What would you do if you or a loved one woke up tomorrow with a disability? How would you cope if you couldn�t do what you loved best in your spare time? How would you know what to do if someone you loved needed your emotional support in coping with the on-set of a new disability?
These questions are quite fear provoking and yet very real. Given that we have soldiers coming home daily with permanent disabilities, these questions are multiplying exponentially in our country.
Alvin Law, Best Selling Author and Speaker says:
"Chasing Normal is a compelling account of life with a disability from two remarkable perspectives and is a must-read for anyone who has or is connected to someone with a disability. I was born without arms and the mantra in our home was 'there's no such word as can't'. It worked for me but after reading Dinah's book, I have re-evaluated the universality of that message. Chasing Normal doesn't offer a quick fix but it is an honest, even disturbing account of reality and surprisingly inspirational. Who thought the cold truth could carry such a warm message?"
A Roadmap for Coping with a New Disability
Chasing Normal: A Guide for the Newly Disabled and for Those Who Love Them provides a type of map and answers these questions and more. In this book Dinah Chaudoir Federer discusses "Talking about the �Big IT�", "Silently Screaming"-dealing with fear, "Feeding Your Spirit", "Releasing Resistance" and other easy to follow topics. It�s written conversationally rather than formally to make it less threatening.
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If you do a topic search you�ll see there are plenty of textbooks discussing the "issues", there are many written by parents, and there are some personal stories. Dinah's experience can tell you that the "average Joe" in crisis will not read a textbook. Concentration flies out the window when you�re terrified. Further, this same "Joe" won�t care about a parent�s theory or even others� stories unless there�s some good, simple advice. Chasing Normal: A Guide for the Newly Disabled and for Those Who Love Them will do this without adding to their overwhelm.
Dinah worked in the field of
rehabilitation for over 20 years, and was a vocational rehabilitation counselor
with the State of Wisconsin for 18 of those years. She was born with Charkot-Marie-Tooth (CMT), an inherited neurological condition that affects the nerves and weakens the muscles in the extremities,
forcing her to walk with crutches. At age 35, she was diagnosed with Trigeminal Neuralgia, which causes intense electrical shock-type pain in the nose, lips, and eyes. Consequently, she has unique insight into the experiences of those who grow up with a disability as well as what people go thru when they acquire a disability later in life.
As a disabled adult herself, her on-going message is blunt and hopeful: THERE IS LIFE AFTER DISABILITY AND IT DOESN�T HAVE TO SUCK!!