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The SPECIAL PARENT'S Handbook: 1 Paperback – 2 Jun 2014
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WHAT WAS IT LIKE? Yvonne Newbold is the mother of three children with special needs, so she has first-hand experience of the joy and frustrations involved in everyday life. This short but eloquent book starts chronologically, Getting the bad news, Dealing with emotions, Understanding the army of professionals but then progresses to cover areas such as Your child, dealing with siblings, building a support network, being in hospital and finally covering the wider issues of social services, education and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). It is a small, concise and easily accessible read. WHAT WERE THE HIGHLIGHTS? The highlights were the way the author describes situations and ways of dealing with them with great skill and empathy. She is painfully honest and at times incredibly vulnerable but never once expects sympathy. In fact, the positive tone throughout is deeply affecting. STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES: The chapters covering each area are excellent and at the end of each there is a really useful page of Tips, Tricks and Strategies to summarise what has been said and offer suggestions for dealing with similar situations. There are also numerous practical suggestions in bold within certain sections, which cover key questions and suggestions for making life easier. WHO SHOULD READ IT? The author states that she was trying to write the book she wishes she had been given after the diagnosis of her first child. As the mother of a boy with special needs, I can attest that she has done a fantastic job. This book fills an enormous gap in the market and will be an invaluable resource for anyone caring for a child with a disability. It is also small enough to pick up and read during another interminable wait for an appointment. Those with a professional involvement in this area would learn a great deal in regard to the lived experience of coping with this situation. It is accessible enough for any member of the hospital team and offers tremendous insights into how appointments, hospital visits and life in general can be made easier and how little thought and minimal adjustments can make a significant difference to the parent and the child at the heart of the experience. --The Nursing Times
About the Author
Yvonne Newbold lives on the Surrey/South London Borders and is the proudest mother ever of her three children, each of whom has diagnosed disabilities or very serious illness. Yvonne is a tireless campaigner for disabled children and their parents and families, and she speaks, writes and facilitates workshops to promote understanding and better communication between staff working in NHS Health settings, Social Services and Education, and the families they serve. She has written extensively for a number of publications; national, local and online, including articles for The Independent on Sunday, The Observer and The Guardian. She has spoken at numerous conferences on medical, social care, education and cancer-related topics, addressing audiences which have included MPs and Government Ministers. Yvonne is also living with Stage IV Breast Cancer, but is determined to write as many more books as she can.
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I bought this book on a recommendation from other parents on a forum I go on and WOW I am glad.
It had me in crying, it had me laughing, it made me angry at the system, it made me proud of the system. After reading the book I almost felt like I knew Yvonne and her family personally and was really grateful that she gave such an insight into her journey with her children.
Thank you Yvonne for writing this fantastic book - A book you wish had been there for you at the start of your journey. You are inspiring people like me everywhere and uniting us all and this is fantastic.
I have now lent the book to my dad who is enjoying reading it too.
(For context - My daughter went into shock when I was in labour and her heart stopped for 8 minutes unexpectedly and she suffered a very severe brain injury. She has cerebral palsy qp, is 100% gtube fed and there are many challenges in the future) After reading the book I felt empowered to battle on with this journey and actually enjoy it.
I'm glad to have discovered Yvonne, inisitally through this book and then through her Facebook page (of the same name as the book).
This is a must read for all parents who've received any kind of diagnosis of disability for their child. However, it should also be read by all professionals who deal with such children and parents. I also would love my friends and family to read it to learn more about what we have to live with having a child with complex needs.
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