Made of Gray

Reading List

Holly D Gray7 Comments
When Caleigh was born, and probably her first few years, I was always searching for answers. The latest and greatest "fix," and other parents with children Caleigh's age going through the same situations. I was checking to see what was working for those children. Mostly short gut solutions and therapies that would help Caleigh. I always felt like I was missing something along the way.
In the past year this has all changed somehow. I find myself more interested in the stories of adults with disabilities. Maybe I'm searching for proof that Caleigh could live a long life. Proof that what was predicted of Caleigh's lifespan might somehow be wrong. I don't look for new parents anymore. I don't look for new therapies. I'm not on any of the online support groups that I held onto so early on. My researching has turned into searching for adults that are living meaningful lives, that are similar to Caleigh in some way. What was their childhood like? What worked, what didn't work? What were their emotions as a child with a disability. What do they wish they had known as a child? What would they want me to know about raising my child with a disability? My reading and watching has changed right along with that. I've found some amazing people along the way that have totally beat the odds. I enjoy their advocacy and their insight daily. I've read a couple of books and watched a documentary recently that I wanted to share.

"Only God Could Hear Me"
This video is a little over an hour long. The individuals that are followed through the documentary all use communication devices to speak. It's a beautiful thing to see just how independent everyone is with their devices and their lives. The Independence is what I really latched onto during this film.

"Out of My Mind" by Sharon Draper
Let me just tell you that this book is amazing. It's the fictional story of an eleven year old girl who is non-verbal and uses a wheelchair. The story is written as a pre-teen angsty novel. It's an easy read. I read it in two sittings. It's not a feel-good-happy-ending story. I've heard several parents say that they didn't like this book, but for me the story had me thinking of Caleigh constantly. The character is crazily similar in so many ways to Caleigh, that I had to keep telling myself that the book was in fact fiction. I love it and it has a permanent place on our shelf. Boy or girl, verbal or non-verbal; it's a must read for children. In fact, everyone, no matter their age, should really read this book. I fully plan on Caleigh reading this book when she's older.

"I'll Do it Myself" by Glenda Watson Hyatt
Glenda was so kind as to send me a copy of her book. An autobiography that classically tells the "take her home and love her" diagnosis; only to far exceed everyone and their expectations. Glenda's story is a hopeful tell for parent's like Eric and I. At the same time, her story confirms the heartache that Caleigh will probably have to endure. Glenda has spunk, sarcasm and a great outlook on life. Her advocacy is paving the way for Caleigh. Glenda and her husband are an inspiration to our family. She's pretty awesome with her iPad too :-)

Of course, a couple of my old favorites are: Blue Sky July, Including Samuel,
Schuyler's Monster and Disability is Natural

This new season in acceptance is a good one for me. Learning about the world of those with disabilities has been a rewarding experience compared to the world of trying to "fix" a single diagnosed label. The attitudes are on a completely different end of the spectrum. I highly recommend the move, but I for one, know that healing takes time.
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