Dad of Divas' Reviews: Book Review - Dads of Disability

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Book Review - Dads of Disability

Dads of Disability

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About the Book
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’s 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’s 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.

My Take on the Book
This was an amazing book. I received it the other day and started reading it and could not stop. I am a sucker for reading stories from fathers and this book is one that will make you see fatherhood in a whole new way. Each of the essays are short and easy to follow, and whether you have a child with a disability or not, you will be inspired by what these fathers are doing to be there for their children. You will also learn so much from these fathers about how to be a better father and parent. For me, I was so inspired by the patience and passion these fathers held within themselves. This book also places the father in the spotlight, which for me is something that I think we need to see more of! Kudos to all of the fathers in this book. What a testament to fatherhood!

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