Book Description

From Publishers Weekly An Asian studies professor at Williams College, Crane mines his academic field to tell the story of his profoundly disabled son's life, unpacking a grab-bag of Asian philosophy and its relationship to his son's humanity and worth. Despite some excessively formal passages and, alternately, overly emotional, cliche-laden writing, this book will ring true for parents dealing with similar situations. Crane's thesis that 'disabled people are not marginal to the human experience; they are central to it, for without them there could be no definition of ability,' while not novel, is a stimulating addition to the public debate over the rights of the disabled. Crane's son, Aidan, has suffered from seizures since he was 10 days old, and at age seven he 'still could not walk or talk or see. His abilities were closer to those of a three-month-old infant.' The author recounts the many years of doctor visits and the frustrations and triumphs he and his wife experience as they attempt to give their child meaningful care, and philosophical discussions of Tao Te Ching and the Book of Changes, as well as other texts, relieve the repetitive litany of seizure episodes and the tedious minute-by-minute descriptions of Aidan's medical care. Parents of the disabled will find much to identify with in this upbeat and hopeful memoir.Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. Read more From Library Journal This is not the first book by a scholar-father to ponder what it means to raise a special-needs child in an unforgiving world. In Life as We Know It, Michael Berube also asks troubling questions and uses his academic specialty to formulate answers. While Berube relies on his background in history and the philosophy of Western civilization, Crane (Asian studies, Williams Coll.) draws on Eastern philosophy, particularly the Tao Te Ching, to examine how he and his wife cope with the mental and physical disabilities of their first child, Aidan (his condition is unknown). Crane is more conversational than Berube; he describes the technical details of Aidan's condition in the simplest terms, effectively explaining Aidan's various seizures, and he is more positive than Berube. Crane admits great pain and sadness on his part but acknowledges that the world is perhaps a little kinder to our special children than it was in the past. A nice addition to larger parenting, health, and disability collections.KellyJo Houtz Griffin, Eatonville, WA Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. Read more See all Editorial Reviews