Laughing Allegra: The Inspiring Story of a Mother's Struggle and Triumph Raising a Daughter with Learning Disabilities

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ReadHowYouWant.com, Sep 7, 2010 - 444 pages
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When Anne Ford, the great-granddaughter of Henry Ford, learned that her daughter Allegra's ''differences'' were the result of severe learning disabilities (LD), she faced a challenge that neither money nor position could ease. Desperate for answers, she sought out doctors, schools, and tutors for help. As she journeyed from denial to acceptance, Anne faced rejection, intolerance, disinterest, and puzzlement from friends, family, and professionals, eventually finding her way to the schools, people, and situations that enabled her to raise her family with hope and promise. She became an activist on behalf of children and families faced with LD, and in time, Anne saw her child grow into a vibrant, loving, independent adult with a passion for ice skating and a commitment to help other children with disabilities. While Allegra's disabilities are unique (as with each LD child), the feelings of pain, frustration, shame, and guilt felt by Anne are shared to a varying degree by all parents of a child with LD. As Anne writes, ''When Allegra was diagnosed, I needed information to explain her condition and what I could do to help her, but I also needed a guide to the heart...I needed to connect with someone who had been through it already and could offer words of comfort and the most simple reassuring statement a parent can hear: 'Your child will be fine.' I didn't have that, and that is my reason for writing this book, to enlighten parents and give them hope and help guide them on the oftentimes treacherous journey.'' In addition to her personal story, Anne includes three invaluable special sections: Answers to the most commonly asked questions about LD A resource guide on where to find help A discussion from a mother's perspective on the challenges concerning homework, money, relationships, the workplace, getting around, and planning as the child with LD and the parents age. As for Allegra's thoughts about her mom writing this book, the introduction conveys her message: ''I think mom has done well...telling people out there that you CAN get help...I didn't want my life in a book at first [and] we talked it over and thought about it. If it helps other kids then we should do it and so I told my mom OK.''
 

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LAUGHING ALLEGRA 4K

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Fortified with love and wisdom, Ford's recollected experiences provide a superb model for anyone parenting a learning-disabled child. Detailing her daughter Allegra's struggles from the early ... Read full review

Laughing Allegra: The Inspiring Story of a Mother's Struggle and Triumph Raising a Daughter with Learning Disabilities

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In this compelling book, the great-granddaughter of Henry Ford shares her experiences of raising a child with significant learning disabilities. The author first describes her journey to understand ... Read full review

Contents

Prologue
3
Why Are You Wandering Off Again?
28
A Beautiful Squiggle
47
She Doesnt Belong Here
64
Summer
77
First Day of School
98
Sprinkle a Little Pixie Dust 113 Chapter 7 A Great Gentleman Comes into Our Lives
128
Separation
137
Ice
225
It Can Be Done
236
Your First Questions
243
Learning How to Becomea Difficult
269
Words Should Be Weighed
281
The Battle Zone
289
Understanding Each Other
296
Challenges of Life
302

Graduation Day
155
My Mother
161
Riverview
180
Threshold
211
Resources
345
Siblings and Secrets
381
About the Authors
399
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Anne Ford served as Chairman of the Board of the National Center for Learning Disabilities from 1989 to 2001, and continues to work on behalf of people with learning disabilities. She recounted her experience raising a child with LD in the acclaimed memoir "Laughing Allegra". She lives in New York City. John-Richard Thompson is an award-winning playwright and novelist. He lives in New York City.

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