This is a powerful book that contains a collaboration of different stories and experiences from fathers with children with different disabilities. Gary Dietz: is the individual who collected and edited the different stories and experiences from many different fathers who all have one thing in common: a child with a disability. Gary Dietz, himself is a father with a child that has a disability; therefore he can relate first hand to the other fathers’ in this book. Gary also has some of his own stories about his different experiences with his child. This book is unique as it targets the fathers’ experiences and points of view rather than the mothers’ experiences. Gary states that many times, you hear stories from different mothers’ that have a child with a disability. He points out that in today’s society, there are many books written by woman who have a child with a disability, therefore the book will target the mother’s feelings and experiences, rather than the fathers’. Also-many times at different school advocacy meetings that discuss the child’s progress, future and just everyday life experiences, the facilitators at these meetings always ask the fathers’-what does his/her mother think? He also talks about how there are different gender stereotype roles that advocate for the mother to be the stay at home mom, (for example if their child requires more daily hands on care and would be beneficial to the child’s well-being if one parent is a stay at home parent). Gary also talks about how you don’t hear about stories where you see the father being emotionally vulnerable. In this book, Gary has a wide variety of stories that deal with some of these subjects that some fathers go through.
The book is also for woman to read as well. Gary points out that he is not minimizing the woman’s role or experience with a child with a disability, but instead has powerful stories from fathers to address a fathers’ equal importance in the child’s life and has stories that address the gender stereotypes.
In this book,there is a story that has a father who quits his day job to stay home with his child with the disability and shows how the wife played an equal important role in the child’s life, but showed how she had a mutual understanding and flexibility of her husband staying home with their child. There were other stories that showed fathers being open with their emotions, stories that showed fathers being equal advocators for their children, stories that documented fathers’ daily life with their child with the disability and stories that just showed the fathers’ love for their child.
I thought this book was a very good book. This book had many powerful stories that documented the fathers’ importance in the child’s life. I work as a Medicaid Service Coordinator with children and adults with disabilities. These fathers’ experiences are similar to the parents’ with the kids with disabilities experience that I see. I agree with Gary that many times, you do not hear about the fathers’ experiences. I work with many parents that have kids with disabilities. I will admit, many of the parents that I work with that are more active advocates are the mothers, but I have also worked with some fathers who were strong advocates for their children as well. I think that the book did serve its purpose or in other terms documented many powerful experiences of fathers with kids of disabilities and was a book that showed how fathers are just as important as the mother’s role in the child’s life. The book had many stories that showed how the fathers are strong advocates for their children with the disabilities. I would recommend this book to fathers and mothers with kids with disabilities, to social workers, case workers, teachers and the many other professionals that work with kids with disabilities.
For more information about the book and places to purchase the book, go toBookrooms Amazon / Barnes and Noble / http://blog.dadsofdisability.com. This site also has a blog for fathers with kids with disabilities and also has a link to the book’s facebook page.