Hidden Gems: Our Special Children encompasses an exceptional world: the world of children with special needs, and, even more, the world that is touched by them.
I loved my child so much, but I also wanted her to be "just like everybody else" more than anything ...
In their own words - the words of mothers, fathers, grandparents, siblings, special education professionals, and the special-needs individuals themselves -- we read of day-to-day triumphs and yes, occasional despair. We meet a woman who adopted five children with Down syndrome, and another who realized her child would be better off in a residential facility. A sister speaks honestly of her childhood anger at her special brother; a young boy inspires an entire class with his determination to walk, no matter what.
My message to others with special-needs is to never give up. No matter how hard it seems sometimes: never give up.
The narratives in Hidden Gems: Our Special Children are honest and compelling, fascinating and inspiring. There is no sugar coating the problems, but there is always an abundance of hope and promise for the future.
When a new baby with Down syndrome is born, I tell the parents, "You will get more nachas - a nachas you could never imagine - from this child than from any of your others." They think I am crazy. About six months later they say, "Chaya, you were right..."
Hidden Gems: Our Special Children is a life-transforming work. Reading it sensitizes all of us to the needs and feelings of special children and those with whom they interact. Even more: we will all be inspired to deal with our own unique challenges, whatever they may be, with faith, determination, and courage.