Friday, December 5, 2008

Disability in our perfect family tree? Some resources for acceptance and understanding

I have heard from a number of moms who experience exclusion and judgement from some extended family members. This can be a particular heart break during the holidays. Here are some resources that I hope can help:

The Autism site has some resources in this link: Your Advice Requested: Problems with Extended Family and Autism. The suggestions could be helpful for families of children with other disabilities, as well.

David Pitonyak's Imagine web site is a treasure trove of information about inclusion and acceptance of people with disabilities, particularly those with challenging behavior. Maybe some of the articles on this site could be part of our relatives' holiday gifts?

Jessica Kingsley Publishers is an independent publisher with a focus on autism spectrum disorders,mental health and counseling. They have a broad selection of books and resources, both practical and inspirational. One book in their catalog is: Voices from the Spectrum: Parents, Grandparents, Siblings, People with Autism and Professionals Share Their Widsom: This includes some essays written by grandparents and siblings: maybe ours can learn by example?

For some of us, the challenge of extended family acceptance of our children is complicated by cross-cultural issues. I couldn't find any quick and easy resources for that topic (do they exist?) but I can recommend one of my favorite books on autism and disability: Unstrange Minds: Remapping the World of Autism by Roy Richard Grinker.

Roy Grinker is a cultural anthropologist, and his book offers a cross-cultural perspective on autism. He looks at how autism is perceived in countries such as South Korea and India. His take on autism in the United States is just as fascinating.Here is a summary. His web site also has a list of links. For Clark County folks, I have a copy I can lend out; let me know if you are interested.

If nothing else, my cruise around the web has reinforced my knowledge that we are not alone. This list is far from exhaustive; please let me know if you have other resources to add.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this. I actually just had someone comment on my site how their family doesn't care. Sigh.

Carol said...

As always, feel free to put a link to it any time for your readers.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info, Carol...

There's an ABC report on living with autism on their nightly news tonight (Wednesday).