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Down Syndrome NSW
Level 6/410 Church St, North Parramatta
9am-5pm Monday - Thursday
T: 9841 444

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Library Thursdays: Onward Crispy Shoulders:

Onward Crispy Shoulders! An Extraordinary Life with an Extra Chromosome by Mary Haakenson Perry is a story written by the sister of a man born with Down syndrome in 1945 in Alaska.
It is a great addition to the personal story section of the library and will be of interest to people who like to read about the lives of other families with a member with Down syndrome in other places and times. This book is both funny and sad and the author gives a great look into her brother Jim's life at a time when schools did not think there was a place for "children like him". Nor did the doctor even tell Jim's parents of the diagnosis until he was two and a half and even that was delivered indirectly. However Jim benefited from being the eldest of 7 children and from parents who believed he could learn. His sister relates the wonderful life he had including the highs and lows in a humorous and loving way. I also enjoyed the description of life in a fairly remote part of Alaska. This setting seems only to have improved Jim's life as he was very busy with all the jobs needed to live on a homestead. Sadly Jim develops Alzheimer's Disease and the author relates the progress of the disease from their bewildered point of view.
I recommend this book if you'd like to read about how life was in the 50s and 60s in rural Alaska with a child with Down syndrome or you just enjoy any personal story.
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