Just One of the Kids: Raising a Resilient Family When One of Your Children Has a Physical Disability

Just One of the Kids: Raising a Resilient Family When One of Your Children Has a Physical Disability

by Kay Harris Kriegsman, Sara Palmer

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Overview

If you have a child with a physical disability, how can you plan your family’s life in a way that is inclusive for everyone? What can you do to create a family where every member pulls his or her own weight (in appropriate measure), meets challenges, and has moments in the spotlight along the way? Most parents of a child who has a physical disability want their child to have fun, be responsible, make friends, and take acceptable risks—in short, to feel like "just one of the kids"—and they want to make sure that the needs of the whole family are met, too.

Just One of the Kids is designed to help parents focus not on what could have been but instead on what can be, so that they, their children, and the grandparents thrive as individuals and as a family. The advice from psychologists Kay Harris Kriegsman and Sara Palmer is valuable for any family with children who have a physical disability, from any cause. Their warm and encouraging book is full of family stories, tips, and tools.

Parents of children with physical disabilities can help them develop the skills needed to meet life’s challenges and launch into independence. Parents, building on that foundation and acknowledging each person’s contributions, interests, and aspirations, create an inclusive and resilient family.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781421409313
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date: 05/31/2013
Series: A Johns Hopkins Press Health Book
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Kay Harris Kriegsman, Ph.D., is a practicing psychologist, consultant on disability issues, and author of Taking Charge: Teenagers Talk About Life & Physical Disabilities. Sara Palmer, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. With Jeffrey B. Palmer, M.D., they are coauthors of Spinal Cord Injury: A Guide for Living.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Introduction: Raising Children-Resilient and Ready for Adulthood 1

Part I In the Beginning

The Webers: A young family juggles the needs of twin boys, one with and one without a physical disability 19

1 Getting the News 26

The Hamiltons: Raising teenagers in a blended family with humor, responsibility, and respect for differences 41

2 Coming Home 46

Part II All in the Family

The Bowers: An athletic couple sort out what works for them in raising their only child, a serious student and accomplished wheelchair athlete 75

3 Inclusive Parenting: Make It Work for You 79

The Fishers: Parents working together to build family unity and protect their children while allowing them to take healthy risks 102

4 Brothers and Sisters: Siblings Sharing Family Life with Physical Disability in the Mix 106

The Brandons: A family devoted to faith, education, and unconditional love, inspired by Grandfather's example and bolstered by his support 127

5 Grandparents: Seeing through a New Lens 133

Part III Into the Wide World

The Sheridan-Wolfe Family: Two women build their family by adopting children who have complex disabilities and helping them reach their potential 155

6 Opening Doors to Inclusion 161

The O'Briens: Parents working together to help their daughters develop individual talents, support one another, and practice their faith 186

7 Letting One Dream Go to Let Another Grow 192

Resources 205

Notes 215

Index 217

What People are Saying About This

Jill M. Hill

"Your life is never the same after you become the parent of a child who has a physical disability. This book skillfully shows you how to tackle this new role with enthusiasm and confidence. Real-life stories relate how other families have learned to cope and adapt to the ‘new normal.’ Just One of the Kids gives straightforward, concrete advice on how to provide loving encouragement for everyone in your family. You too can build a resilient family whose children grow into independent, responsible adults."

"This is a book you will read, share, and read again. It focuses on the goal of all parents: to raise children who are capable, confident, and ready for adulthood. The authors’ suggestions are practical, realistic, and illustrated by a variety of family stories."

Jean-Paul Richard

"This multifaceted, experience-based discussion of the challenges of raising children who have disabilities left me with a strong sense of ‘We can do it.’ I felt kinship with all the families I read about in this book."

Mary Beth Huber

"This is a book you will read, share, and read again. It focuses on the goal of all parents: to raise children who are capable, confident, and ready for adulthood. The authors’ suggestions are practical, realistic, and illustrated by a variety of family stories."

Toni Shumate

"The unique perspective shared by families represented in Just One of the Kids reflects our mission to support individuals to live healthy, independent lives. The book will be a valuable resource for our parent support groups and education conferences."

Customer Reviews