Anthologies on Parenting Kids with Special Needs

Two Groundbreaking Anthologies on Parenting Kids with Special Needs

In "My Baby Rides the Short Bus," non-conformist parents telling their subjective stories with humor and grace.

I recently received two fantastic anthologies on parenting kids with special needs to review, My Baby Rides the Short Bus and Gravity Pulls You In. Most nights since receiving these two treasures I end the day by reading a chapter or two — finding myself  choked up with tears as I read a parent’s complicated, heartbreaking story; or laughing with parents on the fringe navigating life with a special needs child.  These are stories for everyone.  Parents with special needs children will relate to the stories of these contributing writers, and community member will better understand the parenting experience of raising a child with autism, Asperger’s or other differently-abled children.


In lives where there is a new diagnosis or drama every day, the stories in My Baby Rides the Short Bus: The Unabashedly Human Experience of Raising Kids with Disabilities provide parents of “special needs” kids with a welcome chuckle, a rock to stand on, and a moment of reality held far enough from the heart to see clearly. With over 30 contributors from professional writers to novice storytellers this assortment of authentic, shared experiences from parents at the fringe of the fringes is a partial antidote to the stories that misrepresent, ridicule, and objectify disabled kids and their parents.


In 33 essays and poems in "Gravity Pulls You In," parents raising children on the autism spectrum explore their lives inthe context of autisum's own special gravity, discovering what's important and what they find centering.

Within the accounts of fierce love and keen regard for their unique children in Gravity Pulls You In: Perspectives on Parenting Children on the Autism Spectrum lie moments of exceptional clarity and transformation. These pieces are sure to resonate with parents, caregivers, and anyone who’s interested in the world of autism. Their slice-of-life depictions are a refreshing departure from the usual diagnosis/grief/acceptance arc of many autism accounts, and serve as a reminder that life is lived in the many small, everyday moments.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS: Saturday, November 6th, 2010

There will be a reading on Saturday, November 6th, 2010, 2pm at Food for Thought Books (106 North Pleasant St.) in Amherst, MA, by contributors from both books: co-editor Jennifer Silverman and essayist Sierra-Marie Gerfao of My Baby Rides the Short Bus, and co-editor Kyra Anderson of Gravity Pulls You In.

  • Jennifer Silverman is an optimist in a pessimist’s clothing, and “mama” to two boys, one of who has autism. She lives, writes and agitates in New York City.
  • Sierra-Marie Gerfao (“Maria June”) lives in New England with her wife, their son, foster daughter, and one sweet old dog. Vocationally she serves full-time in a family ministry at a church.
  • Kyra Anderson chronicles life as a homeschooling mom and writer in New England on her blog, Her work has appeared in several small presses. Her memoir, How My Son’s Asperger’s Saved My Ass, is in progress.

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