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Reviewed by Amanda Rofe for Readers' Favorite
Parenting the Severely Disabled Adult by Kathleen Fischer is an account of the journey of one step-parent who cared for a disabled adult with cerebral palsy for 14 years. It is a personal story combined with a handbook and packed with useful information. It is aimed at families, teachers, medical professionals, aides and any other person or institution entrusted with making decisions for a severely disabled adult. What happens to them when they finish high school? Where do they live and who becomes the caregiver? Kathleen Fischer, who also spent 26 years in special education, explains how to prepare the adult for various events including attending day care centers, dining out, receiving medical care and attending a funeral. She also covers the legal aspects and the rather tricky issue of sex.
This is a short, insightful book written by a person who brings a wealth of experience, both personal and professional, to the subject. Parenting the Severely Disabled Adult contains a good balance of personal anecdotes and very sensible practical recommendations. Kathleen Fischer clearly explains the struggles and frustrations that can occur, laying bare the toll taken on close family members. Kathleen's unwavering commitment to providing her step-daughter with the best life possible is inspiring. Her compassion and pragmatism is a beacon of light that will undoubtedly help others on a similar journey. I found this an extremely engaging and humbling book. While it is very clearly aimed at those caring for a severely disabled adult, everyone would benefit from reading it.