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Road Map to Holland: How I Found My Way Through My Son's First Two Years With Down Syndrome Paperback – April 1, 2008

37 customer reviews

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Road Map to Holland: How I Found My Way Through My Son's First Two Years With Down Syndrome + Babies with Down Syndrome: A New Parents' Guide + Down Syndrome Parenting 101: Must-Have Advice for Making Your Life Easier
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Montana wife and mother Groneberg traces in her tenderly moving account the life-changing realization after the premature birth of her twin boys that one of them, Avery, has Down syndrome. Utterly unprepared for the emergency C-section of the seven-week-early preemies, Groneberg and her writer husband, Tom, the parents of a four-year-old, are devastated by the news about Avery, and they must gradually alter their easygoing future plans about raising their kids. They reject the notion of adoption, suggested by a well-intentioned nurse at the hospital where the babies are ensconced in the neonatal intensive-care unit, and embark on an exhaustively trying, ultimately enlightening journey to care for the needy babies, especially Avery, and educate themselves about his condition. Rising from the shame of feeling that their family is broken, and letting slide hurtful comments by a grocery-store clerk or neighbor, Groneberg devoured books and information from the Internet, and began to foster their son's development by seeking out physical therapists and specialists. Small gains in Avery's motor skills were causes for celebration, and the beginning of speech the greatest gift the parents could ask for. Groneberg affectingly delineates these gradual, hard-won stages during Avery's first year toward love and acceptance. (Apr.)
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About the Author

Jennifer Graf Groneberg's exceptional memoir Road Map to Holland: How I Found My Way Through My Son's First Two Year's with Down Syndrome provides practical insight and emotional support to parents of children with special needs. Graf Groneberg is also the editor of My Heart's First Steps: Writings That Celebrate the Gifts of Parenthood and is a contributor to anthologies such as The Maternal is Political, Car Seat on a Camel, Gifts: Mothers Reflect on How Children with Down Syndrome Have Enriched Their Lives, Woven on the Wind and Crazy Woman Creek. Her essays have appeared in Baby Talk, Child, Parents, Parenting, Mothering and Midwifery Today. She lives and writes at the foot of the Crazy Mountains in central Montana with her husband, author Tom Groneberg, and their three sons.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 292 pages
  • Publisher: NAL; 1 edition (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451222954
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451222954
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,026 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By S. B. Smith on April 5, 2008
Format: Paperback
It is almost impossible to give fitting praise for this superb book by Jennifer Graf Groneberg. I don't know where to start. Groneberg has been blessed with the rarest of gifts as a writer: She is a brilliant wordsmith, an accomplishment in and of itself; yet she is also so beautifully human in her story telling. She is strong, vulnerable, scared, hopeful, flawed, honest, loving, doubtful, humble, and confident. She is all of us. We are with her in the NICU, as she receives the news that her middle son has been diagnosed with Down syndrome, at home with her as she adjusts to her new future, in the lake with her as she imagines that "nothing good" will come her way again (she of course proves herself gloriously wrong), at Avery's physical therapy appointments where her heart breaks and rejoices at the same time as she observes how extra hard her toddler son must work for the smallest of victories. She is not above sharing with us that among some of the unwelcome comments and feelings offered by strangers about her son are also some of her own. She exposes herself so honestly; the lows as eloquently described as the highs. Her style is spare but not simple, without an ounce of pretension or preachiness. You will finish the story with joy and hope in your heart, and a deep sense of admiration and love for this family who, at the end of the day, isn't so different from yours or mine.

Don't pass up this ticket. Groneberg has invited us along for this extraordinary part of her journey, and I can only hope that there will be many more stops in the future where we can climb aboard and join her.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Karen L. Carter on June 18, 2008
Format: Paperback
In ROAD MAP TO HOLLAND Jennifer Graf Groneberg reveals a lifetime of lessons learned in a very short time-span. Her message of hope resonates with the joy of her ultimate discovery that one of the greatest gifts she can give her children is to simply teach them how to love. Read this book, read Jennifer's blog, and join in a celebration of a unique family with a mom-writer at the helm who's gracious and generous enough to invite us all along on her ongoing journey of discovery.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Pasadena Books on April 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
If you are an expectant mother of a child diagnosed with Down syndrome, or the new mother of a newly diagnosed child, or a friend or a family member, get your hands on a copy of this book. You will find no better guide to your journey than Groneberg, who is a gifted writer: honest, loving, self-aware and simply the finest company a reader could ask for.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A. Jupin on June 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
I received this book yesterday afternoon and finished it today. What can I say--I was completely and utterly entranced by the honesty and realness of what I read. Having a child with DS too, I could feel her pain, feel her raw emotion, feel her fear. But as I turned each page, I felt myself being forgiven along with her, and it's been a long time since I've felt so much relief and joy. Thank you Jennifer for sharing your story and your experiences with Avery. May you someday know how much grace and dignity you've brought to my own outlook on my future with my son. God bless you and your wonderful family.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mamalovesbooks on April 5, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book was just stunning! Jennifer has a way of infusing the reader into her life. I felt like I was there, experiencing it with her. She lays it all bare, herself, her perceived faults and how she dealt with the premature birth of her twins and Down syndrome diagnosis of Avery. What comes across is a very spiritually put together person, a woman who truly knows what matters most at the end of the day.

This book is a gift to the world.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By K on June 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is the book that all new parents (or those with a prenatal diagnosis) should be given. So many texts are full of scary facts and overwhelming information. Road Map to Holland is an honest and heartwarming look at the roller coaster of emotions that come with being a new parent to a child with Down Syndrome. It's a wonderful story of falling in love with your child and seeing past a diagnosis.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Donovan on June 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
I couldn't put this book down.

The author writes about her experience with premature delivery of twins, one of whom is diagnosed with Down syndrome, and the first two years of their life.

This isn't just a story of a mom having to come to terms with that trip to Holland, but an honest mom's story--of balancing the arrival of twins with her preschooler, the affect that her situation had on friendships--both good and bad, her marriage, and her perception of herself as a woman.

This is an excellent book--honest without being morose, uplifting without coming across as saccharine-sweet. A must read for all moms.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Gillian E. Marchenko on June 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book is a must read for new parents of a child with Down syndrome. Oh, how I wish I had a book like this after I found out my third daughter had Down syndrome. And now it is here, and it is fabulous!

The writting is stunning and yet so personal that by the end of the book you'll want to stop by the author's house for coffee.

This book is honest and true. Please read it and share it with anyone who has ever been touched by the world of special needs.
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