March 21st 2013 marks the 8th anniversary of World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD), an awareness day which is officially observed world-wide. In an article on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention site, I found that 1 of every 700 babies born in the United States each year is born with Down syndrome. This being so, it means there are many whose lives are touched by children with Down syndrome. Parents, grandparents, and all professionals who work with a child with Down syndrome will benefit from Natatile Hale’s book, Down Syndrome Parenting 101: Must-Have Advice for Making Your Life Easier.
Down Syndrome Parenting 101, published by Woodbine House in 2011, addresses most issues of bringing up a child with Down syndrome. This 242 page book is written by a mom of an adult son who has Down syndrome; therefore, all parents of special needs children can relate to the sage advice from one who has truly “been there and done that”.
Congratulations to the folks behind this award-winning book! Down Syndrome Parenting 101 is the WINNER of the About.com 2012 Readers’ Choice Awards, Favorite New Special-Needs Parenting Book!
About Down Syndrome Parenting 101
Natalie Hale’s book is crammed with practical advice, resources, and indispensable information with uplifting personal stories woven in. The author has found the right balance to entertain and inform and keeps the reader eager to learn more about how to enrich the lives of children with Down syndrome so they can reach their full potential. These are but a few of the topics Ms. Hale covers in her book:
- Knowing the importance of Early Intervention
- Understanding the unique personality of children with Down syndrome
- Using efficient strategies to handle behaviors and discipline the child
- Discovering specific interest that can lead to knowledge and new skills
- Nurturing the parent
- Making time for the siblings and marriage
- Finding the right support team – doctors, therapists, teachers, etc.
- Learning about inclusion, testing, IEP’s, SEA’s, and dual diagnosis
- Teaching how to read, to express emotions, and to self-advocate
- Finding the path to take after high school
Readers will appreciate Natalie Hale’s conversational tone as she doles out strategies and you will quickly feel she is a trusted friend. Her honest, sensible, and often humorous advice will stay with you long after you have finished reading her book.
Features of Down Syndrome Parenting 101
When parents first learn that their child has Down syndrome they are often overwhelmed and intimidated by the professionals they must rely on for treatment and advice. Ms. Hale assures them this is a perfectly natural response to the situation. The author takes you by the hand and she shows you what is important, who to believe, and how to move forward for the good of your whole family.
The following are some of the many features readers will appreciate in Natalie Hale’s guide book, Down Syndrome Parenting 101:
- Apropos quotes to begin each chapter. My favorite is, “No one can whistle a symphony. It takes an orchestra to play it.” –H. E. Luccock
- A wealth of additional information found in eye catching boxes identified by three different icons with tips, resources, definitions to compliment her content.
- Personal anecdote and stories from friends that bring her points home. These touching anecdotes remind the reader they are not alone and they can learn from these voices of experience.
- The use of humor to lighten the mood. The author has catchy sub-headings like, “Right Pot, Wrong Lid” and comical, true anecdotes that leave the reader chuckling.
I highly recommend Down Syndrome Parenting 101: Must-Have Advice for Making Your Life Easier by Natalie Hale not only for parents but for all who work in any capacity with people who have Down syndrome or other special needs.
Those who benefit most from the best practices in Down Syndrome Parenting 101 are the children themselves because the adults in their lives will know more about their unique personality, preferences and characteristics. They will have the tools and knowledge on how to help their child or student with Down syndrome lead a happy life and develop to his full potential.
About the Author
Natalie Hale is the mother of an adult son with Down syndrome. She has been a national speaker on the topic of teaching reading to learners with Down syndrome for the last 20 years. She founded Special Reads for Special Needs in 2000 to provide reading materials designed for individuals with Down syndrome. Ms. Hale is the author of five books. In 2010 Woodbine House published her book, Managing My Money. Natalie Hale lives in California and continues to travel, speak, and teach.
Read Special Needs Book Review’s complete review of Down Syndrome Parenting 101 by Natalie Hale