THE STIGMATIZED CHILD
"Mommy, am I stupid?"
Helping Parents Overcome the Stigma Attached to
Learning Disabilities, ADHD, and Lack of Social Skills
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Stigma is one of the meanest and most difficult aspects of having a child with learning disabilities and related disorders. We may not be able to change the way society feels overnight, but we can help lessen the pain caused by stigma. The answer is Acceptance and Resilience. In their new book, The Stigmatized Child: “Mommy, am I stupid?”: Helping Parents Overcome the Stigma Attached to Learning Disabilities, ADHD, and Lack of Social Skills, Anne Ford and John-Richard Thompson explore the different forms of stigma, such as the stigma faced by children from classmates and friends and from society. Parents, too can suffer the effects of stigma and often react by denying or trying to hide their child’s disabilities. In The Stigmatized Child they share stories from other parents and their children, and offer advice from professionals on how to deal with the often painful and long-lasting effects of stigma.
PRAISE FOR THE STIGMATIZED CHILD:
“Anne Ford’s personal experience, as the mother of a child with learning disabilities, permeates every page of this compelling book. It makes for a powerful read because she shares, not only her story, but also the stories of other parents and the children they so desperately want to help. To speak out and write about the toxic stigma that those with mental health challenges face every day, and to offer solutions that have been formed by heart-wrenching experience is to actively chisel away at the stigma that can be more damaging than the illness. This book is packed with much needed information and deeply moving stories. If all mothers confronted stigma the way Anne Ford does, it would vanish overnight.”
Co-Founder, Bring Change to Mind
"I learned early what a huge impact learning disabilities would have on my daughter--and on our family. I was not as prepared for the stigma that comes along with LD. It rains down from all directions, on the child and on the family. LD is such a heavy burden and dealing with stigma has been painful. The Stigmatized Child shows how much we need to have a book that describes how devastating the sigma of LD can be to the psyche."
Chair, Promise Project
“The stigma toward brain disorders affecting mental functions, including learning disabilities, autism, ADHD, and mental illness continues to this day. This perpetuates unnecessary suffering and denies people access to care. Public awareness is necessary to combat the ways society excludes and diminishes people with these conditions. This is why The Stigmatized Child is so important. Through personal stories and advice from an advocate and mother, this much-needed book will guide parents in their struggle to help their children (and themselves) handle the daunting challenges of stigma.”
Jeffrey A. Lieberman, MD
Chairman of Psychiatry
Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
“The Stigmatized Child, Mommy, Am I Stupid” is a really well-written description of the journey of a parent of a child with special needs. Understanding and accepting your child’s special need(s) can sometimes be overwhelming. It requires time to wrap your mind around the idea that your child’s development is a little bit off. Once the awareness builds, sometimes it really builds. As a parent, I’ve had to “do my research” about my child’s areas of weaknesses and understand them. Once I understood them, I had to figure out what she needed and how to go about advocating for her.
Anne Ford truly opened herself up to sharing her most intimate thoughts and experiences. Her trials, her search, her understanding and her acceptance. This book is validating for the parents who thought they were alone or the “only one” having this experience. She has captured how there is no one “perfect” program or “perfect” school that will meet our child’s needs in their entirety. It truly takes a village of professionals to create the program for your child. And just when it’s all settled, your child makes progress and it’s time to re-vamp it!
As a Child/Adolescent Psychologist and Educational Consultant, as well as a parent of a child with special needs, this book honestly and genuinely captured my inner thoughts and worries. It also gave me so much that my child, and all of our children, are going to get to where they need to be."
Dr Liz Matheis