What Parents of Special Children Should Know: The Story of Sarah Reem

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9780533157747: What Parents of Special Children Should Know: The Story of Sarah Reem
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Dr. Z. Shamma-Othman was thirty weeks pregnant and pushing the limits of endurance and stamina, working long hours as a pulmonologist on call for Greenbrier Valley Hospital in West Virginia. Yet when she went into early labor she made the transition from super heroine physician to defenseless patient. Following a c-section, Dr. Shamma-Othman learned that her baby, Sarah, was alive but weighed less than two pounds. It was from that day forth that the author and her family would endure an emotional and unpredictable journey through each stage of Sarah's developmental progression. Through the eyes of a mother and physician, this eloquent memoir recounts the remarkable journey of Sarah and her family and caregivers.

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About the Author:

Z. Shamma-Othman, M.D. is a pulmonologist in private practice. She is a Fellow of the American Board of Internal Medicine and a Fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians. The author lives with her husband and children in West Virginia.


This book is an absolute must read for all parents, no matter what type of disability their children have. The good doctor is such a fine writer, I'd suggest reading it, if you have no children at all. The text is that extraordinary. She's always been bi-lingual- she commands the English language that much I know. I'll quote quite a bit of it in this review because it s the only way that I can do the work the credit it deserves.

She is a woman of faith and credits God with helping her get through all of her struggles and gives the best description of hope that I have ever read, bar none. She writes, "It was all I knew to do at the time- to hope, and I've found that it is more than enough. How to hope when you are, from all appearances, hopeless, how to make that hope fruitful, and how to make it so that it's infectious to those you love around you, especially the children this the only story I have to tell. ..... Hope is visionary as well as practical, spiritual and just plain magical. It is the fuel and the flame. On my way to the operating room, hope was born to me just before Sarah herself. Both of them have been a part of me ever since."

Don t think the book is all doom and gloom- not at all. The ways she thinks up to keep Sarah focused on learning the lessons at hand become funny at times, for example, the child took an interest in CNN all by herself. No Sesame Street for her. It was Anderson Cooper and Soledad
O' Brien. In fact, her mother found that she could just get her news mostly from Sarah. If she used the reporters in everyone's dreaded 'reading' math problems, Sarah got the answers right off the bat. I could just picture the child and would catch myself, humming the song, "Sarah Smile" by Hall and Oates

I must quote her again because this is important, "What I took from these early experiences in adjusting to Sarah as a child-under-construction is what I now practice daily in my own life: Never leave anything regarding your child to chance! Be well-informed, and never accept the advice of even the most esteemed professionals as the only truth. That there are varying opinions on every subject, let alone one's child, should jolt a parent to seek for him- or herself the answer. Along the journey of raising a child, parents will have opportunities to panic. This opportunity will raise its hand time and again if the challenges faced in raising a particular child seem insurmountable.

I loved this: Love: Believe in Your Child No Matter What (There is a list here, but in the interest of space I'll just list the best) 'Don't accept labels that imply no hope for your child. Realize the potential treasure that is within your precious child... Children can be misunderstood and wrongly labeled to the point that they will believe anything about themselves. You must first realize that your child is worth it.
2. Don t accept non-specific labels. If a child is called 'slow,'demand to know the specific underdeveloped areas. This becomes our 'Under-Construction' blueprint.

I have my copy of this book marked up from page three to the very end because it is such an insightful and encouraging book.
This was a very comforting book to me, even though my children are grown and my eldest grandchild is fifteen. I remember well, the guilt and exhaustion of raising children and can only imagine how busy her life must be. As I've said above, it's also so inspiring. It's a story to be celebrated again and again. --Joy Lackey, The Nicholas Chronicle

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M.D. Z. Shamma-Othman
Published by Vantage Press Inc (2008)
ISBN 10: 0533157749 ISBN 13: 9780533157747
New Softcover Quantity Available: 1
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(Portland, ME, U.S.A.)

Book Description Vantage Press Inc, 2008. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0533157749

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