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From Grief to Celebration, How One Family Learned to Embrace the Gift of Down Syndrome Paperback – December 20, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
The child--who is actually now a young woman--is named Alex. And through the pages of this book you'll fall in love with her. But I think even more, you'll fall in love with the author, Margaret "Gary" Bender. In these pages, Gary bares her soul. She shares every painful, joyful and revolutionary moment of her experience as a parent, and she does so not only out of love for Alex--and her family--but also out of what appears to be a need to advocate for all parents who have children with special needs.
This book must be added to the bibliography Gary provides in the chapter titled "Research," which includes a list of books she sought and read when Alex was born in 1993. If you indeed have a baby with Down syndrome, please put Gary's book at the top of your list. You will learn many things, but you will especially know that you are not alone; you will learn how to advocate; and you will learn to embrace and celebrate your child/situation. And as any parent will tell you, just like kids without special needs, our babies grow up very quickly. You will learn your Down syndrome child might not do everything like walk and talk and potty train according to what you thought was normal, but she/he will learn. And she/he will also teach YOU things you never imagined.
What makes this book additionally noteworthy for parents with and without children of special needs, is that Gary allows us to see how universal the experience of parenting truly is.Read more ›
I read tomes about parents dealing - their stories of learning to accept and love their children, but in all honesty, I think when you are faced with the knowledge that your unborn child will be coming with an extra chromosome, it's enough to just grapple with all the prejudice and stereotypes out there regarding Down syndrome. It's hard to really, truly handle and relate to many of the memoirs - those have a better time and place later, in my opinion.
Margaret "Gary" Bender (- yes, she is a woman and her nickname is "Gary"!) wrote a gem of a slim book about how her family learned to embrace Down syndrome. She divided the book into 10 chapters - with a bonus one! - and folded each of the chapters into a verb that related to her path of 'grief to acceptance'. They are short. They are easy to read. They are, in my opinion, bite-sized, perfect for a new parent, or one who is just entering the world of parenting a child with Down syndrome.
The chapters and topics covered are flexible in that they are not too specific nor too broad. As they speak from the mother of a teenager with Down syndrome - rather than a young child - there is a ring of assurance, confidence and positivity that can only be gained from years of actual experience. While there is an awful lot of material from parents of young children with Down syndrome, there is remarkably little from parents of older teens.Read more ›
Parents of young children with Down syndrome will most benefit from Bender's accessible story of her family's journey. This book is short (90 pages) and is broken into logical, easy to digest sections. Her honest appraisal of Alex's strengths and quirks, and her hopes for Alex's future are the threads that all weave together to form their journey to Celebration.
As a follower of Bender's blog [...] I appreciated the backstory, now that Alex has left home to attend a transitional college.
Above all, Bender's story shows the world that people with Down syndrome are as unique from each other as we all are, but when it comes to following your dreams and wanting a full life, well there we are all more same than different.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book was just what I needed to read! You see, I too am a parent of a now 20 year old daughter with Down Syndrome. Read morePublished 20 months ago by S. Wheaton
I can feel Gary's enthusiasm oozing from the pages. As a mom to my own extraordinary daughter (almost 16) I can very much relate to the sentiments expressed in this book. Read morePublished on October 7, 2013 by DB
From Grief to Celebration was informative, concise and helpful. The author is open and descriptive. I appreciated this short book.Published on February 18, 2013 by enofamily
Very well written. It just brought back so many wonderful memories of growing up with my daughter, Sarah and all that she taught us. Read morePublished on January 22, 2013 by Lane Boeh
This is an excellent book for teachers, parents and friends to help incease understanding of the lives and experiences of people with Down syndrome. Read morePublished on November 18, 2012 by DVerner
please support The Ordinary Life of an Extraordinary Girl by buying her book as gifts for holidays
this is really good
This is a powerful story of family and love in which the author shares wisdom of value to any parent. Though I do not have have a child with special needs, I loved this book. Read morePublished on April 22, 2011 by FDC
I loved this book. It was a very honest and thoughtful personal account of one family's experience with Down Syndrome. Read morePublished on April 20, 2011 by Cathy