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Parenting Your Complex Child

The Book Club selection on the Autism Spectrum Disorders site for May 2006 will be Parenting Your Complex Child by Peggy Lou Morgan. Learn how to become a powerful Advocate for the Autistic, Down Syndrome, PDD, Bipolar, or other Special-Needs Child.

There are two sections within Parenting Your Complex Child. The first is known as the Journey - Life with a Complex Child. Part two is known as Changing Course, which is more extensive covering solutions and suggestions.

The book includes a foreword, preface, acknowledgments, appendix and index. Here is where you will find sample documents, tracking forms and charts. There is a transitional plan and a before school schedule. There is a comparison chart of the functional skills during the age range of 10-14 and then again at 19 years of age.

The Complex Child within the pages of Parenting Your Complex Child is Billy Ray. He was adopted at the age of fiteen months by Peggy Lou Morgan and her late first husband. The main themes of the book is adapting and communicating. Peggy Lou explains the importance of documenting everything and to keep a daily journal. There certainly is a lot of paperwork involved with parenting special needs children. I have three file cabinets in my house and could use another one to store documents.

The chapters are as follows:

The Complex Child - this is an introduction to the characteristics to a complex child.

Billy Ray's Story - A breakdown of the time period in which Billy Ray was diagnosed with various disorders along with some backgroound information about him.

Not Yet The Best of Times - Includes advocating for your child and learning from the child.

Feeling Misunderstood - This covers public awareness, acceptance and taking care of yourself.

Working With Doctors - The difficult process of diagnosing children, medication issues, health-care coverage and dentists.

Encountering the "Dumb-Parent Treatment" - this includes taking control, respect and testing.

Part Two consists of ten chapters, which go into detail on Service Dogs, Hiring, Training and Supervising Caregivers, Communicate and Adapt, Mapping the Journey and Getting the Professionals to Listen.

Readers will find sample journals, examples of mild, moderate and severe behaviors, handling power struggles, creating a life that works for your child and family, as well as creating a workable schedule. The steps and questions you will need to answer are all incorporated within the chapters.

In Chapter 12, Document Everything Peggy Lou Morgan explains a medication schedule and covers terms used in her documentations. She spells out what is needed for creating these documents and the steps to transfer data to the summary form.

IEP planning, guardianship and lawsuits are tackled in Chapter 13, Getting The Professionals To Listen. In other chapters learn how to cope when dining out in restaurants and people stare, shopping in stores and becoming a member of the community.

Readers can gain insight into writing a caregiver manual and preparing for the interview of an employee for the home. There are sample visuals with photos of Billy Ray feeding his horses every day. The schedule and forms will be very beneficial to families of children on the Autism Spectrum.

Within the index you will find details on shock therapy, social stories video program, potty training, self esteem, emergency room experiences, Bipolar Disorder, independent living and Down Syndrome. Gain expertise in working with the Medical Community from Peggy Lou Morgan by reading Parenting Your Complex Child.

May 2006

Follow along with Peggy Lou and Billy Ray through the Parenting A Complex Child Blog


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