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Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid: A Survival Guide for Ordinary Parents of Special Children Paperback – August 3, 2010


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Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid: A Survival Guide for Ordinary Parents of Special Children + The Elephant in the Playroom: Ordinary Parents Write Intimately and Honestly About Raising Kids with Special Needs
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony; 1 edition (August 3, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307587487
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307587480
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (117 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #171,510 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"One of the best parts of the book is that these two moms sound like...well, two moms. And two very funny moms at that. So you’re going to laugh (a lot), and cry (a little), and you're going to hope for the best, and you’re going to pray that someone can help their kids, and best of all you’re going to know that you’re not alone. So if you were hoping for a dry, predictable reading experience, I’m quite certain you’ve selected the wrong book. Kids with social, emotional, and behavioral challenges aren’t dry and predictable, so hang on to your hat and bring along some tissues."
—Ross W. Greene, Ph.D., author of The Explosive Child and Lost at School

“Know, work with, or love a child with special needs? If so, Gina Gallagher and Patricia Konjoian’s Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid is the latest ‘must-read’ book on the subject. The sisters, whose wit and delivery could have landed them a gig on the stand-up circuit, share facts and funny stories about raising kids with disabilities while providing practical advice and identifying helpful resources. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll learn a lot about living well with challenge. Buy a copy for yourself . . . and two or three more for your friends with perfect kids!”
—KATE McLAUGHLIN, author of Mommy I’m Still in Here: One Family’s Journey with Bipolar Disease
 
“With truly masterful use of humor as a coping strategy, Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid authors Gina Gallagher and Patricia Konjoian address the challenges, the heartbreak, and the touching victories of parenting children with disabilities today. The book is a valuable and insightful resource for any family member or friend of a child with special needs. It conveys a wealth of practical information with a warmth and compassion that helps parents realize they are not alone.”
—DEIRDRE E. LOGAN, PhD, psychologist, Children’s Hospital Boston, and assistant professor of psychology, Harvard Medical School
 
“Anyone who has ever laughed while raising a child will love this book! Gina and Patricia really find the humor in special needs parenting—and they validate us all.” —SUSAN SENATOR, author of Making Peace with Autism and The Autism Mom’s Survival Guide
 
 “Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid is the perfect antidote to a society obsessed with perfection. It was written by two sisters who both have children with unique challenges. Gina Gallagher and Patricia Konjoian have created an honest, humorous, and touching book that will make you laugh and cry, but most of all it will make you reevaluate how you look at other people in this world. Their journey is similar to that of many parents who have been filled with conflicting feelings about their children. But at the end of the day, instead of seeing their children’s differences, they see their determination and spirit. It’s that determination and spirit that has changed their lives in every way. It’s also what they would like the rest of the world to embrace. This book is a breath of fresh air to parents of kids with all sorts of abilities.”
—TRACY ANGLADA, executive director of BPChildren and author of Intense Minds: Through the Eyes of Young People with Bipolar Disorder
 
 “This survival guide is a must-read for families of children with emerging and existing mental health conditions. Not only does this book provide highly practical advice, but it infuses that advice with real-life stories of families who have faced unthinkable challenges and come out on top. It offers hope to every family who has faced the dark side of stigma and the struggle of securing effective services and supports for their child. Families who read this book will truly understand that they are not alone. The road can be long and hard, but this book reminds us that on our journey, humor provides a powerful role in the struggle. Ordinary families will find themselves reading and rereading this guide as they come to appreciate the beauty of their unique and special child.”
—DARCY GRUTTADARO, director of the NAMI National Child and Adolescent Action Center
 
“Thank you, Gina and Patty, for reminding the world that our most cherished human qualities, courage and resilience among them, can never be captured by a test score or grade on a report card. Your book, your message, and your ‘Movement of Imperfection’ could not have arrived at a better time. Thanks to you, countless numbers of people, children and adults alike, will come to see their differences in a hopeful new light.”
—MARK KATZ, PhD, clinical and consulting psychologist, San Diego, California, and author of On Playing a Poor Hand Well

From the Back Cover

Us. vs. Them Battle: "It's hard to hear how good their kid is on the baseball field when yours would rather catch real flies."

Medication: "We've met parents who feel guilty for putting their kids on meds...for not putting their kids on meds...even for taking their kids' meds."

Food: "Yes, my daughter would like a Happy Meal. Please hold the meal and she'll be happy."

Marriage: "You can remember the name of Beaver Cleaver's first-grade teacher, but you can't remember to put your son on the bus?"

Sports: "Do we have to follow the ball Mom? It's more fun following a bee."

Everyday life: "Sorry, I missed the bus, Mom. I was practicing my funny faces in the mirror." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


More About the Author

I'm Gina Gallagher, an imperfect author/speaker/mother/housecleaner/recordkeeper/daughter/blah/blah/blah. As a freelance copywriter and former humor columnist, I knew I was going to write a book someday; I just didn't know what it would be about (minor detail, I know). It wasn't until I experienced what was then the most difficult time of my life -- watching my daughter, who was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, struggle to find her place in a perfection pre-occupied society. When my sister and co-author, Patty Konjoian, joked that she was going to write a humorous book about her daughter's struggle with bipolar disorder, I finally knew what that book would be about. Together, we penned Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid, A Survival Guide for Ordinary Parents of Special Children, which encourages all parents to learn to let go of their perfect expectations for their children and to love the reality. And most importantly, to understand that life doesn't have to be "perfect" to be meaningful and fulfilling.

