediatric Mental Illness. It offers insight for parents and professionals and asks them to consider that perhaps their kids aren't just being "bad," that maybe there's just something else going on. I think it's one of the few books out there that recognize that there are so many kids misdiagnosed with ADD or ADHD, mostly because the behaviors of SPD, SID, and Pediatric Mental Illness can look extremely similar to ADD/ADHD.It's an easy read, probably because it's written by parents -- different kinds of experts.

  • Chris
    2019-03-02 01:54

    I'm currently reading this one and am about half way through. While I don't have a child with special needs I have worked with many such children and also have friends who have children with special needs. I felt that this book would be an interesting look at what these families face and at their triumphs. The book features many essays by different parents and does indeed offer insight. The writing itself varies based on who the writer is, but the stories are all compelling. The book sets itself up as a source of comfort and comraderie for parents who face the challenge of raising kids with special needs, but I think it would be a good read for anyone who spends time around kids. Who can't benefit from understanding the experiences of others better? I know it will help me in having ideas of how to interact with other families and kids in ways that are supportive of the individuals involved.

  • Stacey
    2019-03-03 07:41

    At out last MOPS meeting, the speaker spoke about how to help your children understand children with disabilities. It starts before that, however, with understanding disabilities myself. I have a number of friends who have children with disabilities, and I suppose you could say Eli and Emma have their own labels (ADD and selective mutism) --although they wear them quite loosely--and they do not change our lives to the extent of many of the diabilities highlighted in the book. It was enlightening to read the stories of these families which are struggling every day with disabilities that rock their worlds yet love thier kids with a passion. As in all collections, some struck much deeper than others. I would recommend it just for the sake of understanding another families life and choices.

  • Jeannie Lee
    2019-02-24 01:51

    For the most part, the book was really helpful to me. My son is a special needs child, although his needs are not as substantial as some of the children from the book. I really liked the fact that it was parents speaking, not specialists. I have it up to my forehead with specialists right now, and I just wanted to know my feelings were normal and that I wasn't alone in my suffering. Reading the stories of the other parents and their challenges and coping strategies gave me hope. I realized that the best way I can parent my child is just that--me doing what's right by him. I love him, of course, yet I feel guilty that his challenges were brought on by something I had done. It was comforting to read about other parents who felt the same way. I really appreciate that someone took the time to put this book together to give the newly diagnosed mothers hope.

  • Tricia
    2019-03-07 07:51

    As diverse as the showing was in this book, I still feel it's a little too limited. As the mother of a child with special needs, (a daughter with Down syndrome, a disorder not found in the book) I found this book focused on one "area" of need more than others. It tended to focus on ASD and mental illness as opposed to more generalized learning disabilities. While I can see how it could be helpful for other parents of children like the ones in this book, it's not an accurate picture of "special needs" as a group. Not by a long shot. I think my issue is mostly that the "raising kids with special needs" is a misnomer. People are too eager to clump "Special needs" into one group when really, there are so many "types." All in all, frustrating.

  • Knitty
    2019-03-17 00:36

    Of the books by parents of special needs children that I've read, this is by far my favorite. The writing is consistently good and the parents are honest about both their challenges and their feelings about being "special" parents. My only complaint is that the collection doesn't include a story about Down's Syndrome, which struck me as odd (are there really so few DS children being born now that the editors couldn't find even a single story?) The disabilities presented here are heavily skewed towards parents with autistic children, so if that's what you're looking for, this is the book for you. I found it comforting, but a few of the stories are absolutely harrowing. I can't even imagine where some of these parents find their strength.

  • Kim
    2019-03-08 03:46

    It took me a long time to read this book..but not because it wasn't good, I'm just going through a period of not being into reading as much. Anyway...I found this to be such an awesome book of writings from parents of children with a variety of disabilities...from ADHD to CP to Bipolor to Autism. Just found this to be so honest and so heartrending and so touching. I would recommend this book to ALL people. When parents have children who do not fit the "mold" the last thing in the world they need is criticism....they need love and understanding. What a wonderfully put together book. Loved it.

  • Bob Rodenbaugh
    2019-02-22 04:01

    This is a completely on target collection of very reader friendly essays that depicts another side of parenting that is so often not understood by those who will, fortunately, never experience raising children with emotional or behavioral disabilities. As a school principal of a K-12 school that specializes in working with these children and their families I would strongly recommend anyone planning on parenting, passing educational legislation, or passing judgement on families (parents or kids) read this first. It does not apply to all situations, but it does some, and removing a blanket stereotype is the first step to finding a true solution for those in need.

  • Kristi
    2019-03-05 04:51

    I found this book while searching for info regarding my son who is intellectually disabled. I didn't read this book cover to cover, just the parts that I felt would pertain to my situation or that sounded interesting or helpful, as this book covers a wide range of disabilities. I loved hearing from parents who were honest with the highs and lows they experienced. So many were able to beautifully put into words the way I feel yet have trouble expressing. Sometimes it's just nice to know that you are not alone in the things you are experiencing and the feelings you have regarding your atypical child.

  • Melanie Toney
    2019-03-24 00:55

    I happened to see this at the library and was really glad to have found it. It gives you insight into the lives of famlies who have a child with a disability. This book included essays written by parents who have children from a range of disabilities and how they each struggle and/or overcome struggles regardless of the magnitude of the disorder. Other books have a tendancy to focus on one disability - this one didn't. I have a different perspective towards the parents of the children I see.

  • Mel
    2019-03-11 06:41

    This is a must read for ANYONE who has a special needs child. I actually would like to encourage people who have friends or relatives with a special needs child to read this book. It is so hard to make people understand what our lives are really like and why I am not running around to playdates and preschool all the time. I have a 4 yr old that consumes most of my day. This is an excellent book of essays written by everyday people that have a child with a special need from autism to CP.

  • Tamara B
    2019-03-20 02:01

    I enjoyed this book a lot. It gave lots of insight as to what parents with special needs kids have to go through on a daily basis. It makes you think about your own kids weather they are "special" or not and makes you cherish them no matter what their situation may be. It also helps to give some ideas to those of us that do have children with special needs and reminds us that we are trulely their #1 advocate and teacher.