Life as We Know it: A Father, a Family, and an Exceptional Child
When James Berube was born in 1991 his parents knew little about Down syndrome other than that it would render their child "disabled". As they sought to understand exactly what this would mean, they learned not only about the current medical and social treatment of developmental disabilities, but also about the history of how society has understood - and failed to understand - children like James. In telling the story of his son's development during the crucial first four years of life - learning to walk and talk, to move into the world and the lives of those around him - Michael Berube engages the charged issues that each stage of James's growth leads into: I.Q. testing, the politics of education, disability law, social services, health care, and entitlements. Framing these issues is the larger debate, which Berube brilliantly illuminates, over concepts such as social justice, what it means to be human, and, ultimately, what kind of society we value and by what means we determine it. James's story is at the heart of this debate.