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My Baby Rides the Short Bus: The Unabashedly Human Experience of Raising Kids with Disabilities Paperback – October 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: PM Press (October 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1604861096
  • ISBN-13: 978-1604861099
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #317,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Yantra Bertelli was one of the founding publishers of RAG Magazine, a moderator for Hipmama.com, and has essays published in Breeder and Essential Hipmama. She lives in Seattle. Jennifer Silverman was an activist with m*a*m*a, a collective of radical mothers, has been published in Hip Mama and Off Our Backs, and has written for a variety of parenting publications. She lives in New York City. Sarah Talbot is an assistant principal at a comprehensive high school in Washington. Her writing has appeared in Best Books for High School Students and Breeder: Stories for the New Generation of Mothers. She lives in Seattle.


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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 17 customer reviews
I was reminded of the power of sharing stories.
T. Moniz
This is the best book I have read for parents of special needs kids.
evaelmer
It reminds me very much of...my own experiences growing up.
BlueCatShip

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By T. Moniz on January 16, 2010
Format: Paperback
I enjoy learning things from a book, those moments when you are stunned at what you just read, or shocked at some statistic, some point, some example. Those are the books I cherish. My Baby Rides the Short Bus was just such an experience.

From reading the introduction and on through the essays, I learned that some parents of special needs kids are radical prior to becoming parents and some become radicalized through parenting. I learned that they struggle, make mistakes, come to realizations about things they did, realizations that cause them pain, that inform choices they will make in the future, that serve as a catalyst for standing up and fighting for change.

I learned that, like parents everywhere, "they learn how their kids function and they make it happen as well as they can." Just like me; just like you.

But I also learned about the complexity of parenting, how it is something we learn to do, how we discover the depth of our militancy, awareness and patience, strengths sometimes we didn't know we even had. Until we needed them.

I learned that the medical profession and schools and court systems, which can be difficult to navigate in general, can be downright ruthless when dealing with a special needs child and family.

I learned how encounters with these institutions can belittle, can terrify, can cut deeply.

I also learned that encounters with other parents sometimes hurt the most.

I learned a little humility.

I learned new words: neurotypical, authentic activism, and scores of acronyms I never knew existed.

I was reminded how sometimes the simplest things are the most effective, like playing with your child. Down on the ground rolling around.

I was reminded of the intensity of love.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By BlueCatShip on May 21, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was looking for a book to help me deal with...myself as a "differently abled" person (handicapped, dude) and with a grandmother who now has Alzheimer's and is showing her age more. Then I ran into this book. "Maybe?" I thought. "Yes," I decided. Wow, what a great read so far.

The book tells parents' *honest* experiences with their special needs kids; the good, the bad, the ugly, the "don't you dare dis my kid's abilities." It reminds me of what my mom and dad had said when I'd ask them questions. It reminds me very much of...my own experiences growing up.

I'm the other side of this book's coin: I'm an adult who grew up handicapped / differently abled / special needs. (Legally blind / low vision / vision impaired: "But... you can see...?") I grew up with the nonsense and the wonderfulness and the crap that any handicapped kid does and with parents who were doing their best, and usually doing great, and sometimes making mistakes. The effects of all that stay with you into adulthood. Plus, even as an adult, some people simply don't "get it," while a few seem to understand without ever even having to think about it, and most have honest questions. That last part is fine, by the way.

So this book has had extra meaning for me. It has helped to see how my parents probably felt and never really said. As an adult, I occasionally talked to them about it, voicing my frustrations, my praise and once in a while, venting. As an adult, I came to see how tough it has to be, for an inexperienced, caring, smart parent to raise a child who is at the same time, very much like them and a unique new person, yet fundamentally different in ways that they have difficulty reaching and dealing with.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Christina Witkowski on November 3, 2009
Format: Paperback
This was a fabulous book; I was intrigued by the idea of a book about special needs parenting from and about alternative parenting in the world of special needs children and education and it did NOT fail to live up to the expectations I had. From Autism to Spina Bifida, to CP to hemophila, this book covered pretty much every thing. It was very raw and emotional, it's at time heartbreaking and at others absolutely hysterical.I would recommend this book to any special needs parent or anyone going into special education or disability activism!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J. S. Cook on January 15, 2010
Format: Paperback
A fascinating and honest look at many different families. You'll be provoked, stimulated, and engaged while reading this incredibly well-written book. Kudos to all the writers and editors. No easy answers here; rather, heart-felt windows into the daily lives and thoughts of parents who are struggling, laughing, and living like, well, all parents! But their struggles have uniqueness and each piece deserves to be read. Enjoy!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Tamara Talbot on January 7, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This collection of unabashed honest stories from parents of special needs kids is fantastic. Often painfully pure with bits of comic relief as seen from a parent or caregivers eyes. Sometimes dramatic, and heart wrenching, always delightful.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By evaelmer on April 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is the best book I have read for parents of special needs kids. It is raw, emotive, loving, hard. It doesn't give you any of that airy-fairy "rah rah" inspirational stuff but gives the readers a real window into the emotional lives of these parents, their ordeals and triumphs. I have read a lot of books and found this one the most honest and comforting. We are not alone and all that we are feeling that makes us feel isolated or like "freaks" envious of all those "typical" parents and their children is revealed here. I am going to give a copy to my family to help them understand what my partner and I are going through as we navigate life with our beautiful little boy with cerebral palsy.
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