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Just One of the Kids

, 240 pages
April 2013



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Just One of the Kids

Raising a Resilient Family When One of Your Children Has a Physical Disability

If you have a child with a physical disability, how can you plan your family’s life in a way that is inclusive for everyone? What can you do to create a family where every member pulls his or her own weight (in appropriate measure), meets challenges, and has moments in the spotlight along the way? Most parents of a child who has a physical disability want their child to have fun, be responsible, make friends, and take acceptable risks—in short, to feel like "just one of the kids"—and they want to make sure that the needs of the whole family are met, too.

Just One of the Kids is designed to help parents focus not on what could have been but instead on what can be, so that they, their children, and the grandparents thrive as individuals and as a family. The advice from psychologists Kay Harris Kriegsman and Sara Palmer is valuable for any family with children who have a physical disability, from any cause. Their warm and encouraging book is full of family stories, tips, and tools.

Parents of children with physical disabilities can help them develop the skills needed to meet life’s challenges and launch into independence. Parents, building on that foundation and acknowledging each person’s contributions, interests, and aspirations, create an inclusive and resilient family.

Kay Harris Kriegsman, Ph.D., is a practicing psychologist, consultant on disability issues, and author of Taking Charge: Teenagers Talk About Life & Physical Disabilities. Sara Palmer, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. With Jeffrey B. Palmer, M.D., they are coauthors of Spinal Cord Injury: A Guide for Living.

"The authors show families how to be pragmatic and inclusive when solving problems and setting expectations. The real family stories and personal experiences of the authors, one of whom has such a disability, create an intimate and nonjudgmental tone with a degree of optimism that parents are likely to appreciate. A valuable resource for families looking for encouragement as they try to create an inclusive environment for their child with a physical disability."

"I would highly recommend Just One of the Kids: Raising a Resilient Family When One of Your Children Has a Physical Disability as an addition to the library of any family that includes a child with a physical disability, as well as being a valuable resource to grandparents, extended family members, friends, and health care professionals who are part of this community."

"This book is ideal for any parents or carers who are caring for children with physical disabilities."

"Your life is never the same after you become the parent of a child who has a physical disability. This book skillfully shows you how to tackle this new role with enthusiasm and confidence. Real-life stories relate how other families have learned to cope and adapt to the ‘new normal.’ Just One of the Kids gives straightforward, concrete advice on how to provide loving encouragement for everyone in your family. You too can build a resilient family whose children grow into independent, responsible adults."

"The unique perspective shared by families represented in Just One of the Kids reflects our mission to support individuals to live healthy, independent lives. The book will be a valuable resource for our parent support groups and education conferences."

"This multifaceted, experience-based discussion of the challenges of raising children who have disabilities left me with a strong sense of ‘We can do it.’ I felt kinship with all the families I read about in this book."

"This is a book you will read, share, and read again. It focuses on the goal of all parents: to raise children who are capable, confident, and ready for adulthood. The authors’ suggestions are practical, realistic, and illustrated by a variety of family stories."

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