Monday, June 14, 2010

Bursting with Joy (review)

There is so much to learn for a parent of a child with special needs.

We must become unexpected experts in areas we never imagined. We parents often need a different set of experts to guide us through each topic. : Educational development and academics; life skills; relationship skills; non-verbal communication; verbal communication; emotional development; social development; mainstream medical treatment; alternative medical treatment; gross motor development; fine motor development; auditory processing; visual processing; I could go on and on.

Among all the new areas of expertise we parents of special needs children have to learn, Joan Broggi, in Bursting with Joy, writes about one aspect of learning that is often an unexpected bonus: the lessons that we learn from our children with special needs. They are wonderful teachers; and Broggi reminds us to look for the great joy in our experiences.

Parenting a child with special needs is an interesting journey.

Joan Broggi understands. She's a mom to an adult son with special needs and his sibs - she walked the path a few years before I did. And she confronted all of the emotions, the roller coaster of ups and downs, ahead of me.

Broggi's approach in her new book, "Bursting with Joy," is to journey through the stages of grief, "adapting some of her chapter headings from Elisabeth Kübler-Ross's book, 'On Death and Dying'", followed by her own chapter about joy.

I am cognisant of the fact that I go through stages of grief because of autism. I know that getting to acceptance doesn't mean I don't revisit anger or denial sometimes. I am able to recognize and talk about the blessings and gifts we've received because of autism, gifts we would not have received without autism. And yet, focusing on the blessings and the joy as Broggi learned to hasn't been a huge focus for me in the middle of all of what sometimes feels so much like work, a heavy weight.

"Bursting With Joy, Discovering Universal Truths Through Our Special Son," is an easy read about a topic that is not simple. Broggi is honest, authentic with the reader when she shares experiences and emotions that are sad, disappointing. She offers hope as she describes how to take control of what is within my control (my attitude - something I fight daily).

Broggi takes the reader through her stages of grief and takes us beyond grief into joy, and she reminds me of the importance of having a positive, joyful perspective. She's an excellent teacher. She knows how I feel; she's been there, too. I relate to her experience. I'm glad that"Bursting With Joy, Discovering Universal Truths Through Our Special Son," is now a part of my journey. You gave me a special gift. Thanks, Joan. ;)

Bursting with Joy retails for $12.95
144 pages

Ferne Press (February 15, 2010)

ISBN-10: 1933916532


Joan Broggi Books has a
facebook page.

Disclosure: Joan Broggi contacted me via e-mail to tell me about her book and sent me a complimentary review copy. I am not financially compensated for reviews and am not obligated to provide a positive review.

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