Saturday, July 14, 2012

Book Review: Easy to Love But Hard to Raise

Easy to Love but Hard to Raise: Real Parents, Challenging Kids, True Stories edited by Kay Marner and Adrienne Ehlert Bashistra is an excellent choice if you a parent with a child who has special needs or if you are someone interested in the subject of parenting challenging children. The book is filled with short, true stories written by parents who have children with a variety of needs.

The best part about this book is that all the stories are well written and well edited and, most importantly, based on actual experiences. It's a book that can be read in just a few sittings or a little bit at a time depending on how much time one has. I like the 'you are not alone' message the editors and contributors send out to prospective readers. As a parent of a teenage boy with autism, I found that message to be comforting.

That said, I was surprised that a large number of the contributors have children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). I had made the mistake in assuming in assuming that a great of the stories were written by parents who have children on the autism spectrum. I think I assumed this because of the huge amount of content about autism on the internet and also because it seems that autism has been at the forefront in the news when it comes to the general topic of children with challenges. So, yes I was surprised there was not more stories from parents who had children on the autism spectrum.

However, I still liked this book and would like to suggest this to any parent who has a child with special needs. (It's great for book discussion groups too.) There are a variety of diagnoses (for lack of a better word) represented here. These include Down Syndrome, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Eating Disorders, cognitive impairments, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Sensory Integration Disorder and more. In other words, there is something for any parent facing challenges here.

I'd also like to suggest the blog connected to this book. The promoters of the blog promise stories, tips, and a safe haven for parents. I like that not all of the stories are triumphs. Don't get me wrong, those are great to read. Sometimes it's great to read those types, but sometimes it demoralizing when as a parent, one is facing incredible challenges. So, as a parent currently helping a child with ongoing challenging behaviors, I appreciate it just as much, if not more, when real, and even gritty challenges are shared.

Here is one post I appreciated just because I could really identify with the parent. I really liked the hope she has for her son's future, but I also could really identify with the challenges she often faces. Anyway, the blog has regular updates from a variety of authors, and fans of the book/blog can also follow along on Facebook.

Note: The book is $5.99 U.S. Dollars on Kindle and prices that vary on for the paperback version.


megan said...

Thanks for the review of this book, I was looking to pickup something like this and this seems like the right book.

Julie L. said...

You are welcome. Hope you enjoy it.