Fashion designer Dana Buchman tells of her daughter Charlotte's severe
struggle with learning disabilities and of her own steep learning
curve to become the mother Charlotte needs her to be.
Dana Buchman knew almost nothing about "learning differences" when her oldest daughter, Charlotte, was diagnosed with neurological, spatial, and motor skill disabilities as a toddler. Furthermore, from the Ivy League to the launch of her own fashion label, Buchman had encountered few obstacles that couldn't be overcome through hard work and determination. Unfortunately, Buchman's well-developed ability to "fix" things would not serve her in her efforts to deal with Charlotte's disabilities; she would have to develop a new skill set to be able to see Charlotte as a person with unique abilities.
A riveting and intensely personal memoir, A Special Education reveals the long and arduous process of Charlotte's development as well as Buchman's own path to self-discovery. Confessing frequent anxiety, guilt, frustration, and anger, Buchman describes the difficult search to find the right school and care for Charlotte and the strain the process put on her marriage and family life. In addition, Buchman tells of her own struggles with excessive drinking and workaholism - and of finally letting go of her drive to be "perfect."
A moving mother-daughter story, A Special Education is an inspiring account of one mother's journey to acceptance and understanding as well as a family's triumph over daunting circumstances.
The Wonder Year
Some people, when faced with a major life change, make a conscious effort to
slow everything else down. A woman whos having a child for the first time might
decide to lighten her load at work. Someone who is taking on new
responsibilities in her job might hold off on starting a family that year.
I have never been one of those people.
For most of my life, I have been a serious doer, undaunted by the notion of having too much on my plate. If anything, I would jump at the chance to juggle more for all the world to see. I had been encouraged early on by my mother and my grandmother to be a high achiever, and I got hooked on the accolades they showered on me. I wanted to be a superwoman, the embodiment of the having-it-all feminist ideal that became so popular when I was in college in the 1970s.
A Special Education
If there was ever a year when I got to shine, it was 1986, probably the most action-...
It was a happy surprise to find Buchman's memoir is surprisingly readable. If her solution had been to throw money and experts at her daughter's "problems" then the book would have been of little interest. However, instead she shows that it was she that had to change in order to recognize her daughter's unique abilities. As a parent, the lesson of meeting one's children at least half way is one many of us can appreciate.
(Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Full Review (308 words).
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