In each issue of Apostrophe we reviews titles relevant to our readers.
The Shape of the Eye
When a baby is born, every parent checks to ensure their child is healthy, looking for the vital 10 fingers and 10 toes. No parent expects the doctor to ask consent for additional testing for Down syndrome. George Estreich and his wife Theresa certainly didn’t.
After two weeks of waiting, of living in denial that little Laura Estreich’s almond-shaped eyes were anything but the vestiges of her Japanese ancestry, the doctor delivered the news: Laura had Down syndrome.
The Shape of the Eye details all that comes after such a life-changing diagnosis. In this “poignant, beautifully written and intensely moving memoir” (Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone), poet and stay-at-home dad, George Estreich, relays both his daughter’s story and his struggle to accept and understand the meaning of ‘different.
This memoir, unlike any other, reflects on Laura’s place in her family as well as the numerous aspects of her inheritance — from the literal legacy of her genes to the history behind Victorian physician John Langdon Down’s initial diagnostic error of “Mongolian idiocy.”
Originally published in a limited manner by the now suspended Southern Methodist University Press, this winner of the 2012 Oregon Book Award in Creative Nonaction will be released in paperback, updated with a new afterword wherein Estreich provides an update on his family’s life and delves into the new technological advances and quandaries that have cropped up as Laura has grown.
Without being saccharine sweet or falling into self-pity, The Shape Of The Eye provides a true-to-life examination of the quandaries and love that define the enriched world of a family living with Down syndrome.
Ink in the Wheels: Stories to Make Love Roll
Barton and Megan Cutter
Cutter’s Edge Consulting (2013)
Building a strong marriage and having a strong relationship, along with the struggles of financial concerns and family dynamics can be difficult. But when you add in having one partner with a disability, it can be even more challenging. At least that is what you would think until you talk to the authors of the recently released book, Ink in the Wheels: Stories to Make Love Roll by Barton and Megan Cutter.
Ink in the Wheels: Stories to Make Love Roll depicts their journey as an inter-ability married couple, where one member is affected by disability, as they build a successful marriage, despite day-to-day challenges.
Their goal is to reach as many people as possible to help break down barriers and misconceptions about people with disabilities.
Barton Cutter has cerebral palsy, but that doesn’t stop him from excelling as a writer, coach, mentor and speaker in the disability community, as well as a fourth degree black belt martial artist and self-defense instructor.
Megan is a writer, social media strategist and online reputational manager for organizations, small business and individuals. She also holds a first-degree black belt and is a martial arts instructor, teaching and developing disabled PROTECTION along with Barton.
Barton absolutely refuses to have his disability define him. He is modeling what it looks like to not only have a calling but to act on it. If you were lucky enough to meet him you would see that both he and Megan are challenging the very idea of disability.
Self-Determination and Transition Planning
Karrie A. Shogren
Brookes Publishing Co. (2013)
Self-determination has a powerful positive impact on post-school outcomes for young adults with disabilities—but how can educators teach students the skills they need to make their own choices and achieve their goals as they enter adulthood? This empowering guidebook shows the way. It’s packed with practical, research-validated guidance on explicitly teaching selfdetermination skills, this book helps educators support students.
Teaching Transition Skills in Inclusive Schools
Teresa Grossi Ph.D.,
Cassandra M. Cole Ed.D.
Brookes Publising Co. (2013)
How can high schools teach academic content and the critical skills students need to navigate life beyond the classroom? Fitting it all into one curriculum can be a challenge, and this book helps you juggle it all, ensuring personalized, student-centered instruction that prepares students with and without disabilities for success. This book introduces a unified framework for transition services in an integrated, cohesive process.
Demystifying Transition Assessment
Colleen A. Thoma Ph.D. and Ronald Tamura Ph.D.
Brookes Publishing Co. (2013)
Assessment is the cornerstone of every good transition plan. Now there’s a book that demystifies the what, when, why and how of collecting transition assessment data-and using the results to help students with disabilities prepare for adulthood. Developed by two respected transition authorities, this practical guide prepares education professionals to use today’s best assessment tools and strategies to identify which transition approaches really work.