I have been a pediatrician for over 25 years now and care for many children with a variety of disabilities. I am amazed and awed by the strength of the parents who care for these children. I like to think that my personal loss has made me a better and more compassionate physician. In addition, I volunteer at a program for developmentally disabled young adults. Many of the participants have Downs’ Syndrome (one of whom is now 51) but there are individuals with other disabilities as well. It is a joy to watch them interact with each other and for me to be a part of a “normalizing” part of their lives.
My own children are now adults. My sons are in college and my daughter is a teacher. My daughter is gay – something she figured out only recently. I suppose her being gay would be considered a “horizontal identity” within my immediate family but I find that I don’t really see it that way; perhaps because it was not something of which we (nor she) were aware during the time that she was being raised. It is an identity she figured out as a young adult. My husband and I simply view it as another piece of who she is and it has added another, though unexpected, dimension to our lives.
Thank you for a book that should be required reading for parents as well as for physicians and educators.