Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Review: Schyler's Monster - and Dad

I make an extra effort to read novels that include children with disabiltiies and especially those using augmentative communication. So the book Schyler's Monster by Robert Rummel-Hudson surfaced from the big book pile next to my bed. It's an honest story about a father's journey and struggle trying to "fix" his broken non-verbal daughter and help her communicate using augmentative communication.
There are several good points to be taken; 1) trust your parental instincts when it comes to knowing your child's abilities. The Rummel-Hudson's persevere to purchase a higher-end PRC AAC device and Schyler uses it with success. 2) it definitely pays to engage the help and support of others (in his case friends and blog readers). I could relate to the chilly treatment they received from family, professionals and outsiders.

A few points were irritating to me as a parent with a child with a brain malformation. Diagnosis aside, why did you wait so long for her to receive more intensive speech services? And I don't consider our kids "broken" and in need of "fixing." I also get prickly when journalists don't use "person-first" dialogue meaning that Schyler is a child first and not her disability. So Rob, please stop referring to her as a "special needs child." Overall, I thought it was an honest account and worth sharing with my husband and you.

Find the book on Amazon:  Schuyler's Monster: A Father's Journey with His Wordless Daughter
Read more about Schyler http://www.schuylersmonsterblog.com/

1 comment:

  1. While I can respect the travails the family endured, as a parent of a child with differences, a child who uses aug comm, I would never recommend the book to anyone as a means to clarity about our own situation, for just the reasons you cite. To me it was a story about a guy and his burden, not so much a story of a child and her victory.