From Birth through Adulthood: Handbook for Parents of Children with Special Needs Second Edition

From Birth through Adulthood: Handbook for Parents of Children with Special Needs Second Edition

Eileen Newman Rubin wrote to us about her special needs parenting book titled, “From Birth through Adulthood: A Handbook for Parents of Children with Special Needs Second Edition“. I have just finished reading it and I highly recommend it to all parents raising a child with any special needs.

This handbook for parents of children with special needs is to show people that they are not alone. It is to help them navigate the special education maze, and to get their child the best services to help their child be all they can be.

Ms. Rubin has this quote by John F. Kennedy at the beginning of her book, “All of us do not have equal talent, but all of us should have an equal opportunity to develop our talents.” Her book provides a list of advocacy tips for the parents – tips that can be used by any parent of any special needs child regardless of the challenges to help their child have these equal opportunities to reach their potential.

The following chapter titles show you what an indispensable resource book it is:

  • Chapter 1: I Think My Child Has A Problem – Now What?
  • Chapter 5: After the Diagnosis – Now What?
  • Chapter 9: Being An Advocate – What To Do and How To Do It
  • Chapter 12: Wills and Trusts
  • Chapter 13: Day Programs
  • Chapter 14: Residential Programs

Parents reading this book can immediately relate with Eileen Newman Rubin because she raised two children with special needs to adulthood and has been involved in advocacy work helping others along the way.

Ms. Rubin explained, “Being the mother of two children with special needs is a never-ending journey. Once you think you have mastered everything you need to know, they enter another stage and there are all new rules to learn.

My first book, “From Birth through Adulthood: Addressing the Needs of Special Needs Children” was written in 2014. This second edition which is significantly more comprehensive, as I have learned a great deal more along my journey, is an “in the trenches” book about determining whether your child has special needs and about fighting for the needs of your child with special needs. It addresses what to do at specific ages, what the “language” is in the special needs community, and HOW to be an advocate for your child.

Target Audience:

This book is a step-by-step guide for parents of children with special needs, with a few stories splattered in between just to point out that things are not always as horrible as they seem.  Since this book is written for parents whose children could be age 1 or 15 or 25, I am starting from the very beginning and moving through the journey.

From Birth through Adulthood is written by someone who has been through it, the hard way, in order to best help her children and yours. This book provides answers to questions such as:

  • – Does my child have special needs?
  • – How Do I Deal With This?
  • – What Can I Do To Help My Child?
  • – How Do I Get My Child What They Need?
  • – What Does The Future Hold For My Child?

Most importantly, this book tells parents of children with special needs that they are not alone in their journey or in their feelings.

Features We Especially Liked:

From Birth through Adulthood is written in a direct, efficient, and practical manner. The nononsense, let’s get down to business tone gives the readers confidence that they also can make good things happen for their children. Ms. Ruban has this optimistic, cheer leading way of getting her message across. Her “Let’s get this done NOW!” attitude should motivate parents to start immediately advocating for their child.

It is easy to read and to retrieve information because of the many numbered sections and bullet points with underlined subtitles in bold font.

Lots of information is conveniently presented in chart format. Titles of a few charts are as followed:

  • Child Developmental Milestone Chart
  • Typical Questions To Ask An Advocate
  • Things to Consider During the Meeting
  • Day Program Evaluation Criteria

By adding throughout the book events concerning her own children, it makes it more interesting and reminds the reader that   this is a parent who has gone through this.

There are four excellent appendices. I was impressed with Appendix C: Glossary, Acronyms, and Abbreviations. It is eighteen pages in length and divided into 3 Chapters!

Special Needs Book Review congratulates and thanks Eileen Newman Rubin for this second edition of her excellent handbook for parents of children with special needs. Canadian parents supporting children with special needs can also benefit from most parts of this book to help them through the maze of special education and developmental disabilities services.

Excerpts From Birth through Adulthood: A Handbook for Parents of Children with Special Needs Second Edition 

 Keep thorough notes

I put all the important things in writing. However, at the beginning, you don’t really know what is important, so put everything in writing. Learning what you need to write down only comes with experience. When I am writing my personal notes from a telephone conversation, I record:

• Date and time conversation took place

• Who I spoke to (first and last name. if possible)

• What agency

• What their phone number is (not the operator number, but their direct line)

• What we discussed and what that person said

• Any conclusions we reached

• Any follow up they were going to do and when they would get back to me (and I call them the day after if they don’t get back to me)

• Their email address (if needed)

Page 127

I have found that wherever you are, parents of children with special needs have a bond. I have found that it is a “tight knit community” where people from all over the country will provide support and encouragement to each other. They will share their experiences, help guide you down the path and avoid the pitfalls, and reach out and do you a favor if they can. It is a caring community – something I find lacking in the “normal” communities that we have today.

So, remember:

• Learn what you can

• Keep good records

• Don’t be afraid to ask for help

• Go with your gut

• Stand up for the rights of your child – this is not a popularity contest (and if you are doing it right, you will NOT be popular with your school district)

• Take breaks when you can to enjoy life and destress

• Hang in there – even on the worst days

Be Blessed and Good Luck – You CAN Do It

About the Author: 

Eileen Newman Rubin author of From Birth through Adulthood: A Handbook for Parents of Children with Special Needs Second EditionEileen Newman Rubin’s Prologue: Who am I and Why Do I Think I Can Write This Book?

I am no one special. I have no unique gifts. I am probably just like you. I am a woman who had a career, who dreamed of getting married, having children, going on family vacations, watching them grow up and go to college and get married. I am a woman who did everything right when she was pregnant, who ran every test, and who told her doctor that “I am running every test because I would make a terrible parent to a handicapped child”. But then it happened. I became the parent of 2 handicapped children (My older daughter Brigette, born in 1992, was diagnosed with Autism at age 27 months. My younger daughter Suzanne, born in 1994, was diagnosed with PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified) at age 22 months.) and was thrown into the world of “special needs”.

I was angry, confused, overwhelmed, and never thought I could make it. Well, here I am 23+ years later. I still get angry and overwhelmed, but I still push forward.

Buy From Birth through Adulthood: A Handbook for Parents of Children with Special Needs Second Edition  

This post was written by Lorna
Lorna d’Entremont: Co-owner of SentioLife Solutions, Ltd. the company behind KidCompanions Chewelry (2007) and SentioCHEWS (2013), mother of three, grandma of 5 and wife. She is a retired teacher and special needs advocate. Throughout she has taught all levels from grade 2 to grade 9. Lorna loved teaching and enjoyed seeing the students progress in the school system. During her 30 year career she took a few years off to raise her three children.