TAKING ON THE WORLD: Empowering Strategies for Parents of Children with Disabilities by Joyce Slayton Mitchell

TAKING ON THE WORLD: Empowering Strategies for Parents of Children with Disabilities

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Mitchell is the author of a responsible handbook for teenagers with physical disabilities, See Me More Clearly (1980); here, however, she assumes a narrow adversarial stance--parents against the ""experts."" To parents of children with diverse problems--from learning disabilities to severe physical handicaps--she advises ""taking on"" the worlds of medicine, school, church, work, and bureaucracies in general. And, to that end, she does provide some useful, if heterogeneous, suggestions: a list of ways to deal with doctors supplied by the mother of an epileptic daughter; a glossary of ""bureaucratic talk""; some upbeat strategies about vocational possibilities. Mostly, however, parents are exhorted to Stabilize (with ""Broken Heart Exercises""); to Mobilize (""Be Assertive,"" ""Fight Guilt""); and to Activize (choose ""actions"" and make headlines). When they meet with school officials, parents should bring a claque of ""powerful looking people,"" tape record the sessions (without asking permission), and display copies of the laws relating to handicapped children--all strategies likely to engender animosity even before there might be a cause for it. Calmer, more appropriate guidance may be found in Laura Pearlman and Kathleen Anton Scott's Raising the Handicapped Child (1981, p. 1068) and Bette Ross' Our Special Child (1981, p. 1072).

Pub Date: March 15th, 1982
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich