In my experience, there are indeed moments of complete, profound joy in raising a child with more than the typical number of challenges. In fact, I would bet that parents like me experience this sort of joy more frequently, maybe even more intensely, than parents of children without special needs; for even seemingly minor accomplishments or milestones, if hard fought or unexpected, can seem like the most beautiful of miracles. Nevertheless, I confess that at times I have felt like I’m having a lot less fun than other parents, like when I’m carting my child off to hospitals and therapy appointments. And obviously the more severe the child’s disability or complex the health care needs, the more demanding and frequent and downright un-fun the caretaking role probably becomes. So I would argue that the paradox Ms. Senior describes not only exists but can be even greater for parents of children with extra challenges. Do you agree?
If you're a parent of a child with special needs and have wondered if this book would still resonate with you, my answer is an enthusiastic "YES"! For a more in-depth summary and review, check out this great interview with Jennifer Senior on NPR, or watch her engaging Ted Talk.