I'm Patty Konjoian, the smarter, older (though I prefer to say "more mature") sister. I'm a Family Partner for Northeast Behavioral Health, as well as an award-winning freelance videographer. I'm also the mother of three wonderful, but, blissfully imperfect children, one of whom was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 11. While there was nothing humorous with watching Jennifer struggle, I did often joke that some of the things we had to go through were humorous. For example, I was sure I had a promising career as an Emergency Room critic, who could rate the E.R.'s based on the magazine quality, vending machine selections, and colorfulness of staff scrubs. When my daughter was struggling in her younger years, I felt overwhelmed, frustrated, and scared. Today, my daughter is doing amazingly well and attending college. Through our book and speaking, I am able to share her message of hope.

Customer Reviews

I've just started this book ,and I'm hooked.
Carol Sylvia
A lot of what's in this book will make you laugh, a little of what's in this book will make you cry, and some parts will make you do both at the same time.
Nina Erickson
I highly recommend this book to everyone who has a child or knows a child with special needs.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Sethany Griffin on August 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
As the mother of two boys ages 9 and 11, one with autism and bipolar disorder and one with signifigant anxiety, this book was a refreshing positive change from all of the typical gloom and doom books out there on this subject matter. The "Shut up Sisters" have shined a bright light on the truth, that children with special needs are a huge challenge, but a huge blessing as well. Each of the sisters gives her own personal perspective on the happiness, joy, heartbreak and pain that comes with this difficult job of parenting special needs children that none of us are prepared to take on, and sends a very clear message, "You are not alone." Sometimes, just knowing that is what gets us through the day.

This book made me laugh and it made me cry, but most of all it made me realize how truly lucky I am to be blessed with the family and the support system I have. Bravo to the sisters for embracing their imperfection!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Mad bin Tod on March 27, 2007
Format: Paperback
Shut Up About...Your Perfect Kid is exactly what parents of special children need to read. In addition to sharing extremely funny stories about special children, the authors break down barriers within the special needs community as well as throughout mainstream culture. Using humor, wisdom and revealing their own personal journeys, the authors create a "we're all in this together" reading environment. The book validates the fears, limitations and challenges of parenting special children; at the same time, the book encourages parents to examine our expectations and perspectives about our special children and appreciate the gifts they bring to our lives. Expect to sigh, cry and laugh out loud.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Deirdre Carey on May 24, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is no "make lemons into lemonade" book! These two sisters open their hearts and their homes to the world to share an exceptionally honest and insightful approach to raising children with challenges. You'll laugh, and you'll cry. This is also a great read for parents who DON'T have children with special needs - so they can have a better understanding of what it is like...and then maybe they'll "shut up about their perfect child!" Way to go sisters! I've never read a book that was so heartfelt, and raw, and truthful! And I commend both the writers for having the strength to keep their families intact regardless of the many hurdles they've needed to overcome, and what is most impressive is their ability to find the dark humor during very difficult circumstances. Buy your copy TODAY!!!!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Deborah A Stephens on August 3, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is excellent! It is a heart-warming and humorous journey of two sisters each raising a daughter(s) with a disability. If you feel as if you are the only one struggling to raise your special needs child, grab a tissue and sit down to read.
The book goes through their different reactions to their daughter's diagnoses and follows along through the good and the bad. Walk with Gina and Patty as they go thorugh IEPs, team meetings, appointments with psychologists and psychiatrists. Cry and laugh as they describe their daughters going to school, inclusion classroom, private school and life in general.
While their daughters have Asperger's, Bipolar disorder and NVLD you will enjoy reading no matter what your child's disability may be.
Join them and their many fans on Facebook as well "Shut-Up About Your Perfect Kid". Learn that while others brag about the honor roll or star athlete, your child has qualities worth bragging about as well.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By reading is fun on April 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
Finally! A book that understands exactly how I feel on the days when I think there is no hope in sight and that I can laugh at some of the bumps in the road.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Darcy Rubino on August 4, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I laughed, I cried.....SERIOUSLY! This is an informative, fun book for anyone who is related to, is friends with, or knows a family who has a special needs child. I love the personal stories that Gina & Patty tell, as well as the informative sections. The index is a great addition to the book as well. As a parent of 3 special needs children, it is comforting to know that I am not the only one who feels the way I do. It is also nice to be able to take such a serious subject and be able to find humor in it. You have to laugh at least once during the day to avoid crying all day.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Elaine Scherer on March 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
The BEST medicine for a parent when dealing with the many challenges of children with different needs! The book contains the wisdom and humor that we all need to reduce our challenges and anxieties of today's chaotic world and the raising of our children. Not only is it possible to manage our stressors, but when reading this book, we are also in an enjoyable experience! Great medicine for the heart!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Suri Fineberg on September 19, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a great read. So enjoyable, I started and finished it in one day. You know how these thoughts pop into your head at times but you just keep your mouth shut? Well these ladies have these very same thoughts and speak their mind(s) in this book. It's refreshing, funny, and honest. Get out of my head ladies! I can't wait for these sisters to come to NY. We are waiting for you.
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