A Slant of Sun: One Child's Courage

Front Cover
W. W. Norton & Company, 1998 - Psychology - 256 pages
2 Reviews
For Beth Kephart’s son, the diagnosis was "pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified"—a broad spectrum of difficulties, including autistic features. As the author and her husband discover, all that label really means is that their son Jeremy is "different in a million wonderful ways, and also different in ways that need our help."

In intimate, incandescent prose, Kephart shares the painful and inspiring experience of loving a child whose "special needs" bring tremendous frustration and incalculable rewards. "What, in the end, are you fighting for: Normal?" Kephart asks. "Is normal possible? Can it be defined? . . . And is normal superior to what the child inherently is, to what he aspires to, fights to become, every second of his day?"

With the help of passionate parental involvement and the kindness of a few open hearts, Jeremy slowly emerges from a world of obsessive play rituals, atypical language constructions, endless pacing, and lonely frustrations. Triumphantly, he begins to engage others, describe his thoughts and passions, build essential friendships. Ultimately this is a story of the shallowness of medical labels compared to a child's courage and a mother's love, of which Kephart writes, "Nothing erodes it. It is not sand on a beach. It is the nuclear heart of things—hard as the rock of this earth."
 

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User Review  - callmejacx - LibraryThing

A Slant of Sun - One Child's Courage by Beth Kephart was a wholesome book. I wasn't aware that the story was about a child's struggle with autism. The mother shared her deepest fears and thoughts. She ... Read full review

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User Review  - whitreidtan - LibraryThing

The journey into parenthood is always accompanied by surprises. Children never read the handbooks that purport to explain them or offer advice about raising them. And that's just for kids who fit ... Read full review

Contents

preface
9
dancing
15
reaching for my son
27
hat tricks
36
hard knocks
43
where silence starts
51
looking for help
78
one sudden quiet knowing
99
waiting for the red baron
127
afternoon concert minor keys
136
competing wisdoms
146
the farmer in the dell
174
from here to there
208
what falls away
233
palsy
242
last rights
249

working it out
107

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References to this book

Autism and Representation
Mark Osteen
No preview available - 2008
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About the author (1998)

Beth Kephart is the award-winning author of a memoir trilogy. She has written about writing and the imagination for the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, and Parenting. She lives in Devon, Pennsylvania.

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