Customer Reviews: Spelling Love with an X: A Mother, A Son, and the Gene that Binds Them
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on August 29, 2013
I found this book to be very informative. Everyone shoud read this book, especially if you know someone with a child with this diagnosis. It really helped me to understand what the family is dealing with.
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on October 9, 2015
Excellent book ! Our grandson was recently diagnosed with Fragile X and we are learning all we can about this devastating condition.
Mrs. Dunsford's book relates the reality of raising a child with Fragile X -- the extreme highs, lows and daily challenges. She's a talented writer to
boot. Gives so much info on the condition in an easy to read manner.
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on January 22, 2008
As a parent of a son with Fragile X who is a couple of years younger than Ms. Dunsford's son, J.P., we've experienced the despair as well as the joy she writes of. Her story is beautifully written and shines with the love we have and hope we need for the future for our adult children. She is able to describe the charming, witty character of her son in a way that rings true for parents of children with Fragile X. It's her own story as well. Life as a carrier of Fragile X has its own challenges - ones you might believe are your own character faults - until you find out, at whatever age, that you are a carrier and that the personal battles you've fought for so long are the result of a genetic defect you were born with. The science is helpful. The research is hopeful. Parents, family, carriers, friends should read this book to get a good look at life with Fragile X.
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on May 1, 2008
While informing us about Fragile X Syndrome, Clare Dunsford reminds us in a distinctive voice that much more than genes binds us. Her well-told tale captures the complexity of competing realities running through most of our lives -- identity, vocation, family, faith, parenthood (and the profound difference between motherhood and fatherhood), friendship, support, loneliness and love. So we laugh, cry and rejoice with her as she recounts the frustrations and surprises of her childhood, romances, career and parenting experiences. Her references to classic literature make manifest the mystery encountered in human differences no matter the time or culture, a mystery best understood in the binding of body and spirit despite the fragility of either. "Spelling Love With an X" is a classic love story. Dunsford's X is her and her family's cross (a cross that marks others' lives in other ways) and is only made bearable in anyone's life by Love which is more Divine than human. Her story offers hope to all of us who want to live and love well.
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on December 3, 2007
Clare Dunsford's book is an unusual blend of personal memoir and scientifically researched information drawn from a mother's poignant journey raising a child with Fragile X. Dunsford's book blends poetic elegance with important up to date information about her son's genetic condition, a useful read for anyone living or working with children or adults with any developmental disorder. As a special educator who is also an avid reader I was fascinated. Further, I learned of the relationship that this disorder may have to autism which has touched my extended family and of the hope that the future of medical research holds for all those affected by developmental conditions. Ms Dunsford tells her story with strong emotion and wonderfully crafted writing but does not stray from her goal of sharing the knowledge base she has been accumulating over the 21 years of her charming and interesting son's life.
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on January 16, 2008
This book is still with me. Those are the best kinds of books, I think, the ones that you remember well after reading them. I think it's because "Spelling Love With An X" resonates beyond its specific circumstances. It's not just about Clare Dunsford and her son, but in some way every parent and child. Or, really, every relationship. As Dunsford wonders aloud at one point in the book, since her family carries the gene, is it possible this or that relatives slight eccentricity is really just an extremely mild manifestation of Fragile X. In other words, most brain disorders are merely exaggerations of characteristics we all understand to some degree. We are all on a spectrum of varying consciousness and need. As a result, Dunsford's exploration of the extreme challenges she faces with her son are more than just a faceless "case study." They do what literature should do at its best. They make her and her son's situation universal.
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on November 8, 2007
I loved the book. I have a daughter with Autism born in 1984. She has many behaviors similar to JP's. Your book was like reading about myself. She is my only child because I knew I could not deal with another child who might have Autism. So much of what happened to you (including the stress, the public displays, the lack of understanding from many in the normal world, the isolation, as well as the extreme joy about the wonderful qualities she has) has happened to me. Your book was very well written and really helped. The genetic information was fascinating and was made so understandable. My name is Mary Stewart. The review will show under my husband's name, Gerald Stewart.
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on December 3, 2007
Clare Dunsford's book is a moving, beautifully written story about her and her son JP's journey with Fragile X, the most common inherited cause of mental retardation. Dunsford defly weaves science, poetry, and wit through her personal story. This book will resonate with anyone who has a child touched by Fragile X, autism or any other cognitive or genetic disorder. But this book's reach goes far beyond the world of Fragile X. Anyone who loves memoir or who is interested in exploring the depths of a mother's love, a family's interconnectedness, and the human soul will discover they can't put this book down.
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on December 1, 2007
Even if I weren't the father of the author (and grandfather of the irresistible subject) I would still recommend this book for its exquisite writing, touching story, and breadth of comprehension of the human condition. Fragile X is a reference of many different applications, applicable to us all. This book will be read in many different acadmic venues. Jack Dunsford
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on October 27, 2007
Spelling Love with an X is beautifully written and very informative, but above all totally engrossing. The story is a difficult one--and Clare Dunsford doesn't gloss over those difficulties--but she writes with grace and humor and we begin to care very much for J.P. as we see him through her eyes. Many readers are going to find encouragement and joy in this book.
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