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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a rad dad review
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...
Published on January 16, 2010 by Tomas Moniz

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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars interesting read
This book was not at all what I expected. The families seem to be rather unorthodox in their thinking and methodology. It's a bit hard for me to relate to their mindsets. If I had known that ahead of time, I might not have purchased the book.
Published on July 9, 2012 by Reader57


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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a rad dad review, January 16, 2010
This review is from: My Baby Rides the Short Bus: The Unabashedly Human Experience of Raising Kids with Disabilities (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. How sometimes the best thing to do is pick up your child off the floor and walk away, leave the office, ignore the advice. And yet, sometimes the most difficult act of love is to let go, to trust.

Reading My Baby Rides the Short Bus, I was reminded of the ferocity with which we love, the depths of our feelings, the need for community.

I was reminded of the power of sharing stories.

These are the stories I want to hear. The stories of pain and fear, stories of surprising strength, of learning, and then of doing. As Sharis Ingram writes, "at some point you will give up trying so hard, and come to trust yourself, trust your child, trust what *is.*"

Trust me, and go get the book.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tells the truth without the sugar-coating, May 21, 2010
By 
BlueCatShip "benwh" (Houston, TX United States) - See all my reviews
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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. There is no manual for raising a special needs kid, even less so than raising a "typical" kid.

If you are a parent or a child who's old enough, or if you want to understand, then get this book. This says far more of what it is really like than all the dry stats out there. If you are an educator or counselor or clergy or health care pro, anyone who works with kids and parents, do yourself a big favor. This says more about these folks' real lives (and what is like for *us*, we who are "special / different") than most of what else I have ever seen on the subject.

Read the book.

Thanks to the moms, dads -- and the cool kids! -- who contributed their lives to the stories (essays) in the book. Thanks also to all the folks out there who care enough to help, who "get it" without thinking.

Be different -- Make a difference. -- You can be more.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book!, November 3, 2009
This review is from: My Baby Rides the Short Bus: The Unabashedly Human Experience of Raising Kids with Disabilities (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
5.0 out of 5 stars So well written, January 15, 2010
This review is from: My Baby Rides the Short Bus: The Unabashedly Human Experience of Raising Kids with Disabilities (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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Baby Rides the Short Bus, April 17, 2011
This review is from: My Baby Rides the Short Bus: The Unabashedly Human Experience of Raising Kids with Disabilities (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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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alternately Awesome, January 7, 2010
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This review is from: My Baby Rides the Short Bus: The Unabashedly Human Experience of Raising Kids with Disabilities (Paperback)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inextricably interwoven, March 4, 2011
This review is from: My Baby Rides the Short Bus: The Unabashedly Human Experience of Raising Kids with Disabilities (Paperback)
"My Baby Rides the Short Bus" is an anthology of first-person mini-memoirs by parents of children with special needs. The purpose of this anthology was to form a supportive intellectual community among marginalized parents. As a contributing author, I believe that we achieved this goal graciously. For me, the heart and soul of the book was Marcy Sheiner's essay "My Friend Christine," which recounts a mother's reaction to the 2007 Supreme Court ruling that upheld a parent's right to advocate for a disabled child in a court of law when contesting the child's IEP (Individualized Educational Program). In that ruling, the Supreme Court used the phrase "inextricably interwoven" to describe the rights of disabled children and their parents. Each of the stories of adaptation and acceptance in this book highlights the different ways in which the lives of parents and children are inextricably interwoven, even with no happy ending in sight.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A New Approach, September 8, 2012
By 
SigningMom (Atlanta, GA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: My Baby Rides the Short Bus: The Unabashedly Human Experience of Raising Kids with Disabilities (Paperback)
Although I have read quite a few books that share "short stories" from parents about their special needs child and parenting experiences, this one sheds a different light on the subject. Yes, some of the parents are non-tradition and far from my parenting style. However, as a mother of a 16 year old daughter with moderate cerebral palsy who is non-verbal (hears perfectly but cannot speak and uses sign language), I sometimes need a kick in the back side to open up my mind a little. On top of the great stories of heroism (kids and parents alike), joys and sorrows, I got some fresh ideas on how I might be a better parent to my special needs child. Thanks!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars We are not alone, May 29, 2010
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This review is from: My Baby Rides the Short Bus: The Unabashedly Human Experience of Raising Kids with Disabilities (Paperback)
As the parent of two special needs students it is refreshing to not feel alone. In very different styles the authors talk about what it is like to be on our side. We are not saints, we are not lazy bums (though I often feel that I am being treated as either). Being part of the special needs community requires lots of support and this book reminds us of that.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Most Candid, Side-splitting, Irreverent Must-Read Ever for Special Needs Parents, August 7, 2013
This review is from: My Baby Rides the Short Bus: The Unabashedly Human Experience of Raising Kids with Disabilities (Paperback)
My Baby Rides the Short Bus, The Unabashedly Human Experience of Raising Kids with Disabilities, is hands-down the most candid, side-splitting, irreverent must read--if you are not easily offended and are able to be very open--book on special needs parenting, ever! Published by PM Press, and edited by three mothers of children with disAbilities, My Baby Rides the Short Bus is a compilation of essays by mothers and fathers who take pride in being alternative in a largely straight up culture. On top of being take-your-pick earth mothers, liberals, hippies, lesbians, adoptive parents, homeschoolers and any other assortment of alternative that one can be, these loving out-there mothers and fathers are also different in that their children were born with special needs.

How many books that aren't text books or self-help, that are actually engrossing, come-lose-yourself-within-my-pages-delicious--actually leave the reader a bit wiser? I have ended essays in this book with a weeping heart, having spent an evening or two or three's before-bed living the manic trauma of a medically driven life of a child and a family with severe physical needs. I had awakened moved, after reading before I dozed off, and in greater appreciation of what a life so complicated must be like for my sisters who bore children who are medically fragile. Read more on [...]
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My Baby Rides the Short Bus: The Unabashedly Human Experience of Raising Kids with Disabilities
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