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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Touchingly frank and deeply inspiring story of one woman's unshaking belief in her disabled daughter's potential, 26 May 2014
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This review is from: My Daughter and I (Kindle Edition)
"I don't know how she does it". That phrase is bandied about far too often. But it certainly is not an exaggeration in this case. Following her divorce, deaf single mother Melissa Mostyn, a blogger, journalist and arts practitioner, has sole care of her 5-year-old daughter Isobel, who has cerebral palsy (CP), as well as a healthy 3-year-old son, Benedict.

She invites us to follow the story of Isobel's life so far, beginning with her daughter's difficult birth, through diagnosis of the CP and her subsequent struggle to get the support, education, and practical equipment Issy needs to achieve her full potential. I found myself rooting for both Melissa and Issy, and had to chuckle when the local council refers to Melissa as "a woman of strong and firm opinions". No kidding.

It was also deeply touching to read about the lengths Melissa goes to to make everyday life special for Issy, rather than just bearable... From pretty gingham corsets and colourful leg-braces to correct her posture and teach her to stand, to a snow-bear with marbles for eyes which Melissa builds in the bitter cold, just to tease an excited reaction out of her daughter.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the author is a proud user of British Sign Language as well as a talented writer in English, Melissa is incredibly skilled at painting a visual image with words, so that the reader can almost "see" Issy's long eyelashes or her big green eyes...

An inspiring and compelling tale of one remarkable woman's determination to create a happy and healthy life for her two children, against some pretty steep odds!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping book, 5 May 2014
This review is from: My Daughter and I (Kindle Edition)
Wow - Melissa has laid in bare terms the struggles she has had with various agencies and with her own emotions in bringing up her daughter with cerebral palsy. She has tried to banish misconceptions in society that disabled parents cannot parent disabled children adequately - something that is sorely needed in this day & age. As a deaf parent myself and bringing up two autistic children, I also understand where Melissa is coming from and how we have to be stronger and work twice as hard (no, TEN times as hard) to prove ourselves to be able to parent our disabled children well. Thank you Melissa for your courage, time, effort, determination and laying bare your emotions to show society that disabled parents CAN be excellent parents provided the right support is in place. I wish you every success in continuing to bring up your two children who clearly adore you - and vice versa.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling, emotionally raw account of a mother bringing up her daughter, 8 May 2014
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This review is from: My Daughter and I (Kindle Edition)
Melissa Mostyn has collected together her excellent blog posts together into her first book, from the first days of Isobel's diagnosis to the present day where they keep on fighting as a family to ensure Isobel has the right support around her. The book goes in-depth into the daily routine of Isobel, Melissa and Ben, Isobel's brother. My words really cannot do the book justice! I will say that Melissa has an unique insight into what it is like for Isobel to live with barriers in society and everyday life, being deaf and having worked within the deaf community and disability arts for a number of years. For me, it was an insight into how much work and fighting Melissa and her family have had to do and continue to do, to make sure that Isobel can express herself and so that her potential shines. A wonderful book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deafness and disabilty: raising an exceptional daughter, 25 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: My Daughter and I (Kindle Edition)
"Every loving parent sacrifices time for their children. Parents of disabled children sacrifice far more than that."

After I read Andrew Solomon's revelatory Far From The Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity about the challenges of raising exceptional children, this was the ideal follow-up: one Deaf mother's absorbing story of her disabled daughter's life so far.

In clear-sighted, emotive yet unsentimental prose, Melissa Mostyn plunges straight into the catastrophe of Isobel's childbirth, manages the shock of discovering disability, and reveals the family's uncertainty for the future, weighing up expectations against the realities. She offers close observation of changes in her daughter's development and behaviour, and cheering stories of her interactions with other family and friends. There are useful equipment reviews, and resourceful ways to navigate the system to locate and provide better services - these reports will help other parents enduring similar setbacks and successes with disabled children. Mostyn also digresses on the meaning of beauty, her rediscovery of music after getting a cochlear implant - and a Mafia-style massacre in a fish aquarium.

Even if she may "grieve a little for Isobel and for the person she might have been," as cerebral palsy threatens to rob the girl of her physical and intellectual freedom, nevertheless Isobel's personality is undimmed, growing in strength and confidence. I want a sequel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a book which you will probably read in one sitting., 25 April 2014
This review is from: My Daughter and I (Kindle Edition)
Melissa engages her readers from the outset, taking the reader through the ups and downs of parenting a disabled child as a deaf mother. With it Melissa brings a unique and fresh perspective, however it is her ability to lay her emotions bare - which is raw at times - will leave you not doubting her authenticity.

Whilst parents of disabled children will gain much from its content the book deserves a much wider audience, including being read by policy makers and professionals. Melissa’s first-hand account is invaluable, particularly in the current climate.

Best wishes to Melissa and her family for the years ahead.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read!, 22 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: My Daughter and I (Kindle Edition)
Despite being an avid Sci-fi reader, I must say reading this book was relevation. Uplifting, funny and very, very honest approach to life with hurdles thrown in the path. Definitely recommend to read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Melissa tells it as it is, 31 May 2014
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This review is from: My Daughter and I (Kindle Edition)
Nothing can ever prepare one for the shock of having a disabled child. Melissa comes over as a proud and determined Deaf mother who wants the best life possible for both her children - the difference being that she has to do battle with many aspects of the world to make sure that Issy has the best possible start in life. Reading her book, I am in awe at her energy and fortitude, and how she never gives up. On top of caring for Issy and Ben, she is also a blogger and has numerous arts-related projects on the go. Looking forward to a sequel in a few years time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very insightful and inspiring read., 30 May 2014
This review is from: My Daughter and I (Kindle Edition)
Isobel is such amazing little girl who battled with her disabilities with loving supportive mother who is deaf the battles her mother went through to get the best for Isobel is inspiring. a well worth read
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5.0 out of 5 stars heart warming story, 26 May 2014
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This review is from: My Daughter and I (Kindle Edition)
well written. very honest and open. The love you have for your daughter really shone through as did her beautifull personality.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An Interesting read, 26 May 2014
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This review is from: My Daughter and I (Kindle Edition)
I found the book interesting, clearly written in exellent English. A usefull book for anyone with a disabled child,
especially with Izzy's problems.
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My Daughter and I
My Daughter and I by Melissa Mostyn
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