Tuesday, March 20, 2007

A good read

I just finished an amazing book my girlfriend recommended - The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards. It is about a doctor who delivers his twins during a blizzard in 1964. His son is born healthy, his daughter has Down's syndrome. He tells his nurse to take away the daughter and leave her at an institution, and then tells his wife the baby was born stillborn. After seeing the harshness of the institution, the nurse keeps the baby and raises her as her own. The book is about the parallel lives of these two children and their families.

I have to say, I was a bit nervous about reading the story and put it off for a little while. I thought it would be too sad, something I never really catered to before, but since having Brady I have been more sensitive. I needn't have worried; the book is more supportive and powerful than I expected. I highly recommend it to everyone, regardless if they have a special needs child or not.

It's amazing the changes in the world in regards to special needs children. I have to say, we are lucky Brady was born when he was. First, to actually GET a diagnosis of William's syndrome, and secondly, the services that are out there at his disposal. Speech, PT, OT... they all help to mold his abilities. And then to have plans in place at schools and work environments. It's not perfect yet, but it is a far cry from 1964, where a father is almost excused for his dismissal of his daughter. And that was only 43 years ago - imagine what life will be like in another 43 years.

6 comments:

Laura said...

Hi Kerry,
I read that book also and loved it. Our kids are so lucky to have been born in a time when there are so many more oportunities for medical help, therapies, etc.

Have a great day!!!!
Laura

P.S. Will we be seeing you all in May????

Nancy said...

Our book club read that book, but I just couldn't read it at the time. After what you said, maybe I'll try it.

:)

Kathleen said...

Awesome book! I held off for a while, too - but finally picked it up. I, too, was amazed at how the world has changed. I racked my brain trying to remember specifics of my (mine and Kerry's) second cousin (?) who had Downs and was probably born in 1965 or so. And then contrasted that with Dee Dee, the little girl with Downs, who was in my sons' preschool program. She's not a lot different than the other kids. I do think a lot of it is about expectations. Definitely a good read!

Nicole said...

Thanks for the recommendation Kerry. I will definitely pick it up. I'm always looking for a good read.

Lisa R said...

I have a friend taht told me that was a good book. I wish I was more of a reader...

Amy K said...

I totally agree with you. I was watching PBS lastnight about deafness and ASL, and it really struck me that yes, the world is an amazingly different place then it was just 25 years ago for all people with disabilities. I think some of that is thanks to the ADA passed in 1990, just a mere 17 years ago. It is a much more toelerant and just society, let hope it continues. I will pick up the book!